For the past couple of years, I’ve been asking my middle child what she wants her future to look like. While I feel like I’ve been easy-breezy about it, I’m sure my daughter will tell you a different story. She’s a senior in high school and I’ve made a commitment not to be pushy about what she wants to do next.

I’m a big believer that not every child knows what their next steps will be when they graduate from high school. It’s our job as parents to help them figure out their own path regardless of what everyone else is doing, and what we would like them should do. 

beautiful teen girl
I’m so happy that my daughter has found something she wants to pursue after high school. (Twenty20)

My daughter has been indecisive about what to do after high school

She’s been indecisive (which is totally fine, she’s only 17) but has talked about a few different careers. Right now, she works in an assisted living facility and loves it, so working with senior citizens is an option. She has a mad passion for animals and wants to work with dogs in some way but wonders if being a veterinarian will be too gut-wrenching. She loves giving facials, doing makeup, applying fake lashes, and shaping other people’s brows. She’s always walking around with a face mask. 

Not only does she love playing around with skincare and beauty products, but she also does her research and knows a lot of the effects it has on our skin and bodies. She’s into using all-natural products and loves educating people on what they are putting on their skin. 

My daughter decided that 4 more years of school were not what she wanted right now

After a few college visits, nothing seemed to spark her interest at all. She said she didn’t think she could stomach another 4 years of school right now. I suggested taking her to tour a cosmetology school and she agreed that it might be fun to check it out but wasn’t over the moon about the idea. 

We made an appointment and she was able to schedule a tour and an interview for a few weeks later. After seeing the students in action and learning the details of what a typical day would be like at the school, I saw something come alive in my daughter.

She learned that in less than a year she could be a licensed esthetician and spend her days making other people look beautiful. She really liked the fact she’d spend her mornings in a small classroom with other people who were just as passionate about skin care as she was. Then, after lunch, they would get hands-on treatment experience by working on each other as well as customers of the school. 

Seeing my daughter’s excitement made me feel so good

We went to lunch after the tour and I tried to hold back my excitement for her. I know how my excitement can make my kids cringe if I don’t handle myself right (something I never seem to do). 

While we ate our Chinese food she started talking about what she’d want her space to look like and how much fun it would be to actually get paid to spend her days doing something she loves. That was a few weeks ago and my daughter has now officially decided that she wants to enroll in cosmetology school this fall.

I’m just thrilled that my daughter has a plan that she feels good about

I am so excited and relieved for her. Not because I wanted her to hurry up and have it all figured out. But, because when she talks about it she lights up. She’s motivated and excited. She has a plan she feels good about and even though none of her friends are taking this path, that doesn’t matter to her in the least. 

If she’d made a decision about what she wanted to do in six months or even a year, I’d feel the same way if she seemed this happy. And, if some time goes by and she changes her mind and decides to pursue something else, that will be okay too. 

I just want my children to be happy

No one told me the excitement that would wash over me when my kids made a decision about their future. It happened when my son decided to go into plumbing after high school, and now that my daughter has a plan, the same feeling of contentment and happiness are making my heart flutter for her. It’s a great time for my daughter and a blissful moment for me. 

As a mother, I want nothing more than for my kids to be happy, period. That is the end goal for me and I know that loving their careers is going to play a big part in that. 

More Great Reading:

Why Trade School Is a Great Option for Teens to Consider

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