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"Wow, Raising Girls Is Tricky!"

When I found out I was pregnant I prayed for boys. I prayed for boys for many reasons...

I wanted boys because if they were rowdy or loud, people would say “that’s just how boys play” . If they were strong willed people would tell me, “they will be a CEO someday”. I thought life would be easier for them if they were boys. The 21 century life would be easier.

Ultimately, if a girl is rowdy we are told “she needs to learn some manners''. If she is strong willed I hear, “wow good luck to the man who marries her”. I thought life would be harder for her. I worried that she will be vulnerable and more likely to be victimized, emotionally, physically or sexually. I often felt sick about the idea of my child possibly being victimized based on their gender.

Despite worrying about having daughters, I gave birth to two. With that being said, instead of being afraid of possible victimization or maltreatment by society and societal pressures, I decided I would raise them to be warriors. Warriors with their words, warriors that will be strong and intelligent and have the capacity to listen and be open-minded. I would raise my daughters to be warriors that respect all people. I would raise them to know how to defend themselves should someone try to harm them, or take them. I will raise them to know the signs of predators and have the self reflective capacity to see when they may be being manipulated. I will raise my warriors to be leaders, and to be heard. I will raise my warriors to be prepared.

We, as parents, do not always teach our sons to walk to their car with their keys in their hands through their fingers should they be attacked, but we teach our daughters this. I taught my daughters this. Myself, as a mother, will always teach my daughters to look out for themselves and to look out for others, especially other vulnerable women.

Despite wanting it to be easy for my girls, I knew that I had to arm them for life with an arsenal of tools I wouldn’t have needed if they were boys.

I hope to live in a world where we don’t have to worry about our daughters being victimized, however I know the truth, and I know it is something I must do. They must be aware. I hope someday we can live in a world where we don’t need to arm our girls but until that day I will tell them to stand up for themselves, advocate for each other, stand behind one another, and raise each other up.

My hope for my girls is that ..

I hope that I can, and many other strong women, can model an authentic and strong life for them. I hope they look up to me and see a willful and vigilant woman, and grow up with awareness and understanding that victimization as women, unfortunately exists. I hope they learn to heal after they fall, and I hope they can teach their friends how to be safe. I hope they continue to use their voices, and when they are not heard, I hope they continue to speak until someone listens. I hope that they feel confident and worthy of whatever path they may choose for themselves. And I hope that when my girls have girls, they raise warriors as well.

My girls are, and will continue to be warriors. And yes, even though raising girls can be worrisome, my girls will be in control of their lives!

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