If you had
asked me years ago whether I wanted boys or girls when I started having
children, I would have told you it didn’t matter, that all I cared about was
having healthy kids. But secretly? I wanted a family of boys—at least three,
but as many as five would have made me happy.
been a girly-girl myself. I was raised mostly by my dad, and as a result, I
don’t really get makeup or fashion or
many of the things my female friends seem so into. I love those friends of
mine, but even they will tell you that I tend to think more like a man than a
woman. It is a constant joke among both my male and female friends.
loved the energy of little boys and the rough-and-tumble nature of tiny men
running around the house. I wasn’t sure I would know what to do with a girl and if I'd know how to be the kind of mother a little girl needs. But boys? I
knew I could handle that.
And so, when I
pictured motherhood, I always pictured myself as the mommy of an army of boys.
Until the day, almost two years ago now, when a woman asked me to take her
baby—a little girl, growing beneath her heart.
was having a daughter.
of the days that followed was fierce,
as my house swelled with pink and I found myself thinking again and again, “But
I hate pink!” The first gift she was given was a black headband with a
large black and white flower and a jewel resting in the center. It was
beautiful, but I wondered if I would ever have thought to purchase it myself.
It doesn’t matter what you were yearning for, the child you receive suddenly becomes the ideal.
And then, she
arrived. And every day since, I've fallen more and more in love with my
daughter, and more and more in love with having a daughter. Now, I can’t picture it any other way. In fact, when I
imagine having more children, I always imagine them as being little girls—a
house full of estrogen, which now seems like the dream.
I’m sure this
happens to all mothers who once hoped for one sex over the other. It doesn’t
matter what you were yearning for, the child you receive suddenly becomes the
ideal. But still, I’m now convinced that daughters are the way to go, for these
reasons and so many more:
1. She Truly Is Sugar and Spice
This little girl will wrap her arms around your neck
and smother you with the sweetest of kisses. She will curl up in your lap and
cuddle for hours. She is affectionate and adorable and all that is girl, but
she also has that spunk that leaves you laughing so hard that your sides hurt, even
when she’s being naughty.
Her Has Helped Me Dress Myself
Like I said, I was never into fashion. But
have you ever looked at little girl’s clothes? Oh my. From very early on, I
found myself mesmerized by the adorable options available to her—my little
doll. This kid is certainly better dressed than I am, and it is even safe to
say that I spend more on clothes for her than I do on myself. But dressing her
has actually taught me a bit about fashion and gotten me to start paying more
attention to what I put myself in as well. Who knew?
3. She Mimics
Everything I Do
She’s helped me embrace my own femininity.
I walked around the corner one day and found her digging
through my purses. I hardly ever even carry one, but she had figured out what
they were for and slung one over her shoulder. Meanwhile, she also had one of
my necklaces (which I hardly ever wear) draped around her neck, and began
strutting around the house like my mini me. I laughed so hard, and continue to
do so now, when my purse drawer is often the first place she goes to every
morning. She steals my makeup and practices with my chapstick, and every time I
see her mimicking something feminine I do, it is a reminder that I actually am
more girly than I realized. In a way, she’s helped me embrace my own femininity.
Inspires Self-Confidence in Me
Wanting my daughter to grow up confident in herself
and her body has caused me to really examine some of the negative self-talk I
have been guilty of in the past. I’ve learned that if I want her to love
herself, I have to first be the reference point by loving myself as well. And
seeing myself through her eyes certainly helps me to do just that.
5. There Is
No Penis to Contend With
It sounds like a joke, but as a single mother by
choice, it really was kind of a relief not to have to worry about the big
circumcision debate with my little girl. I just didn’t feel totally qualified to
make that decision, given I’ve never had a penis of my own, and I always thought I
would defer to my partner when it came time for that choice. The fact that I
don’t have to worry about teaching her to point it down during our potty
training adventures right now is also kind of nice.
6. She Has
Raised My Bar
I have, admittedly, not always had the greatest taste in
men. But my little girl has certainly changed that for me. I realize that she
will learn what a healthy relationship looks like from me, so I am
committed to staying away from the men who are all kinds of wrong for me now. I'm suddenly endowed with higher standards that are reflective of what both she,
and I, deserve.
Actually Looking Forward to Her Teenage Years
I know the big joke is that
little girls tend to be easier than their high-energy male counterparts in the
beginning, but that once the teenage years hit, look out. Still, I’m not
scared. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to it, somehow convinced
that I could be a really great mom to an angsty teenage girl. Maybe because I
was, myself, the angstiest of them all, or because I have always had a passion
for working with that age group, in both a volunteer and career capacity. I
feel like I get teenage girls and think my girl and I are going to be the Lorelei
and Rory Gilmore of Alaska. Sure, there will be slammed doors and silent
treatments, no doubt. But I strangely think I can handle it, and her, while getting
us both to adulthood in one piece. I feel like I’m going to be the mom she can
talk to, the one she can count on. And when I picture our relationship as those
years go by, I’m glad she’s a girl—because I think maybe I was made to be
Mommy to a daughter after all.