Things I Want My Daughter to See Me Do

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it is quite interesting to see how you personally change once a child enters your life. my husband and i are both big believers in our subconscious forming young and influencing us, whether we like to admit it or not. we want our 7 month old daughter’s subconscious to be filled with healthy, positives things.

we do a decent job but that doesn’t mean i won’t give her a bottle while i watch somewhat trashy TV. balance, right?

here are things i want my daughter to see me do:

  • being affectionate and loving to her father (like, dating again)

  • being kind and helpful to others
  • laughing and being silly
  • spending time with friends
  • working for social justice and calling out racism/sexism/all the isms
  • having fear/anxiety and doing things anyway
  • working on my own goals and dreams

  • eating healthy while enjoying indulgences
  • spending quality time with family members
  • sharing household responsibilities with her father
  • trying and succeeding at things
  • trying and failing at things (thanks for the reminder elyse)
  • asking for help and accepting help
  • spending time in nature

  • being active/working out
  • being generous with time, money and talents
  • reading
  • taking credit for the work i do
  • apologize when i make a mistake
  • leading by example

my husband and i both make it a point to engage her and bring her around while these activities are happening. he will bring her downstairs for a minute or two while i workout. we lay her on a blanket (which she no longer stays on) outside when we are working in the yard. she came with me to the women’s march.

i am realizing how important it is for me to start now. knowing that my daughter already watches me, looks up to me and is influenced by me is powerful. that’s not saying i don’t/won’t make mistakes and screw up. i am human. you are human. beyonce is human. humans make mistakes but i do believe if we are doing our very best, good things happen.

with that, we are off to take a stroll while i inject my own feminist verses into children’s songs. (the wheels on the bus go round and round…the girls on the bus love science and math, science and math…and are paid equalllllly)

what is important for you to be seen doing by children, whether they are yours or not?


  1. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    April 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

    This is a great list, Chelsea! I think for my future kids I’d like them to see me try and succeed at something AND try and fail at something. I think the failure thing is important for me because as a kid I wouldn’t do anything if I thought I wouldn’t be good at it.

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      oh that is SUCH a good one with great wording – i am going to go back and edit my post to include that. thank you elyse – that brain of yours is goooood 🙂

  2. Audrey

    April 19, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Hahahaha- I find a lot of humor in this (more or less your rendition of ‘Wheels on the Bus”), but I am nodding my head 100%! I feel like I learned A LOT from watching my parents interact and work and live. I think there are many lesson that we teach and have NO idea we’re teaching them. Good for you and Mr. WS for being aware with Atlas! (And I hope you enjoyed your spa day!!)
    Audrey recently posted…Windows Down, Radio Up (a playlist)

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      we totally absorb the world around us – you are right audrey! i am glad we are aware too (though i already know we will mess up along the way) but it’s crazy how influential our parents are.

      oh and the spa was lovely (though my absurd sunburn is still burny! thank you 🙂

  3. Ruth

    April 19, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Love this! Especially the working out one – it sounds a little silly with all the other great things you mentioned but I’ve been realizing lately what an aversion I have to working out and how much of that I picked up from my mom (even though she didn’t mean to!) I’m going to have to bring my inner child to my workouts to show her it’s not so bad now. 😉
    Ruth recently posted…Femininity As Strength

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      excellent example ruth with the working out! i am going to give alllll of our parents the benefit of the doubt that they don’t mean to impart less than great habits on us but it’s inevitable 🙂 i am glad you are bringing that inner child to your workouts so you daughter will know it can be fun 🙂

  4. Barbara

    April 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Love this, Chelsea. We have such profound influences on our kids by what we and say. The way we talk to our kids becomes the voice inside their heads.

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      thank you barbara! you are so right – i can definitely hear both of my parents (the good and the bad) in my voice to this day! it is so important 🙂

  5. Lisa

    April 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I love this list. Now that I have daughters I am so aware of what they watch me do every day, and more importantly, what I want them to notice me doing. This has made me put down my phone more and be intentional about how I speak and even what I say I’m doing. It makes my heart happy that when I come home from doing something Clara (my 2 year old) asks me “how was volunteering?” because she knows I do that sometimes. I’m glad she realizes that it’s something I like to do, even if she doesn’t know what it really means yet. They notice things, even at young ages!

