This blog post is an assigned topic from my blogging group, H&H. All four of us have daughters. We were asked to write about raising daughters in this world we live in.
I could write a book on my feelings about raising children, and specifically daughters, "in this world we live in." I will try my best to make it just one average length blog post...
I have FOUR daughters. My daughters are 10, 5, 3 and 3 months. I also have one boy, whom I love to the moon and back also, but this post is just about the girls.
I guess I will start by stating how much I love having daughters. When we were pregnant with our first, I knew we'd have more than one child so it shouldn't matter what we were having, but I really longed for my 1st born to be a daughter. I was never a super girly-girl, but there was just something about a mother having a daughter that I longed to be a part of and experience. I was very glad our 2nd was a boy. I was happy for my husband also and so his last name would continue on and all that jazz. When we decided to have a 3rd, we had one of each, so again it shouldn't have matter what we were having. I again secretly longed for a girl. That wish was fulfilled and then some with my daughter Zoe. She is such a girly-girl. A tiny little diva. What is funny about our 4th and 5th child, both girls, is that the majority of people when we told them that "it's a girl," they almost seemed disappointed for us, lol! As if we needed another boy to somehow "even out" the family. I was so excited to have more daughters! More bows, tutus, and ponytails. And more pink! When we had our 4th I jokingly said to people that God knew I could only handle one boy! I almost thought I'd jinks myself into quadruplet boys when we decided to have our 5th because I said that so much with our 4th! (I didn't, she's a girl!)
Of course, all my girls have yet to hit puberty! So someone remind me of this post and what I said when my lone boy is super chill in junior high and high school and my house is full of estrogen hormones and teen girls, lol! I've always heard girls are easier when they are little, and harder when their older. The first part was true for me! My son was GO, GO, GO constantly! I guess we'll see what the future brings on the other!
So, the topic of this post is raising daughters in today's world.... well, sometimes I think it can be a very hard job.
#1- I think girls are still not always treated equally. I raise my girls to believe they can be anything if they work hard at it and make the needed effort. Of course, I cannot guarantee they will become an Olympic gold medalist, but if that was one of their aspirations, I'd support them in their attempt. I do encourage them to go to college someday and become a doctor, lawyer, teacher or whatever makes them happy. A certain speaker I heard at a homeschooling conference really rubbed me the wrong way because he talked about raising daughters only to become stay-at-home mothers. Although, I have never been happier being a stay-at-home mom and it is what I longed to do, I would never expect my daughter "had" to become one. I'd no more force her to only become only a lawyer or insert any career here. All of those: lawyer, doctor, teacher, stay-at-home mom, etc are all excellent vocations, but I will not limit my daughters by expecting only one out of them.
#2- Girls have it harder in junior high and high school. Yes, there are issues for boys too, but I truly think it's harder for girls. The self-esteem of girls plummets when they reach adolescents, whereas it doesn't for boys. I really learned that through the works of Dr. Jean Kilbourne. Her work is very eye opening. She looks at advertising and they way women are portrayed vs the way men are portrayed in media and society. I used to discuss her work and show her video "Killing Us Softly" in my high school classes because I felt it was that important. I will definitely use it with my own girls as well.
#3- A 1" inseam shorts will never be permitted in my house. I mean, for real?? What happened to shorts for girls?? I just don't understand the over-sexualization of little girls. When I shopped for shorts for Grace, almost all of them looked like Daisy Dukes or worse. It's not even just brands she likes such as Gymboree and Justice, I'm talking even Target. I just find it sad. I also am not a fan of the swimsuits with the big cutouts on the sides. I guess I am a little more conservative on what they wear than I am on other issues. I just was really influenced by the above mentioned psychologist's works and try to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Despite the 3 challenges of parenting girls I wrote about and the nearing estrogen attack in our future, ;-)
I cannot imagine my life without all my girls. And my boy too of course. I am honored to be their mother.