I am the proud mama of an only child who just happens to be a daughter. When I was pregnant with her, I wanted a daughter so badly. When the ultrasound tech announced, "It's a girl!" I cried tears of joy. After enduring hyperemesis gravidarum, I wasn't so sure I would have a baby again, and I know as a woman that daughters stick with the family for life. I couldn't wait to have my princess with me.
And so far, being a momma to a little girl has been amazing. She's strong, smart, creative, and so sassy, and I love every second I am privileged to be her mommy. The mother-daughter bond, especially after her dad and I separated, has been more than I could have hoped for. With that said, though, there are some days I wish I had the experience of having a little guy around and wonder what it would be like to have a son. Here's why:
When I taught preschool, I had a bunch of little boys who loved me and a few who wanted to marry me. Guess what, guys? I'm single now! (Just kidding!) The love and affection of boys to both myself and their mothers was so precious. As the fourth child in a family of all girls, I had never witnessed the mother-son bond before, and I had to admit it was adorable.
When my daughter hit close to 3, she became an enthusiastic Daddy's girl true to Freudian "Electra complex" fashion after being a Mommy's girl, and I must admit I miss that time! I have to wonder what it might be like to have a "Momma's boy" — and not an adult Momma's boy but a little guy.
The attitude a mom gets from her daughter can range from Cold War, Resting B*tch Face arctic cold to sizzling sassy spicy hot! Of course, this is why we love our daughters to some extent: they're smart enough to question things, verbalize their opinions, and fight for the things they believe in, even if they are things like buying the 50 millionth My Little Pony figurine. A girl is a powerful being who needs nurturance to grow into a strong woman.
However, when I see my friends with their laid-back sons, I kind of wish for a few hours I could have a little less 'tude and a little more, "Sure, Mommy. Whatever you say."
The Hardships of Life as a Woman
I know we have the right to vote among many other things, but women still have a long way to go. I know my daughter will face issues based on her looks, sexuality, or gender, and there's no way I can stop these things from happening. Instead, I can prepare her on how to both handle herself as well as mistreatment from others. As a woman, I have been belittled, objectified, ignored, shamed, and then some, and to think that one day my daughter my face the same obstacles upsets me. I can only hope that as the years go by, things continue to improve for all of womankind — and humankind.
If I had a son, I would still worry about bullies, predators, molesters, etc., but not at the same level that I do with a girl.
If I had a son, I wouldn't wonder if people will focus on his looks and not his smarts.
If I had a son, I wouldn't worry that his first girlfriend will try to pressure him into having sex.
Perhaps none of these feelings are accurate or true. Maybe I would still worry. I know boys are frequently the victim of sexual abuse and rape, but there is something about being a mom to a little girl that feels a bit scarier.
There is something appealing about the idea of feeling a little more secure about a son out in the scary world than a daughter.
It's a style struggle lately in the bathroom over what to do or not do with my daughter's hair. I know many people grow boys' hair out rather long today, but how nice would it be if all I had to say were, "Just brush your hair please," and call it a wrap?
The style requests or avoidances ("Don't do my hair!") have me sometimes wondering if I should bust the buzzer and shave her head, but of course I wouldn't!
A New Man
Any divorced or single mom is going to worry about dating a new partner, whether it's a new partner for her and her sons or her and her daughters. Still, as a single mom looking for the right man, I find it particularly concerning that a new man would be in my daughter's life. A girl looks to the men around her as she grows up and then often chooses partners just like them. I cannot bring just anyone into her life. Any man involved with me is literally a template for her future partner.
As a woman who has suffered from self-esteem issues, I know how crucial this template is.
Had I had a son, I would still be worried and concerned, but with a new man in my daughter's life, I worry about her safety on a whole other level. This is why taking dating slowly after divorce is so important to me.
A Man's World
When it comes down to it, I feel blessed to be the mother of a girl, and I am sure had I had a boy, I would have felt the same way. People of all genders experience hardships and harassments. Besides, each child is different. I know that there is a large degree of variance in both sexes and that not every boy or girl fits some stereotypical gendered category, but sometimes I wonder what it might be like to have a little Mommy's boy right by my side.
In the meantime, I will just have to "adopt" my friends' sons for the extra hugs and love my little lady to pieces!
Oh, and learn some good comebacks for when she's an even sassier teenager — that way, I will be ready for her. Wink.