I had been dreading the words since they leaned over at my first ultrasound and said, “It’s a girl.” I had always assumed I would have boys. I am not sure why, but I just felt like I was more cut out for parenting boys. Parenting a daughter made me nervous. They seemed so much more fragile, so much more prone to me screwing them up with all my own “woman” issues.
It has been challenging. I worry we should just start a therapy fund now and be proactive. I want them to grow up strong women who are fearless and without insecurities. I want them to speak their minds and stand up for themselves and have strong convictions. But I also want them to be Godly women who understand what it means to be lady-like and sensitive. I want them to be the me I want to be. No pressure right?
One of my favorite things I was told at Lily’s conferences this year is that she seems so sure of herself and has a great self esteem. She seems to rise above “girl drama” and make friends with everyone. Oh that she could stay this way.
But, I knew it was coming. I had overheard them say things like, “I wish my hair was curlier.” or “Why don’t I have blue eyes like you do? Blue eyes are prettier.” It started earlier than I would have hoped. Four years old seems to young to see yourself as less than perfect. But then I heard the words that devastated me.
“I’m so ugly.”
Lily was seven when she said it. She hated the gap between her front teeth she said. Hated her hair. Wished she was taller. She disliked the things that make her beautiful to me. It killed me.
I have to look at myself. I try so hard to not talk about my own insecurities in front of my girls. But I am sure they have seen me look in the mirror with my brow furrowed picking apart this part or that. I know they have heard me ask their dad if an outfit makes me look fat. And as much as I think I have kept the fact that I am frustrated with this extra ten pounds I am carrying to myself, you never know what little ears are picking up on.
I want to do better. I want to love myself so that they will love themselves. I want them to understand that God cares about what is on the inside not the outside, but everything around them is screaming the opposite. We have frankly sheltered her from a lot of media. But I know we can’t do that forever. And as she continues to grow up I can only pray God helps me guide her. And maybe guide my view of beauty in the process.