Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Girl Talk

I try my hardest not to dwell on the negative, to keep perspective, to hold silver linings in my sight... etc. etc. etc.

Hey, sometimes I fail.
Apparently, it's a necessary part of being human.
I'm learning to live with it. Often.

When I do fail the 'positive energy' test, I let my mind go to yukky places.

You know, the dark spots that give you the shivers and have you physically trying to wipe away such thoughts.
The thoughts that follow newspaper articles and media stories that I wish I had avoided altogether.

These thoughts are often so far projected into the future, that it's ridiculous.
And the past few years, as a parent, there's a whole new dimension and intensity to those thoughts.

Being gifted with a daughter still feels like a surreal privilege to me.

As I've mentioned before, I thought I had it sorted.
I was a  'boy Mum', you see.
The simple life! (Apparently.)

And a part of me was relieved to be a 'boy Mum'.
Not just because I would rather wash the stereotypical footy jumpers than sew stereotypical sequins, but because I have far more 'girl worries' swirling around this head.

Here's just a few...

*I feel greater pressure in mothering a girl.

I'm not a terrific role model when it comes to self image.
I'm not a terrific role model when it comes to those damn scales.

I know that insecurities and body issues aren't a female monopoly - but the game board sure is tilted in our favour.

*I don't feel that I live up to my 'womanly responsibilities'.

Well, they're actually someone else's traditional womanly views - but either way, I'm not living up to them.

I keep a clean home and look after my family well - but I ain't made no organic spelt flour something something from scratch lately. Or ever.
And I don't wear an apron.
Or a bra half the time.

*There are 'female' cancers plaguing my family.

Breast, cervical and ovarian cancer have stolen beautiful women from us  - just in my lifetime.

*The sexualisation of young girls scares the pants off me - no pun intended!

I could rant all day about this one.
My inner Grandma has a field day when I begin thinking/talking about the whole thing.

*The media scrutiny of females in bikinis, in workplaces, in labour, in politics, in Hollywood, in the bloody aisle at Woolworths... is intense and unfair.

I feel an immense responsibility to raise a young woman who will be strong, smart and self assured enough to see society's prejudice and pressures for what they are.

As usual, I'm over thinking this.
I think I'll just get back to staring at this little lady who kills me with her cuteness.

And who is perfectly content with (or blissfully unaware of)  the way her gorgeous gooshy legs look in her bathers right now.

Shar :-)


robyn said...

She is such a gorgeous girl! We have so many worries for our daughters, mine is 10 and entering those preteen years - the sort shorts and skirts and nail varnish... but she love her music and her sports and I ope this will help in the years to come.

MultipleMum said...

I hear you. Scares me as well. x

Mama of 2 boys said...

I love the honesty of this post Shar. You know I think about this often too. Because part of me would dearly love a girl, for all of the magic and wonder of having a daughter and then there is this nagging part of me that just worries so much about everything you have mentioned here... and more. My parents have always said I caused them more worry than my 6 brothers put together... I think it's a mild exaggeration. And I was actually a pretty good teenager too.
I guess like anything you've got to enjoy life for the here and now, try to instil as much confidence and sense of self-respect as possible and have faith that Missi will do herself and you proud. I am certain she will. She is SO adorable! xo

Vicky Finch said...

My first born... My daughter. My greatest challenge. I had to do a lot of reading. And searching for positive role models.
Best book I read was Celebrating Girls: Nurturing and Empowering Our Daughters, by Virginia Beane Rutter
If you can get hold of a copy Shar, it is seriously life changing.

she's so beautiful. Makes me ache. My little girl is 17 now.

Elisa {With Grace and Eve} said...

Oh my goodness she is incredibly gorgeous! I love the pose! And what a post -I fear much of what you have mentioned too. Especially the sexualisation part, and the body image. I don't know the answers but am hoping loving them and always listening, acknowledging their emotions and nurturing their self-esteem will help. Actually I'm praying it will xx

Mandy Ferry said...

you know what, I think parenting full stop is hard, I doubt either road will be easy, but for the most part it will be fun.