When I became pregnant with my first child, I initially prayed for a boy. I imagined how he would grow up adventurous, unafraid of anything, later becoming a remarkable young man who tracked mud through the living room and ate us out of house and home. He’d grow taller than me but would love me fiercely, knowing I’d take him down a peg if necessary. Secretly, I’d say different names aloud, testing which ones felt right. Deep down, I just knew I was meant to be a boy mom and I was ready for it.
“You’re having a girl,” the ultrasound tech announced, moving the wand over my stomach to get the final measurements she needed. Instantly, I felt my heart drop, fear replacing all hope and joy I’d felt seconds earlier.
I was going to be a girl mom. My imagined future melted away, replaced by thoughts of big hair bows, frilly dresses, and dramatic fights with an unrecognizable teenager. Girls were “emotional” and “hormonal,” and as someone who never felt like she quite fit in, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to relate to any of my daughter’s interests. What if she liked horseback riding or pageants? What if she thought reading was for “nerds” and only wanted to wear high heels?
Every single feminine stereotype plagued my thought life for the rest of my pregnancy.
Once she was born, it was clear that she was going to be her own spunky individual from day one. She had the loudest, angriest cry even though she was such a tiny little thing. Bows were her nemesis, and she would fuss until I would sit her up in my lap, even though she could barely hold up her own head.
She hit every milestone early, and once she was able to walk, she ran everywhere with no intention of ever slowing down. The first time she busted her lip, she was barely a year old, and it didn’t even phase her. Her favorite pastime was jumping off of things, just to see who would catch her.
My brave, beautiful girl shattered every idea I had about what it was like to be a girl mom.
Now, at three years old, she’s still showing me what it’s really like to raise a girl. She’s had more scrapes, cuts, and bruises than I can count. Outside is her favorite place to be, and I’m constantly finding rocks and sticks around the house. Recently, she got a pair of rain boots and now when it rains, she is over the moon to go stand in the mess and find the biggest puddles to stomp through.
My daughter loves wrestling with her dad and cracks up when he lets her win. She loves lions just as much as she loves mermaids, and her fiery personality makes me smile even if it does drive me crazy at times. I still got my adventurous, brave baby. The only difference is this one will, finally, let me put her hair in pigtails.
I spend the majority of my day making sure my daughter isn’t falling off the back of our couch or tripping over a toy when she speeds around the corner into the kitchen. Just this weekend I had to warn her not to lick the side of the car after it rained. It’s definitely not all “sugar and spice and everything nice.”
Kids are funny that way. We can build an entire life inside our heads, down to the clothes we’ll dress our future children in. But then the kids come along and wreck all of our plans by being their own people with their own personalities. We can assume having girls or boys will go one way but then they sprint off in the other direction, leaving us to think quickly on our feet.
I just knew that having a girl was going to be exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, it still can be, but just in a completely different way than I imagined.
Now, I have two girls, and my second is proving once again that each kid is unique. She is only a couple of months old but is already headstrong in her own way. Being a girl mom is nothing like I’d imagined it would be, and I’m so thankful for that.
Somewhere along the line, I made the mistake of letting society tell me what my girls would be like. Without even realizing it, I took every negative I’d ever heard about girls and internalized them, making it hard to be excited about raising a girl. However, my spirited, beautiful girls show me that being a girl mom is one of the best jobs.