I'm Not Ready to Raise a Girl
So we’re having a baby girl, and much like the title already states, I’m not ready to raise a girl. I hoped and prayed our child would be a boy but God decided otherwise.
After finding out what the baby was, Jewels was the only one I was completely honest with and I shared a fraction of my disappointment of the news with her. She already knew that we wanted a boy, but I don’t think she understood just how much. I guess my disappointment came off so strong that she had to ask me, “Why is having a girl so bad?”
Her question threw me off guard for a bit. I mean I know my response to the news wasn’t great but I didn’t think having a girl was bad, it just wasn’t our preference.
I, along with Love, sat in our feelings for a few days. Him way longer than I. I still think he has his feet dipped in his feelings. Anyways, I knew that I had to get over it. I didn’t want the baby to suck in the feeling of being unwanted because she was and is wanted. Getting over it won’t remove the anxieties I have with having and being prepared to raise a girl.
Having a boy was less pressure to me. Yes, I would be involved and play a big role in raising him up correctly but ultimately his father would teach him how to be man. But raising a girl? And being a girl? And actually knowing what happens in “Female Culture”? There’s just so much more involved for me. I feel there’s more of a responsibility to try and keep her mind open and to teach her but to openly let her learn on her own. If that makes sense…
Here are 6 reasons why I’m not ready to raise a girl.
1. Think Pink Mentality.
On Love’s side, there are more grandsons than granddaughters. The ratio is 2 to 5, and the 2 girls are the oldest of the bunch and too old for dress up and the cute factor. The boys run ramped so everyone on that side pretty much wanted us to have a girl. Because of this, I cringe at the idea of how much pink, fluff and glitter we’re going to get at the baby shower. As a whole, I hate the limited options of girls clothing and I hate the separation between “boys stuff” and “girls stuff” even more. I don’t want to put in my daughter’s head that she shouldn’t play with something or do something just because it was pre-categorized as a “boy thing.” I want her to play with dolls and dump trucks; to be in a skirt and play in mud. I don’t want to limit her or her thinking and condition her to fit into the “Little Princess” box, unless she wants it for herself.
2. Beauty Standards.
I mean pretty explanatory, right? Because of how we as a society operate, she will fall victim to this at some point in her life. My concern is just how deep and for how long. I don’t want her to think that she has to be a certain weight or look a certain way in order to be considered beautiful.
3. Black Beauty Standards.
My daughter will be mixed so her traits are up in the air right now. I hear her father hoping that she’ll have “good hair” and wonder how dark she’ll come out and it makes my skin crawl. (To be a little fair, this was his concern for the baby in general before we knew what we were having.) In the black community, because of the wonderful effects of slavery, lighter skin is always seen as more desirable and soft straighter hair, without chemicals, is “good hair.” It took me a while to wake up (and my eyes are still opening) but all blackness and hair types are beautiful. I don’t want my daughter to feel less than (or better than) because she has certain traits.
I’m not stupid, my daughter will have sex one day, much to her father’s chagrin. (First time using the word "chagrin"!) If I had a boy, he would have sex one day too but the difference is the shaming that comes along with it. Now I will preface this by saying that I will raise my daughter in a way that doesn’t promote sleeping around and I pray she won’t sleep around but she’s going to do what she wants to do. Whatever her choice is, there’s shaming when it comes to being a “slut” and being a “prude” and I need her to be strong enough to handle either one that may come her way based on her choices.
5. Boys to Men.
Sex aside, dealing with boys can be a trip. They can be slick at walking and slick at talking; her daddy was…but that’s not how he got me. Boys can be so manipulative and girls are becoming groupies at such a young age these days. Some of the stories my sister-in-law tells about girls going after my nephews…man…and they're not even in their teen years yet. Anyways, I don’t want her to get sucked into a good-for-nothing man trap by Mr. Smooth. Her watching her father as she grows will counter this but she is her own person at the end of the day.
I am not perfect by any means and I still feel like a child figuring out the world for myself. I don’t want to mess her up or guide her wrong or push her away. I want her to be better than me but there’s no book that tells me how to do that. I will have some kind of impact on her life and I hope it’s for the better but there’s no way to know.
Answering Jewel’s question, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a girl. I will love her regardless. It’s just the idea of trying to raise a girl right in this world that scares me. All the factors that will effect her and her mentality. I know raising a boy wouldn’t have been a walk in the park either and they come with their own problems, but it’s less problems that I’ve had to experience (and am experiencing) first hand. I will do my best but worry for her always. I guess that’s motherhood though, right?
Did you have any worries when you found out what you were having? Did having a boy or a girl seem easier than having the other to you? Let us know in the comments below.