I live with a Princess


I live with a princess.

living with a princess

When she is not bustling about, as a very humble mommy, she is gliding about, as a glittering princess. (And, sometimes, she is both at the same time and I have no choice but to smile because, all thoughts of princess culture aside, I love that, in her world, she can be a mommy and a princess and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be the same, sometimes).

Her princess of choice is Cinderella.

We let her watch the Disney movie a few months ago and now she can recite the story from memory. When she gets to the part where the glass slipper breaks but Cinderella produces its match, I see a little sparkle in her eyes. As if each time she’s hearing it for the first time. Each time holds so much magic and wonder.

Like most mothers of three-year-old princesses, the obsession makes me feel a bit uneasy. Yes, there are things to be learned from Cinderella. The importance of kindness and grace. Dreams can come true. Believe in your heart. There is even an important lesson about karma. It’s all in there.

But it’s all hidden behind a sparkly blue dress, a pair of glass slippers, and a glittering, pumpkin shaped coach.

And so, I’ve begun a search for other ways to engage her imagination. Other women to talk about and dream about. Other players for  her land of make believe.

I’m not trying to evict the princesses. But I am trying to give her some other sources of inspiration. I am trying to expose her to women she can admire. Ones who will stay with her long after her fairytale days are in the past and teach her that happily ever after does happen but you must work a bit for it.

My search led me to The Girl with a Brave Heart.

girl with brave heart

The story bears striking similarities to my girl’s favorite. A young girl, Shiraz, lives the life of a servant to a stepmother and stepsister. She is kind and loving. She listens not to the words people utter with their mouths but the truths that whisper from their hearts. For this rare skill, she is rewarded.

The story is lovely. The message is clear. And because it somewhat parallels her favorite, I know my girl will latch on and internalize the lessons. I look forward to Shiraz taking her place next to Cinderella in our imaginary play. I look forward to an alternative when I am asked, for the twelfth time in an hour, to recite a story about princesses.

In about a week, The Girl with a Brave Heart will be a gift to my girl to celebrate the end of her first year of school. For a year that required so much bravery and a good deal of heart, I can’t think of a more perfect gift.


The links in this post are affiliate links. If you click and buy The Girl with a Brave Heart or any other Barefoot Books title, I will receive a commission.

Barefoot Books is Raising Humans’ newest partner. A few weeks ago, the amazing Shari Huffman contacted me and I thought it was too good to be true. That, through the magic of Twitter, two people with such similar values and passions can find one another, blows my mind. Yes, this is the future.

As I’ve said before, I will only partner with people and companies who share my values and beliefs and whose products or services feel good to me. That could not be more true of Barefoot Books. Their mission inspires me and I know it will inspire you too.

All of that said, the thoughts and opinions above are all my own. I love this story and the story behind the story.


  1. I want to raise my girls to have brave hearts! I will have to buy this book!
    Ilene recently posted..Yay! You Made It!My Profile

    • It’s a wonderful one and you won’t be dissapointed! But I know your girls have brave hearts anyway; I can’t imagine you raising them any other way!

  2. I feel like I could have written this, although not as well and not the same, of course. My daughter is three and immersed in the princess world. Cinderella is her favorite too. I’m also uneasy about the culture, as well as propelled by the wonder in her eyes when she watches the movie. I like her to believe in magic and bravery and I will have to buy this book for another source of inspiration.
    Tamara recently posted..A Bliss of Another Kind.My Profile

    • I love giving her multiple sources of inspiration. Even if many days I fall flat and just let her go in her princess ways. Magic and bravery is an incredibly powerful combination!

  3. {Melinda} I agree … princess, to me, symbolizes innocence. But our culture today has turned “princess” into a sense of spoiled entitlement. I want my girl to be brave and full of (healthy) independence and a giving spirit.

    Love this post.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..MOMtor monday: how to take a summer staycationMy Profile

    • Yes, innocence. It’s so sad what our culture has done. But I love that I can still find sources of inspiration for her, without all of the baggage.

  4. My daughter is in love with princess culture too. As soon as she eats her breakfast she’s off in her room putting on a dress and sparkly shoes and prancing around the house. I’ll have to check that book out.
    Melissa @ Completely Eclipsed recently posted..Crest & Oral B GiveawayMy Profile

  5. I love this post and want to check out that book! Thank you!
    Mary @ A Teachable Mom recently posted..Smells Like the Old CountryMy Profile

  6. This is such a wise and wonderful post.

    (I am a Barefoot Books Ambassador on Shari’s Team! – you are VERY right about her! – so glad you guys connected)

    When I read “The Girl with a Brave Heart” to my 8 year old son his initial response was: “That is a great book mom, we need to read it to Davis {older brother}”

    As a mom of two boys I didn’t get plunged into the Disney princess world – and truth be told – I have been very grateful. I think you are so wise to let your daughter explore her interests, while mindful enough to steer her in new and powerful directions – that is the real magic!

    • Thank you, Laurie! I am so thrilled to be working with Shari! And I love Barefoot Books. Your son is so sweet! It’s funny – the Disney princess world – I always thought it’d never happen to me. And then it did. But yes, as long as I can allow her some magic and provide the balance of strengths, I think we’ll all be ok 🙂

  7. I consider myself somewhat of a feminist. But I love Disney movies and I want to share that with my daughter when she is old enough. There is definitely a fine line. I think you are taking the right steps to teach your daughter what it means to be beautiful and strong by allowing her to admire princesses and also encouraging her to admire warriors. It is the balancing of those 2 things that makes women awesome!
    Kelly recently posted..Vegan Mama in the Kitchen: Mock Tuna Salad (w/chickpeas)My Profile

    • I love them too – I grew up with them! But right – a very fine line exists. It’s definitely all in the balancing 🙂

  8. I bet my youngest daughter would love this!
    Tess recently posted..Rainy WeekendMy Profile

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