Adjusting (brutally honest)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If you had known me when I was 8 years old, even though my cabbage patch doll was named Emily Ann, you would have heard me say that "I am only having boys when I grow up."

If you had known me when I was 15-21, you would have heard about the awful relationship that my mom and I had at that time: the lying, the manipulating, the yelling, the sneaking, and the mistrusting. You would have heard her say "I can't wait until you have a daughter just (as awful) like you." And you would have heard me say "I am only having boys when I grow up."

If you have known me during out struggle to conceive a baby, you would have heard me say "I don't care if we have a girl or a boy, we just want to be parents." But in my heart, I never pictured myself with having a girl.

And last Friday, the ultrasound tech said, "Your baby is a girl."

And without any doubt, we are so grateful for this little girl!!

I went to Target, and I picked out an adorable set of pink onesies, one of which said "Daddy's Princess". I know she will be the light of our lives, the child we have praying for for so long. I know we will raise her to be faithful and compassionate, and to be true to herself.

But I get scared when I think of her growing up in today's (really, tomorrow's) world.

I have a cousin who is 12, and sometimes I worry about her. Her parents have done and continue to do an awesome job of lovingly setting safe boundaries for her. But the idea that I (and they) have told her 894 times that 4" hoop earrings are not appropriate for 12 year old's, and she STILL gives me an eye roll that is the most dismissive "I-don't-believe-you-and-you-are-clearly-so-old-that-your-opinion-is-not-cool" expression of body language I have ever seen really gets to me. Or that she thinks neon pink lipstick is honestly a good color on anyone. Or that she takes on this valley-girl (for lack of a better term) tone when she is talking about something that is supposedly cool.

She is such a great girl at heart- she loves animals of every kind, she is strong in her faith, and she is very helpful to others, so I just pray for her that when pop culture says you need to be this other (materialistic, obnoxious, made-up, fake) person, she remains confident in who she is on the inside.

Right now, she and her mom have a good relationship, and I pray that that continues once she gets older.

Because I am scared that my relationship with my daughter will be like my mom and I's when I was a teenager. I was literally trying to remember a tender moment with my mom this morning, and I honestly am having trouble- the memories are so filled with hurt and anger and conflict from when I was growing up. (We are better now, but not really 100%.)

Am I going to be able to relate to my daughter differently?

My friend's mom did not have a good relationship with her mom, and when she had two daughters, she resolved to not repeat history. My friend has an awesome relationship with her mom. This gives me hope.

So it has taken some adjusting to get used to the idea that we are going to be raising a daughter, just because I think subconsciously that possibility has scared the crap out of me since I was 15. I hope that I will be able to foster an open, honest, respectful relationship with her; that she will respect me as her mom, and that I will be able to trust her judgment/independence as she gets older.

I hope it doesn't seem like we are not totally in love and totally excited for this little girl. She is the answer to our prayers, and I am tearing up just writing that. I hope that the perspective that I've gained from my life and from trying so hard to conceive her will allow me the viewpoint that will encourage an amazing bond with her, and I hope she will want the same with me. It would be so wonderful to be able to have the mother-daughter relationship that I always saw my friends have with their moms, and to have that be my daughter and I.

I probably shouldn't be worried about 15 years from now. I should probably focus on how fun it will be to have a little girl- a daddy's princess and a mommy's helper. I can't wait to teach her how to cook and how to swim and how to run and how to read. I can't wait to celebrate her accomplishments and to help her through disappointments. I can't wait to see how her life unfolds, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be her mom.


Bridget said...

The world is a scary place today and I can't even imagine what it's going to be like when our kids are growing up. We will just have to do the best we can to raise them right! I know you are going to be a great mom!!

Mommy-In-Waiting said...

You are going to be an amazing Mom=) My relationship with my Mother use to be great, but is non-existent now and has been for a while. Both of my parents should never have had children, and while I wish I could say they have shown me how to be an awesome parent, I'm happy to say they have shown me all the ways to be a bad parent.

I've learned thru their (multiple) mistakes and for that I'm grateful, it means I won't make the same with my children. I won't be perfect, mistakes will be made, but it has made me a better person and more aware of all the great resources out there. There are tons of great books and sites all dedicated to rasing strong, independent, healthy, and happy children. Just take it one day at a time, listen to your heart, and you will be just fine=)

nurslouisa said...

As the Rolling Stones say "you don't always get what you want you'll find sometimes you get what ya need". Thanks for sharing this, I think because of IF we feel that we are being ungrateful if we express a wish to have one gender over another. But these wishes are based on our experiences growing up and are valid and ok to have. Consider this an opportunity to have the relationship you wished you'd had with your own mother, that's what I'm hoping for with my son.

Coco said...

I believe *with all my heart* that God KNOWS who He's giving each child to and why. No mother is perfect, but every mother is perfect FOR HER CHILD. My parents made a lot of mistakes, and I spent years in counseling trying to be a "sane" person... still working on that one. Ha! But I came to realize that ALL of the "weaknesses" that my parents gave me, were really mountains that the Lord needed me to climb to become the person that I am, and the person I will be. My parents were PERFECT FOR ME because they gave me all the strengths and weaknesses that God intended for me to have, in order to become who HE wants me to be.

I guess what I'm saying is, to trust yourself and to trust God. He will help you and make miracles for you if you ask Him and follow what He directs you to do, through your mother's heart. I have NO DOUBT that you will be an INCREDIBLE mother. You have such strength, faith, and love. Because of how God will help you with your mothering, YOU will be the BEST mother possible for her. YOU will be the ONLY ONE who really knows what is best for her. Trust that God will show you the way, just like He has throughout your life. *hugs* All this is so scarey and the world is so dark, but your daughter will rise up and call you blessed because you were a righteous and loving mother. Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10-31)

Coco said...

