Why I’m excited to have daughters

My first-born was a boy. A rough and tumble little bruiser who loves to climb couches and trees and Daddy — and who is all boy, as they say.

I was a little relieved when I got the news at his 18-week sonogram. Phew, I sighed. No payback for me with a sassy little girl… yet. Of course I would’ve been thrilled if he turned out to be a she — and when Kate came 20 months later (and now another little girl due in August), I am all aglow and excited for the sugar and spice in my life.

But it’s no doubt: girls can sometimes get a bad rap.

People give you a nudge and “just wait until they’re teenagers!” There’s chuckles and chatter about hormones and crushes and wedding costs. And I think back on my own teenage years — years where I was sassy and stubborn (and sometimes, shall I say, bratty?) — which has caused excited, but cautionary, emotions at the notion: “What if I’m having a little me?

But lately, that’s all changed. As I have more children, I realize how unique and wonderful each new little creature is. How – even though they are a mix of DNA and genes and all sorts of chemistry passed down family trees – they are still all their own. I was excited to have a boy and then a girl and now I’m thrilled to have another — and all this girl talk is getting me thinking about the unique aspects of raising the fairer gender.

Raising girls is a special responsibility. Not that raising boys isn’t (by any means), but girls come with their own distinction. We are unique creatures, sometimes complicated, sometimes delicate — but mostly, with more power and strength than we know. And I want my girls to know that.

I have become more and more sensitive, mostly due to motherhood, to what the world teaches our young women. Much of what I see on TV scandalizes women with story lines of gossip, emotional recklessness, hating other women, cat-fighting, desperation, using their bodies for attention, etc. And sure, I can say: that’s just TV. But then I look around me and I see those cultural affects on young girls everywhere. They are told: it is OK to be mean and it is everything to be pretty.

But my voice will be bigger than that.

As their mama, my voice will say: I love that you are stubborn, but use that to stand for good. I love that you are emotional, use that to show compassion to others. I love that you are interested in your friends’ lives — but use that for encouragement, instead of gossip. I love that you are opinionated, now share your unique voice with respect. I love that you are beautiful, but know what defines true beauty. I love that you are ambitious, but know that your purpose is bigger than you. I love that you are strong, but may you seek for strength in God. I love that you are you — and that’s exactly who you’re meant to be.

I want to show my girls that there is strength in gentleness, there is power in humility — and mostly, that being a confident, beautiful woman has nothing to do with how you look, but in how you love. And knowing they are watching my example, I will work harder every day to be the same way.

I am excited to have daughters for all the reasons moms are sometimes nervous to have them: because they are girls. And what a gift that is.

“The woman is the heart of the home.  Let us pray that we women realize the reason of our existence: to love and be loved and through this love become instruments of peace in the world.” – Mother Teresa

6 Comments

  1. sara

    I just love this post for so many reasons! I have two small daughters (and a baby on the way later this summer – we won’t know the gender until the baby’s arrival) and your words really hit home with me. And while, I don’t have a son, I agree that raising daughters can be a difficult task because of all the images and stereotypes we are inundated with on a daily basis.

  2. Jennifer

    I have 5 girls aged 2-almost 16 (and 1 boy!). All along people have been saying to me…Oh just WAIT till they’re teenagers!! I have 2 teens now and I can honestly say I am loving the teenage times!! I love them following me around rambling about ‘ things’, I love that suddenly I have access to any colour of nail varnish I can imagine, I love the moral discussions about The Hunger Games, I love that they are so like me, I love thatthey are so different from me!! Love those tiny tots and look forward to the little women you will find yourself living with because EVERY age is a treasure!!! I was honestly dreading the teens but I’m having a ball (& thanks to them we’re loving being able to grab date night a bit more often than when they were small! Nothing like a built in babysitter to put some pzazz into your marriage)
    Jennifer x

  3. Catherine

    Thank you so much for this post! I have three boys and just last year gave birth to my first girl. Sometimes it feels like she’s a whole new species. I love my rough and tumble boys but there is something special about my little girl.

  4. “I love that you are stubborn, but use that to stand for good. I love that you are emotional, use that to show compassion to others. I love that you are interested in your friends’ lives — but use that for encouragement, instead of gossip. I love that you are opinionated, now share your unique voice with respect. I love that you are beautiful, but know what defines true beauty. I love that you are ambitious, but know that your purpose is bigger than you. I love that you are strong, but may you seek for strength in God. I love that you are you — and that’s exactly who you’re meant to be.”

    I love this. I SO needed to hear this. Thank you!

  5. Susan

    I LOVE that you used a Mother Teresa quote at the end because as I was reading the article, she was on my heart – you are raising your girls to be “Mother Teresa” such a kind, loving and gentle soul! I have two girls – one a senior in college and one a mother of my three beautiful grandchildren. Both girls very unique, beautiful and loving souls. I survived their teen years and young adult years – I consider them my best friends! LOVED the article!

    Happy Advent,
    Susan

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