When you’re pregnant, you get asked all kinds of personal questions. My favourite was probably the classic, “are you hoping for a girl or a boy?” I always responded with, “just a healthy baby,” and although a part of that was true, another part shook me at my core at the thought of raising a girl.
From the day we found out we were expecting, I mentally started planning for a little boy. I found myself veering towards the boy section at the clothing store and subconsciously adding gender neutral baby items to the registry. In secret, I would tell my husband how terrified I was at the thought of having a girl, a vulnerable, fragile little girl. Well, you can imagine my horror when the technician said, “and there is her vagina, you’re having a girl!” I spent the rest of my pregnancy anxious and fearful of what to expect. We got the typical “wait until she’s 13!” and, “daddy better order the chastity belt,” which certainly didn’t help my thoughts.
Now that Charlie-May is nearing her second birthday, I’ve realized something (yes it took me that long). Each and every one of my fears was just that – MY FEARS. I was scared that she would grow up and be traumatized simply because she was female. I was scared that she couldn’t handle the curveballs that life would throw at her simply because she was female. I was scared, because of my own experiences, because of my own distorted thinking and because I was making assumptions based on her gender.
If you’ve met Charlie, she is ANYTHING but vulnerable and fragile. She is commanding, fierce, and persistent. She is everything a woman can and should be when we stop trying to tame their wild personalities. I no longer fear raising a girl because I am so grateful for it. I’ve been given the opportunity to nurture the next generation of women to believe that they are valued and that they are enough. That is a job I don’t take lightly.
If you’re scared, I get that. Raising children is pretty damn scary regardless of their gender. Let’s change our thinking together; try not to harness their fire and try not to subject them to societal norms. Let’s take the glorification out of normal and let their uniqueness shine and remember that you are an empowering parent raising empowered children!