Wow that was LONG! Sorry. :)

Melissa said...

I understand, completely, your fears about bringing in a child in today's World. My parents & inlaws all tell us, they don't envy us raising a child in today's times.
It just seems kids are such in a hurry to grow up.

I know that you'll be an amazing & understanding Mother and teach her all sorts of wonderful things.

In my mind, I'm mentally making a checklist of what not to do to my child, that my parents did...and hope for the best.

Praying for Hope said...

All you can do is your best. One thing I'd recommend: keep a journal. I'm keeping one to record our experiences and feelings while we learn to be parents. I hope to show this to our little girl one day so she understands what we went through for her and that we are completely in awe of the person she is and is becoming. I hope she can gather by what I've written how much we love her.

Krista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krista said...

Congrats on your baby girl sweetie! I always say that I will have boys...for the exact same reasons you pointed out. My family is all girls (I have 2 sisters and 2 neices,) but I've always seen myself having sons because I wonder if I'll have the patience for girls. But, I think we all learn from our past and our relationships with our own moms and hopefully you can use what you've learned to make your relationship with your daughter that much better! For now...enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and the infant and toddler years!

Hillary said...

I think your fears make so much sense - thanks for sharing. I am thankful God knows what he's doing when he gave you a girl, and pray that one of the many blessings of your daughter will be some healing in your heart.xoxo

Ms. Pollywog said...

I think that your fears are normal. But what you have, that your mother may not have, is awareness. In other words, when the going gets tough in those teen years, remember to recognize when you are wrong, let your daughter know that you are sorry, and forgive yourself. Kids are resilient. You're going to do a great job.

Until then, enjoy all the hair bows, tutus, princesses, amongst other things that little girls have to offer.

RMCarter said...

Fortunately, the teenage years are just a smidgen of the time you will have with your beautiful daughter. I know those years had a lasting impact on your relationship with your mother, but you have learned from that experience and, because of that, I have faith your next experience will be different.

Becky said...

I've never posted here before, but have read you off and on for a few months, and from what I've seen, you will be an amazing mom for your little girl!

I undersand where you are coming from though- after almost 4 years of infertility (and a really long story), my husband and I chose to foster/adopt and are currently foster parents for 2 little boys, something I never thought imagined happening to me. Opposite of you, I always wanted to have lots of little girls running around, and admittedly have had a difficult time adjusting to being the only girl in the house, even if it is/may only be temporary.

God knows what he is doing though, and will certainly take care of both of us!

Leah said...

I think it's completely normal to be worried about your little girl being 15. I do it ALL the time. And I know life in general is not easy, but it's really not easy for females.

I think just by recognizing what a healthy relationship is, that you will foster that kind of relationship with your daughter. History and bad cycles only repeat themselves if you let them. You will always be so aware of what you don't want from your mother/daughter relationship, that I have no doubt it will be a wonderful one.

As a Mama to a beautiful almost 11 month old girl (How the heck did she get so old so fast?!?!) I have to tell you that so far raising a girl has been nothing short of AMAZING. There is just something about baby girls! And don't get me wrong, raising a son as also been amazing, but man. . . baby girls melt my heart. :)

Loved this post and love hearing what's on your heart. Is is so obvious how grateful you are for this miracle. :)

myjourneythruinfertility said...

what a great post and I am so glad that you are sharing your honest feelings and concerns. I just know based on how kind, thoughtful and strong you are that you will be a wonderful mom. Your relationship with your daughter will be wonderful!

JC said...

I agree with your fears. But I really think you'll be an amazing Mom and I think you guys will do a great job. I know a log of high school girls who go to our church (and private school) who are great kids. I think your daughter will be like one of those girls. =)

But yea...I want a boy, lol.

fertilelychallengedblacksheep said...

Wow, I feel so similar to you it's crazy. In fact, just today I was trying to adjust myself to the idea of having a girl (even though we're not finding out). Raising a girl terrifies me for pretty much all the reasons you laid out and my relationship with my mom was hell from about 14-18, but is now very strong.

But I look at people like my younger sister and my niece who somehow managed to navigate through teen hood, doing their own thing, and not giving a crap what others think. This has really helped ease some fears for me because I know even in this crazy world, it's possible for a teenage girl to survive the craziness intact.

This is my long-winded way of saying, I hear you and don't feel bad for a second for thinking this. It's natural and once she arrives, it'll all be different.

p.s. My older sis is getting mouth from her 6-year-old and she always says "well, mom got her wish when she said I hope you get a daughter just like you."

Trisha said...

I knew you were probably shocked when they said girl but I do believe God knows what He's doing (and I know you know that too) :) To be honest, I never saw myself with a son but I wouldn't change it for the world! I know you are going to be a great Mom and you and your daughter will have a great relationship--it shows in the relationships and feelings you have with your friends. Plus you can always take those "old" lessons and put them to good use later on. And trust me, with working with middle schoolers, it doesn't matter if they are a boy or girl, they're going to test the limits! And besides, Garrett needs a girlfriend :)

Ashley said...

I can definitely understand the shock. I was so convinced we were going to have a girl so when we were told we were having a boy I was shocked! But I can honestly say today that I can't imagine my life without my son. He is perfect for our family, and exactly what we needed. You will fall in love with your baby (even more than you already have) and it won't matter the gender. said...

I think the very fact that you are asking these questions at all means you are going to be an amazing mom. Don't fret, you will know what to do :)

Jess said...

You are going to be just a wonderful mommy to your baby/teen girl! You know what a poor relationship looks like, and if you are determined to have a better bond with your daughter, you will!