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      oh such a great example that i need to get better with about the phone, lisa! i often start by taking her photo and then get sucked into email or IG or whatever. thanks for that reminder. love that you daughter notices you volunteering too – how fun when she can join you in the future too!

  6. Gina

    April 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    So true! I have to admit I was able to check off all on that list. Do I do those things regularly? Probably not all of them. *Have* I made sure our daughters see me doing them? Yes, but I don’t always need to point it out. Sometimes our daughters hug us or thank us clean out of the blue.

    That is how we know we are making a difference. They notice, and in the silence of their hearts, they keep the memory of that action, of what their mom (or dad) did that inspired them, that made them think about what kind of an adult THEY want to grow up to be.

    Great article, thanks for posting!

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      yay! high fives gina! love that you can check all those things off and totally agree – we don’t need to always point things out but rather us living by example! thanks so much for your comment and glad you are experiencing this positively with your daughters!

  7. Rachel G

    April 19, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    🙂 The kids are always watching! Based on my experiences on the science and math front–being raised by two engineers, I was pretty much subconsciously and consciously influenced into thinking that science and math are the only fields worth anything. Since by personality and talent I’m drawn to art and language–I fall more on the side of encouraging anyone that it’s okay to NOT be in love with science and tech fields. Sure, I got all A’s in AP Physics and AP Calc and AP Chemistry in high school… and I have no doubt I would have been successful at engineering school, as my entire high school curriculum was designed as engineering prep. But as soon as I went to college I became a Mandarin Chinese major. Parental influence matters a lot..but sometimes a girl just wants to be a linguist and writer no matter how much her parents wish she would love science and math.
    Rachel G recently posted…Playing a Prank on Our Children

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      those kids are indeed always watching! i totally get what you are saying rachel and i am glad you found what you are passionate about despite being immersed into the STEM fields! in my experience, girls and young women get so much exposure to the arts/humanity/teaching fields but a lot less when it comes to STEM so that’s my intent. i already know she will be getting lots of outside influence to be a social worker (particularly from me) or teacher but i want to be sure she knows the vast world that is out there!

      glad you found your calling as a linguist and writer – woohoo!

  8. jenniferhastonsays

    April 19, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Amen!! You are so right about them watching you!!

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      i mean, yesterday ravery smacked his lips after eating to show her it was tasty and meant to eat. she smacked her lips for the rest of the WHOLE day haha
      chelsea recently posted…Things I Want My Daughter to See Me Do

  9. Vivien

    April 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Reminds me of the quote “Give me the child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man.” (Or in this case, the woman). Can’t remember where I’ve heard it, but a quick Google told me it’s a Jesuit Maxim?

    It never ceases to amaze me how sponge-like children are, and how observant they are too! I know you are Ryan are instilling insanely awesome qualities in little Atlas, and she will be quite the woman very soon!
    Vivien recently posted…Almost a Champ Again

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      oh interested, i haven’t heard that quote before (and thanks for making it lady-friendly) 🙂

      thank you for your kind words, vivien 🙂 we are certainly doing our best and will continue to do so. we often laugh about if we ‘overmotivate’ her and she becomes a data entry person who interacts with no one. haha

  10. Jordann

    April 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Can I get some more examples of alternative songs verses? I love that!

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      haha i’ll have to start writing them down. i change them up pretty often. actually – maybe i should record a CD haha. first i’ll need voice lessons….

      here’s one to get you started:

      “mary had a lively dream
      little dream, lively dream
      mary had a lively dream, that she was sure to do

      she shared it with her friends and parents
      friends and parents, friends and parents
      she shared it with her friends and parents
      and they helped her follow through…”

      ps. omg you are giving me such fun ideas!

  11. Tammy

    April 21, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Great list! I think another great one is to see you being vulnerable and handling sadness or anger/other emotions that are often considered negative or bad in our culture.

    • chelsea

      April 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      tammy – those are SUCH great ones! love that about handling emotions that are considered negative in our society. that’s a really great addition – thank you!