Meet Ana Frisch-- blogger, Mother of two beautiful girls, and fellow donut connoisseur. When we asked Ana what she was doing now to raise confident daughters, she won us over with her response, below. Be sure to check out Ana's blog for more well-written words, photos of their day at the cherry blossoms, and maybe even a special discount code for her readers. Thanks Ana! xx
One evening during bathtime, Edith looked up at me in tears crying, “I don’t like my hair! I want Sleeping Beauty hair! I don’t want my curls!” A million feelings ran through my body all at once and I started to cry with her. How could my sweet innocent three year old have something about herself that she already strongly disliked? Have I not told her how beautiful she is enough? Did I tell her she is beautiful too much? Should I never have let her watch Disney movies? I was angry, sad, and hurt. And yet, I couldn’t help but think of all the times in middle school I sat crying in the bathroom, hating the way I looked, or those nights 8 months after having Lilah crying in the bathroom wondering who’s body I was stuck in and why I couldn’t look the way I did before I got pregnant.
The task of raising two girls is not an easy one. I cringe thinking of the day Edith will ask me to straighten her hair, or when Lilah will stare at herself in the mirror too long, or when they may say, “I’m not good enough to do that”. How can I teach them that anything is possible, that they are enough exactly the way they are, that failure is a possibility but that it is not the end of the world?
I think the best thing is I can do is to not underestimate the impact I have on their confidence as their mother. I know that these two girls are constantly looking to me to see what choices I am making, what I’m saying about myself and them, how I react in the face of challenges. I am far from perfect but I do my best each day to be an example of a strong and confident woman. They know that I treat myself kindly and take care of my body, and that I am confident in my own thoughts and opinions in my relationships with other people. And I work to establish that feeling in them. I have to be there to provide that safety and support that they need to have big feelings, make the right (and sometimes wrong) choices. My girls know that I value their opinions, that their emotions are valid and important to me and I make a point to get on their level and hear what they are saying and acknowledge their feelings.
I also do my best to embrace our own uniqueness. That night after Edith’s bath incident with her hair, I tried to think of a million ways to show her how special her curly hair was. I knew we were having lunch with a friend so I called her and asked her to mention something positive about Edith’s hair at our meeting the next day. I also tried to make it a silly game and asked her to pick out a “favorite” curl and give it a name. Mine is this crazy tight curl in the back, while Edith picked this wild one that usually hangs down in the middle of her forehead that she named, Swingy. Now she asks me to make her hair extra curly and wild each morning before school.
At the end of the day, all I can do is give them the freedom to make safe choices, provide opportunities for them to try new things that explore their passions, and be there for them when they fall down to pick them back up to try again. They know that someone will be there to provide support and advice when there is a tough choice to be made.