After my little brother was born, I very politely asked my mother when she would be giving me a little sister. I had two brothers, and my seven-year-old self was just plain tired of boys. My mother simply laughed in response.
Understanding her laughter, I made the best of the situation. I painted my baby brother’s nails, put his hair up in ponytails, and had tea parties in the living room, all whilst hoping one day I’d be mother to a little girl.
Two decades later, things have changed quite drastically. Every single day, I silently thank God I have a son. Don’t get me wrong; I am still very much enamored by the notion of raising a sweet little girl. But, the thing is, I’m seeing things with a different pair of eyes now. And, the fact is, raising a girl is just… too damn hard.
I could spend every minute of every day teaching her that it’s her heart and brain, not her body, that determines her worth. I could shower her with so much love and affection that she would never need the approval of others to validate her own existence. I could show her that true beauty lies in her words and actions, and not in the mirror.
But, then, one day she’d notice her mother stepping on the scale with a look of disappointment on her face. She’d step out into the world and be bombarded with images and words that would slowly tear down her confidence, bring on feelings of inadequacy, and distort her self-image.
How would I console my sweet little princess if she came home crying because that boy said something mean to her? How would I mend my baby’s broken heart if that boy didn’t appreciate just how beautiful she really was, inside and out? How would I summon the strength to restrain myself from ripping that boy into a million little pieces for making my sweet little girl feel this way?
While I mull over these questions in my head, I know two things for sure.
First, if you are a mother of a girl, I don’t know how you are doing it. I sincerely applaud your efforts.
And, secondly, I am determined to do everything in my power to make sure that my son doesn’t grow to be that boy.