A few months back I wrote about my decision to not find out the sex of my baby. I wanted that “it’s a…!” moment. I was adamant that I would not find out. You can read about that here.
Then life happened and I was in a position where it would be best to know what we are having before baby is born. That’s when I found out that we’re having a girl! I cried all the way home. I would’ve been just as happy had it been a boy – my experience with my little boy so far has been nothing short of phenomenal. But, I’m sure everyone who knows me would agree, I am such a girl’s girl that having a daughter would be…well, it would be expected.
There is a little nagging voice inside me, reminding me that this news might be wrong. I might end up with the surprise of a lifetime and give birth to another boy. Unless that happens, I will indulge my fantasies about raising a daughter.
My mind whirls with romantic notions of the bond we will share, of passing down all of the things I’ve learned, of using my wisdom to help her navigate life and the heart to hearts we will share…but, let’s be honest…she’s going to want to learn these things on her own…and if she’s anything like me, she certainly won’t want anyone telling or “advising” her otherwise.
I think of my future daughter and I am scared that she will succumb to the pressures girls and women in the modern era face. I am scared that I she’ll feel less than perfect because of all the images we are bombarded with about ways to improve ourselves and it is only until we are old enough that we realize that we are perfect just the way we are. I hope to validate her feelings, to help her feel a strong sense of self, to know her voice, and to know herself so well that she will be armed against a harsh world that easily brings girls down. My mission will be the same as with her brother, I will love her and empower her; I will use the incredible support system I am lucky to have.
My mother is the strongest woman I know. My aunts, her four sisters, are warriors with hearts of gold. These four women have influenced me to believe in myself, to know that in the face of adversity I can and will survive. They give love freely, they speak their minds, they nurture and care for their families. Love, strength, resilience, and femininity is what I have learned from them. It’s something that I see in all of my female cousins. It is something I am proud to claim and I am looking forward to giving my own daughter – to let her know that she is not alone when she is facing the friend who gossips, the group of girls who reject, her own inner critic saying she is not pretty enough, or the boy who breaks her heart.
Motherhood has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. I have fully invested myself in raising an incredible boy and helping to guide his path into manhood. And, now I get to do that with a daughter – you’d think it would be easier since I’ve lived it. Precisely because I’ve lived it, it’s actually tougher.
For now, I’ll concern myself with preparing for those sleepless nights and feeding schedules. I will immerse myself in her babyhood as I did with her brother. I’ll hope for a healthy baby. And, I’ll deal with the rest as it comes.