The Trouble with Daughters

My husband and I decided to not learn the sex of our baby during my pregnancy. When I felt kicks, people would comment that I must have a soccer player in there. When the baby would move around, I would hear how strong he or she would be.

And then, on an early spring day, she was here. And it was wonderful. And life went on.

Except, my past history started getting rewritten by those same people. Those same kicks and movements of pregnancy were now an indicator of what trouble she’d be as a teenager. Just you wait… people would say. Everyone was rushing to tell me just how difficult my little girl would be. Teenage girls have all sorts of emotions to deal with. Everyone was quick to tease that she’d soon be bugging me to take her shopping. It made me so sad. Was that all my baby was- a collection of emotions and shopping bags? I wanted to hide her forever and keep her safe from the stereotypes of society.

However, I quickly realized that I couldn’t exactly protect her from the rest of the world. But there was one person I could protect her from- Me. I would be her first teacher in the nature of womanhood. I would set the tone. And I wondered what messages I was already sending her regarding self-esteem, body image and self-worth.

I was forced to take a long look at myself. When I get dressed each day, her little eyes watch me. How do I treat that woman in the mirror? Do I reflect her strengths or harp on any perceived weaknesses?

When I put on my makeup, is she seeing that I do it because I love it? Does she see that I put it on for me, because that’s the only reason one should wear makeup? Does she see that it makes no difference whether I choose to wear it or not? Do I show her that?

Does she know that being strong can mean many things? Does she know that there is immense strength in letting herself feel emotions of all types? When I cry, does she see that it’s just one way I express myself and that there is no weakness in crying.

When I head off to the gym, does she see that I go to stay strong, not to stay a certain size? When I go for a run, does she know that it’s because my 92 year old grandma would give anything for one day of running and I don’t want to waste a second with these able legs? Does she know I run so that I can keep up with her and not to fit into a certain pant size?

When I eat an apple instead of reaching for a brownie, does she know it’s because I feel better when I eat my fruits and vegetables? When I reach for the brownie, does she see that it’s okay because brownies are delicious and life should be, too?

The trouble with daughters has nothing to do with shopping bags and difficult teenage years. The trouble with daughters is being a girl has often been seen as a detriment, a weakness, a blemish.

So to my most wonderful daughter, own that strength you had in my womb. You want to use it to walk through stores and go shopping? Go for it! Just know that they may be unhappy with you bringing in all that mud on your soccer cleats.

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11 thoughts on “The Trouble with Daughters

  1. Pingback: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award | the joy of momming

  2. Thank you for sharing, this is wonderful! I ask myself all the time what kind of an example am I setting for my little Bug! Especially when you talk about going to the gym and running. I need to lose weight to be healthier, but I am doing it for me, not to be a certain size! I feel that there are all sorts of social stigmas around girls and the trouble they will get in, when they are teenagers getting pregnant, wanting to go shopping, the emotions and so on. I have heard the same things you are talking about here, and yet, if Cupcake would have turned out to be a boy you would have heard about how he would play sports and how you would have to force him to take a shower and all the stigmas that come with having a boy. Unfortunately I feel that people always want to tell you the negative things, not the positive. Grocery shopping yesterday a mom had 2 older children with her and they were asking when she would be done and so on and she kept telling me to enjoy the quite while Bug was little because then she grows up. It will be what I make it. And as for the wanting to go shopping, I honestly can’t wait to have a shopping buddy! LOL But, like you she can shop, but instead of soccer cleats, she will have to leave her hunting gun in the truck and change from her hunting gear (my husband has already said he will be taking her hunting, which I am fine with at an appropriate age). Thank you again for sharing!

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    • Aww I’m so happy to hear you can relate. You are 100% correct, if we ever have a boy, I know we will be hearing about all of those stereotypes. I just feel so personally responsible for the way Cupcake will view womanhood.

      A girl who can hunt rocks! Being able to play soccer probably won’t help too much should a zombie apocalypse occur and all 😉 hehe

      Thank you for your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely adore this! My daughter is 2 days from being 1, but I know the exact comments you’re speaking of. Each child is their own individual person. Thank you for this beautifully written post!

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