When I was pregnant I remember being asked if I wanted a boy or girl – and I would always say I would be happy with either one, but secretly always wishing for a girl. I imagined myself having tea parties and dancing around in tutus with her. So when the doctor finally confirmed in 2005 that I was having a girl, I was over the moon.
After the announcement, I remember being cautioned on how much harder it is to raise a girl, and I simply scoffed at the unsolicited warning and thought – what can be so hard about getting our nails done and going shopping together? To say I was naïve would be an understatement. I knew very well going in to my pregnancy what it takes to raise a baby. I knew that I was in for sleepless nights and ghastly diaper changes, but what I didn’t know is how hard it is raise a young lady.
Society has made it extremely difficult to raise our daughters with self-confidence and self-worth. There is so much negativity in the world, whether it’s dealing with negative body image or being bullied at school, there are so many things they have to deal with, and only so much we as parents can do for them.
The sad truth is it’s unrealistic to think that our daughter’s will not be affected by society in some way or another. We live in a world where integrity and respect are no longer a priority, where words like honesty, kindness, and obedience are often forgotten. All we can do as parents, and as mothers, is to lead by example.
I am far from perfect, but I refuse to let my childhood issues affect my daughter. You will never see me talk badly about my body or criticize myself in front of her because I don’t want her growing up judging or criticizing herself. In our home we don’t use words that are hurtful or derogatory because we don’t want those words to be used on us. We teach her that teasing and bullying are not okay because we would never want her to be. Maybe it’s just us, but we feel that like this place would be just a little safer for our daughter’s (or kids in general) if people cared just a little bit more.
Wouldn’t it be great if our daughter’s would grow up in a society where they are celebrated for their differences, rather than criticized, judged, and ostracized for being different? We need to teach our daughters to respect themselves (and others). We need to teach them to believe in themselves when no else will because that’s what builds character, and that’s what’s important in life– not how popular they are, or how trendy their clothes are. I think it’s time we start teaching our daughters the value of self-worth, because if we don’t – who will?
Meet sonsiLiving’s newest blogger, Jenny Moyett! Jenny is the brains behind Babblings of a Mommy, a lifestyle blog dedicated to family, fashion, beauty & style. She resides in New York with her husband, 7 year old daughter, and tail-wagging morkie.