Why I Let My Preteen Wear Makeup

You know when you’re staring down at your fresh faced newborn baby (or even before you HAVE a baby and you know everything there is to know about parenting…) and you swear up and down on a Bible the list of things you’ll NEVER do. “I’ll never let MY baby out of my sight before they’re in preschool”, “I’ll never let MY kids have sugary cereal”, “I’ll never let my child watch 6 hours straight of Dora the Explorer”…you know, those things that you inevitably do because…well…because parenting is a “pick your battles” sort of thing.
I picked one of those battles this weekend. When my baby girl was little, I swore I wouldn’t let her wear makeup till she was 13. Well tonight, I broke that promise and let her spend an ungodly amount of money in the e.l.f. makeup store…for makeup.
Let me explain my reasons for NOT wanting her to wear makeup before I explain WHY I did let her wear it.
I don’t think she needs it because I personally don’t really wear much makeup (and I’m a hell of a lot more wrinkled than she is). When I remember to put it on, I usually wear blush and eyeliner…foundation just to even out my skin tone and attempt to cover up some wrinkles. If I’m feeling feisty I might throw on some eyeshadow. Mascara is a very rare occurrence and only if I know there’s NO WAY I’m going to cry. As far as lipstick goes…well, I actually wore chapstick to my wedding after wiping off the lipstick that my makeup artist lady put on me.
I don’t wear too much makeup because A.it’s a hassle. I quite honestly would prefer the extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning as opposed to spending 20 minutes every morning making myself look like (in the words of my teenage son) “a powdered donut”. B. I really don’t think makeup does much for me anyway. You can barely tell I have it on. C. It’s friggin’ expensive as hell. I’d much rather get a pedicure than buy a $20 brush to blend my cheekbones. D. I hate taking it off at night. I’m not too ashamed to admit there’s been a time or (twenty)two when I haven’t.
So basically, makeup isn’t really important to me. Sure I wear it to weddings and parties and anytime I might run into Channing Tatum. In those situations, I want to look my best. Overall though, my self worth isn’t in what I look like and I have confidence without it. However, if I think back, it took quite a few years to get to that point in time. When I was 12 and 13, I didn’t feel so confidant about my looks. Or myself for that matter. When I was her age, I thought what you looked like (and more importantly what people thought of you) was the most important thing in the world. The middle school girls I work with everyday are a mix as far as how they feel about their looks and subsequently, how confidant they are. I see plenty who, thank goodness, don’t seem to care how they look, but still are clean and neat and presentable. And I see others that I just want to hug and say “Honey, you don’t need all that crap on your face to be beautiful…have confidence to believe you’re beautiful without it.” Because after all, makeup may help you boost your self esteem, but it does nothing for your feelings of self worth.
I never want my daughter’s self worth to be based on looks. I want her to realize she’s smart and funny and a good friend…I want her to realize those are the things that are important. I want her to like what she sees in the mirror without a need to “fix” or “Cover up” anything. At 11 years old, her face is fresh and blemish free…as far as I’m concerned, she needs nothing to make herself look better (except maybe to comb her hair on a daily basis but that’s a battle for another day). I don’t want her to ever think she needs makeup to face the world. I know MANY women who won’t even leave the house without makeup on, not wanting anyone to see their flaws. I don’t want my daughter to ever feel this way. I want my daughter to know that she can run to the local grocery store in sweats, hair piled on top of her head, sans makeup…and nobody will think less of her. But she’s got to get there herself. I can’t make that journey for her.
She has to figure out how she wants to present herself to the world.
Currently, she makes little to no effort to look like a presentable human being on a daily basis. Getting her out of bed for school should actually be a method of torture. There are days she’s still in bed when we need to leave…forget brushing her hair…I’m lucky if she changes out of her pjs.
For the last couple days, since she’s been asking to wear makeup, she’s been brushing her hair and actually making a slight effort to not look like she rolled out of bed 7 minutes before. Therefore I decided, what the hell. Let her wear some makeup if it gives her incentive to get out of bed, if it gives her a little boost of self esteem, if it makes her feel a little more normal. Most likely her interest in makeup will peter out, much like my own did after fighting my mom to wear it. And even if it doesn’t, maybe it won’t be as bad as I’m thinking it will be. I just hope to God the look she’s going for is “understated” and not “rodeo clown”. But even if she goes for “rodeo clown”, she’ll still be my beautiful rodeo clown.

