Promises To My Daughter

Dear Avery,

I promise not to embarrass you on purpose. I will probably dance, and sing while we are in the grocery store (hey, sometimes a good song is playing and I just can’t help it!) You can roll your eyes and cross your arms, pretend you don’t know me, but I know that inside you’re laughing and that 30 years from now you’ll do the same thing and think “oh my god, I’m turning into my mother” as you shake it down the aisle at Stop & Shop.

I promise to always dress appropriately. This goes along with the first promise. I won’t show up at your school in a bath robe and slippers even if it’s just to run in and drop off something you forgot. I know that the trauma of someone seeing me would be too much for you to bear. No booty shorts or tube tops. No bleached out hair and hot pink lipstick. I wont dress like a Housewife of Orange County/Miami/New Jersey/Jupiter.  I’ll dress like a mom.  A well dressed and “cool” mom, but still a mom.

I promise to protect you and take care of you. I wont sit back and let you be bullied. I wont allow people to take advantage of you or hurt you. I will be there for you 100% through your life, like my parents have been for me, even when other people say I shouldn’t.  I will always be your mother and you will always be my daughter, no matter what age.

I promise to allow you to make mistakes and learn from them.  I know I just said I’d always protect you, but I wont be over protective and there are some things every person just needs to learn. For example, you’ll date boys I don’t like, but as long as they aren’t abusive, drug addicts, or just seriously messed up, I will let you make the decision to date them. You’ll get your heartbroken and it will break my heart too, but some things we all have to learn on our own.

I promise to support you in whatever you want to do. Dance class, soccer, science club, pig racing, whatever.  But I wont tell you that you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up, because you can’t.  Sure, you CAN be a lawyer or a doctor. (I prefer the latter) Butcher, baker, candlestick maker (I have connections at Yankee Candle) are all “mom approved” professions.  However, there are certain things I wont allow. A few of those are: Stripper/exotic dancer/casino cocktail waitress (I don’t care how good the money is, my baby is not getting groped by lonely men AND those places are so smokey, it’s not good for your lungs) Circus performer/clown (I don’t like clowns. End of discussion) President (no parent who truly loves their child would want them to be in that position. It’s quite possibly the most stressful job on the planet.  I prefer it if you enjoy your life.) Star of a Reality TV show (There are sooo many reasons that this is not ok…) Vegetarian/Vegan (It will make Thanksgiving dinner all the more complicated.)

I promise to go all out and celebrate every Birthday.  I hear parents who whine and complain about another birthday party.  Or parents who don’t throw parties past age 5 or 7 or 10.  While you may not end up on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16”  you will always, as long as I live, have a birthday party. There are moms out there who wont get to see their little girls blow out their birthday candles.  There are little girls who don’t get to see another year. Each year is a gift, and each birthday is reason to CELEBRATE.  Avery, I promise, we WILL celebrate!

I promise that you will always have everything you need. This doesn’t mean everything you WANT.  You wont have an iphone at age 6. You wont have a custom, designed in Paris, Prom dress. You wont have a Coach bag because “everyone else does”   But you’ll get to go on every field trip. You’ll always have food on the table and a healthy lunch at school. You’ll have clothes that are in style. (Within reason. If leather pants and snakeskin halter tops are “in” I’ll have to say “no”) You’ll have a roof over your head.

I promise that life will always be an adventure. We will have fun, we will be creative, we will experience new things. We will travel, we will explore, we will discover. Museums, aquariums, zoos… We’ll make the world our playground. We will go on vacation every year. We will always find a way to have an adventure.

I promise that you’ll never know if we are poor. If daddy and I struggle financially at any time it will be our burden and ours alone.  We wont bring that into your world. We will still go on adventures, you will still have everything you need. You will never have to worry about money.

I promise to trust you. I will give you the chance to break my trust before I “punish” you for it.  I wont lock you in your room because I think there is the “potential” that you may get in trouble if I let you go to the dance. My parents always trusted me, I never felt like they thought I was a bad kid. And I never did anything wrong, never got into trouble.  I wont force you to rebel.

I promise that you can be your own person.  If you want to put hot pink highlights in your hair I will let you.  It’s your hair, and hair grows back.  But just know, you can’t get your belly button, tongue or nose pierced.  (These are your grandfather’s rules, and you don’t want to make  him cry, do you? I’m “ok” with a nose stud, but grandpa is not.)

I promise to always take your education very seriously and help you with your homework. I’ll take time to study spelling words and take you places to do research for your class projects. I’ll have to draw the line at Math.  Daddy can help with some things (like units of measurement)  But, for the complicated stuff,  we’ll call Grandpa.If you look back at my report cards from 1st grade on, you’ll see I’m the last person you want helping you.

I promise to love you unconditionally. I don’t ever want you to feel “afraid” to talk to me. I will always listen with an open mind and open heart.  I will never give up on you. I will always be here.

I promise not to write about your personal life in this blog without your permission. I will respect you enough not to publish your “story” if you don’t want it published.

I promise…..



  1. Michelle says:

    Very nice Sarah … I’m going to share this with Jill. Your promise sounds like the ones I made for my own daughters .. and kept (for the most part). You’re going to be a great mom and I am SO excited for you !!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you Michelle, most of them are “promises” my parents made to me, I think they did a pretty good job and I know I have no complaints about my childhood. I’m sure Jill will be a wonderful mom as well, she has a great role model!!

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Beth :)
      Yes, We’re already saving up for her season tickets, and of course the jersey of every player she adores (authentic of course) And seeking out “good” local teams for her to play for.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I love this and Avery is one lucky little girl. Reading this made me cry because it makes me think of my promises to my little girls who are 7 1/2 and 5 1/2. The relationship I had with my parents. Its so hard being a mom and making sure to do the right things and the best for our children. I heard on Dr. Phil once, “we are not raising children , but we are raising adults.” I wish you all the luck and love through this new adventure. Having daughters is a roller coaster ride and with all the good and some of the bad its so worth every bump.. Thanks again for sharing.


    • Sarah says:

      Thank you Jen! I am definitely going in to this knowing that I WILL make mistakes, and there is no such thing as the “perfect” parent. I’m just going in with a positive attitude, hope, and a sense of humor!
      I love that Dr. Phil comment because it is so true!

      Thank you so much for reading & commenting!!

  3. Jen says:

    This is awe-inspiring! I agree that Avery is so blessed to be given to such loving parents. While there is no such thing as mistake-free parenting, I think a perfect parent is one who recognizes when s/he is wrong and does whatever possible to correct the mistake and not repeat it. That’s all anyone can ask and I see you being that kind of Mom. Avery will cherish this!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you Jen! I definitely know I will make mistakes, but I will learn from them, just like I did growing up, just like my mom did….just like Avery will.

  4. liza says:

    sorry i’m late reading this post. love this. beautiful. am sharing right now. :) made me laugh – and even get a little teary – thinking about my own boys. great post sarah. xo

  5. kitty says:

    Such a beautifully written note…heart-touching ! It shows so much love and care for your daughter..very inspiring ! Avery surely will cherish this lovely note ! :)

    This is my first time visiting your website.. I’m glad I found this site as it won’t be my last! :)

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