Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Raising a Girl

I have to admit that when I was pregnant and wondering what the sex of child might be, I was always a little afraid of having a girl. I would tell people this and they would usually look at me like I was crazy - "afraid of having a girl - but you ARE a girl, what could be easier?" Umm first, obviously I know I am female (pregnancy hormones would usually demand the immediate thwacking of the respondent's head - resist, resist). Second, the fact that I am female is the very reason I was worried. It's hard to be a girl (and before you get all up in arms about how hard it is to be a boy, I KNOW it's also hard to be a boy, I have three brothers, but I also have an amazing husband and I had every confidence that HE would be able to fill in any gaps in my ability to help raise our potential son) and I wasn't sure I had figured out how to be okay with my own female personhood, never-mind helping a whole new person navigate those muddy waters. I mean between the prostitot clothing and the undernourished hollywood actresses and the overwhelming barrage of advertising and media that continues to undermine a woman's worth how that hell was I going to raise an empowered, strong, intelligent, grounded, confident woman? So when I held my firstborn in my arms and looked down at this perfect little GIRL I knew I had a responsibility to figure it out! I admit in the blur of the first few months I did not worry about any of the aforementioned crap - she was too little and I had way too much feeding and changing and washing diapers and admiring her adorableness to even think about the long term raising of this Being of Perfection. But eventually I realized that I did need to think about it so I turned to my trusted confidant - Mistress Internet.
-Hey Internet, I'm worried about raising my kid right, any advice?
-What sort of child are you hoping to raise?Vegan? Pacifist? Granola? Conservative? Attached? Independent? Responsible? Spirited? Gifted? Left-brain? Right-brain? Left-wing? Right-wing?
-Uhhh -wait, I don't know, you know what Mistress Internet, I'm going to consult Madame Amazon on this one.
Thankfully Madame Amazon did not let me down and I came across a book that I ordered and read in short order. It is called "Mother Daughter Wisdom: Understanding the Crucial Link between Mothers, Daughters and Health" by Dr. Christiane Northrup. It is a truly wonderful and inspiring book and a must read for anyone raising daughters. While I did not necessarily agree with everything Dr. Northrup wrote, the book really made me think about how to be a conscious parent. Her straightforward, easy to read style perfectly blends anecdotal and medial experience to help every parent understand the major physical, emotional and neurological milestones of our children. She also explores the profound impact mothers have on their daughters throughout their lives. Not only is the book a great starting point for figuring out how to raise an empowered, strong, intelligent, confident woman but it also provides numerous resources to continue that learning journey. Okay so I am starting to sound like an advertisement for this book - but it really is great so check it out of your local library or order it from Amazon or go to your local bookstore or borrow it from a friend but you won't regret reading it!

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