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Food War Tactics

I’ve come to the conclusion that the worst thing about parenting isn’t what you think it’s going to be when you sign up for the gig. Oh sure, we’ve all heard the horror stories about not sleeping for 18 years and never being able to pee alone again. On some level, we’re all aware about the lack of time and the utter ridiculousness of racing from school to work to home to activities. We quickly find out about sibling rivalry and never being able to speak in tone under a yell once your kid can actually walk (hell, once they can crawl). But what takes a while to realize is the fact that for the next 18 years (or how ever long your darling spawn decides to inhabit your home), you will not have anything to yourself again. I’m not talking about time or quiet. I’m talking about STUFF. Nothing belongs to you anymore when you have kids. Children, from a young age, will seek out and destroy anything that’s YOURS. Your phone becomes their plaything at 10 months to distract them in a restaurant…yup, you’re never seeing that again. Your charger has suddenly been relocated to their bedroom, and you see your son with your headphones on. No, you don’t want those back…you’re pretty sure he might literally have those famed carrots growing out of his ears. Your daughter has absconded with your sneakers and anything else from your closet that she deems cool enough for her.
But the worst is the food—any food you buy seems to be fair game. With a 15 year old male in the house (and a very bored-during-the-day-when-nobody-else-is-home hubby), we go through food at a breakneck pace in this house. There’s simply no such thing as buying ice cream, cookies, chips or even Triscuits (for God’s sake) on Monday and expecting it to be there Tuesday. There’s nothing more disappointing than coming home from a bad day and hoping for a bowl of ice cream, only to find the empty container in the freezer. (Ironically if I want an apple or an orange I have no problem finding one rotting away in the fruit bowl.) I mean, it’s not like I want cookies every day…but it would be nice if they were there when I DID want them. After all, I do pay the bills around here.
Because of this, I’ve taken to hiding food from the people in my house. I’m sure I’m not alone in this plight and you all are looking for hiding spots too. This is WAR after all.
To help you all out, I’ve compiled a list of hiding places I’ve used for food in the past:
-The dryer—make sure you remove the cookies before turning on the dryer (You thought getting chap stick all over your clothes was bad? Try getting Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups off your kid’s underwear.)
-Inside a box of tampons—absolutely fool proof for moms with all boys.
-Underneath the frozen veggies in the freezer—this is a great place for ice cream since its hiding spots are limited; also a Thin Mint favorite.
-Substituting containers—this is my favorite. Just shake out that Special K into the trash and you could put ANYTHING (except ice cream) in that box.
-Underwear/sock drawer—great for Halloween candy you’ve swiped from them.
-Your car—be aware of temperature changes though…nothing like cleaning melted Lindt truffles out of the glove box.

With kids (and husbands), this sort of thing is trial and error. Let me save you from making the mistakes that I made.
Bad Places to Hide Food:
-Linen closet—once in a blue moon they use clean towels and change their sheets.
-The cookie jar—this was brilliant for hiding cookies from my husband since he goes grocery shopping and automatically assumes if he didn’t buy cookies, there are NO cookies in the house. Unfortunately, my son checks the cookie jar on days hubby does go shopping…just in case.
-The oven/microwave—enough said.
-Your husband’s golf bag—he uses it more than you think.
-Inside the dog food bin—while this is pretty foolproof since no one else even remembers we have a dog, let alone feed him, dog food lends an unsavory taste to chips.

As always, I hope to have made parenting a bit easier for you…happy hiding!