A letter to my girls…

A letter to my girls...
A letter to my girls...

Part One

Parenting is packing a suitcase for your kids – The day that baby comes home is one of the happiest and most joyful occasions. You look with beaming pride at that kid. When the sleep deprivation sets, you stare at that baby with one eye open, and eventually, you begin to trust the baby monitor that the kid is still breathing. Love them every single day and start packing their suitcase. You must raise your kids to be tall. They will not always be little so enjoy the heck out of that limited window in time. Raising confident, intelligent kids who will think for themselves become productive, engaging people. Kids decide who they will become as adults based on their “growing up years” of experience. Raise a kid who will soar when it is time to fly the nest. Here are a few of my “don’t leave home without” these items in the suitcase.


John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” You are going to be scared sometimes. Don’t let it define you. Now go.

Confidence & Attitude

Look people in the eyes, have a firm handshake, speak well, take pride in what you do, accept a compliment, expect success and remember this… You don’t look sexy in heels if you are walking like a newborn baby calf. Get that strut straight, stand up tall, shoulders back and KNOW you’ve got this and then some. Be the example of “classy not trashy”. Own it.


Know that your family will always love you unconditionally and be there for you. So will some good friends. You can count on it, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you truly need help.

Make your own money – don’t ask for things you are not willing to work for. Don’t look for a guy to support you either. You need to know how much money things actually cost. Learn how to operate a budget and manage your spending habits. Know that interest is additional money you will have to pay for a particular item which makes the cost of said items much higher. For example; cute black dress is on sale for $59 and your credit card interest is 15% = not a great deal if it takes a few months to pay it off. Ask yourself if this is a “want” or a “need” and that should impact your buying decisions. You may “want” a new outfit but you “need” electricity, a phone, water and food first. You also need to save money for that rainy day because I promise you, even if you are living in Southern California, you are going to experience a monsoon, and you will wish you had listened to this great mom advice. Plan on the wear and tear and breakdown of things and also plan and prepare for fun. This way you will have the funds available when you need them. Keep in mind that you will be limited in your spending and savings, so plan your career accordingly.

Living in the digital age

If you won’t text it to your grandma or have it be the topic of conversation at the dinner table, you shouldn’t put anything in writing or on the internet, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites that you will regret. You have probably watched an episode or two of CSI or Criminal Minds. (Cue the creepy music.) Well, they can pull anything and everything from the holy depths of hell and recall word for word what you really said, so say it well or don’t say it at all. Don’t leave an idiot trail that leads to your front door. Employers search “Google” and “Facebook” so don’t be tweeting a fight for the world to see or the “I’m drunk and stupid with a bunch of swear words” which will make you look and sound like a total tool. Keep your business professional and your life private. Your real friends will be right next to you anyway so you don’t have to impress anyone with your “check in status”, and to tell you the truth; really nobody cares.

Be the friend someone would want to have, not the person that serves as a horrible warning.

Do what you love and you will attract like minded individuals. Same goes for friends – less is more. Never leave your wingman. Girls, stick together and be safe, not stupid. You need to be able to defend yourself. Take some kind of martial art classes, use good judgement, trust your instincts and carry pepper spray in a cute purse. Always be aware of your surroundings and locate the nearest exit.

Leave it better than you found it

In all that you do and everywhere you go, just take care of what needs to be taken care of. It may be taking out the trash, cleaning up the dishes, organizing a drawer – just leave everything better than you found it. (And put the toilet paper on in the right direction!) Don’t run your car down to fumes and expect to make it to the next stop. Be aware of your own needs. That includes your need to sleep, eat, and give yourself enough time to get things done. Don’t start your day by rushing all about in a frenzy. Take good care of yourself and don’t give all of your energy away. Ask yourself these questions. “Did my time here make a difference? Did I use my time wisely, productively? Is this the best use of my time right now?” Who are you when nobody is looking? I hope you will be able to answer this one well. “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over? – John Wooden

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VIAShelleen Valenty