I Thought I Wanted A Daughter
*Note this entry is from my previous blog’s archives (Mobile Mommy)
Mar 13, 2010 9:15 AM
I remember when I was pregnant with my second and third children. Each time, I felt in my heart I was having a boy, but I won’t pretend that some small part of me wasn’t hoping to have a little girl. I wanted to pick out pretty pink clothes and thought about the special mother-daughter moments we could share. Each time I had a boy!
Now, though, I realize that though I thought I wanted a daughter, it’s probably a very good thing that I didn’t. In my family it seems we’ve got a negative legacy going on with the mothers and daughters. There is much love but also so much hurt. My grandmother’s boyfriend passed away this week and the one person she wanted was her daughter. My mother.
My mother lives in Mexico, retired in her early 50’s (although that is another whole post in and of itself). My grandmother has three children, but it is her daughter that she longs for. She’s 87 and not interested in flying to Mexico just to be able to spend time with said daughter though. My sister and I long for our mother too, but it isn’t really different than when she still lived here in Canada. She didn’t live in the same province as us for a long time and we only got together a few times a year. My boys adore her, but they don’t have that experience of a grandma who is deeply entwined in their lives, who babysits or has them overnight just because.
I had that experience with my grandmother, and I am so grateful for it. She was the strongest woman role model in my life, and while her generation wasn’t full of independent women, she still seemed that way to me, at least in my younger years. She does not like to be alone and has never spent many years without a male companion, whether one of her husbands or long-term boyfriends. So while I thought of her as independent, I guess she wasn’t quite so much that way. My mother is well, the opposite of independent. She waits for permission from her husband to make choices, do things, go places. She constantly lives in fear of not keeping him happy.
I have always wanted to be strong and independent. Like I’ve said before, it’s definitely one of the reasons I have worked so hard and so much throughout my life. But I don’t know that I’ve mastered it. I don’t know if I could be strong and alone. I think I could and I think I’ve chosen my husband with different values in mind than the other women in my family. But if I’d had a daughter, could I have told her what is most important in life? Could I have told her women can have it all – kids and a career and a strong marriage? I don’t know. It’s an ongoing struggle for me, and I think so many women of my generation. We WANT it all, but do we keep all the balls in the air? How do we decide which ones are worth juggling in the first place?
So I cherish my sons. And I try to teach them how women should be treated, how they are equals and partners and how they will have to be more than the breadwinners to be good husbands. I hope they see it in my actions and my life, but only time will tell I guess.
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