Glitter and grit. Being a badass broad is not one thing or another. It’s embracing whatever makes your soul sing. At some point or another, for many of us, that means bringing a little miniature asskicker into the world. If it’s not—you do you, girl—no worries. But if it is, then chances are you are thinking about what it means to be a badass broad raising a badass kid.
I was sure that I was going to have a little boy, my husband’s family has little boys. Period. But here’s the thing, often the universe doesn’t give you what you want or what you think you’re going to get, instead it gives you what you didn’t even know you needed. And it gave me a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed, lanky-legged baby girl. A little girl that loves superheroes.
Fact of the matter is, I’m not very girly myself. Sundresses are my thang, but only because it’s not cool to walk around naked all summer. I’d pretty much always chose to be outside, stomping around nature and getting dirty. But I would’ve loved this little girl no matter what she loved; whether that was pink and glitter and dresses, or as it turned out, comics and action figures and legos.
The thing about kids about humans, no matter their age or gender, is that they are never one thing. She hates pink, and loves her long hair. She’s not into “girly shirts” or dresses, but she loves to read and watch movies and play outside and do yoga with me. Kids are never what you expect they’re going to be, instead they are so much better. The best you can do is to keep an open mind and learn who they are, who they really and truly are, and embrace that wholeheartedly and with wild abandon.
Only by loving them for them, and embracing who they are at their most basic level, can you raise a kid who’s as badass as you are.
There are those who will try to tell you that you are the adult, and if you want them to wear a dress then you should be able to say so and have them do it no question. I say that’s bullshit. The only thing you’re teaching your child by doing something like that is not to respect, but that who they are, who they really feel like they are inside, is wrong. I do want respect from my child, but not in the form of blanket obedience, and I get that respect by giving it. Your child may be young, but if you want a relationship of give-and-take when they’re older and the problems are bigger, then you have to learn to have a relationship of give-and-take when they are younger, and their problems seem small to you but are the world to them.
So, let your “boys be boys” if they want to and let your “girls be girls” if they want to, but if your boy wants to wear that dress or your girl wants to wear those jeans and the ripped, holey superhero T-shirts, then let them do that, too. Because you won’t change who they are on the inside, they are born perfectly imperfect and perfectly themselves, the only thing you have the power to change is whether they love that inner self.
You didn’t get to be so badass by not loving and embracing exactly who you are at your deepest levels, and never are people more sure of exactly who that is than when they are a child. Before the world has had a chance to change you and mold you into what it thinks you should be. Help them embrace themselves now, and they will embrace themselves for life.
There are times when they will infuriate you, out-will you, sadden you, and just make you want to tear your hair out. But in the end, those same traits are what will serve them well as adults. Those same things are what you see in yourself and embrace. They’re your guts, your moxie, your will-do, can-do, no one stands in my way attitude. And baby, that’s the best part of you!