29 09 2011

Dear BabyGirl,

You are 2.5 months now and you look over 3. At 2 months you had outgrown all your 0-3 month clothes. At 2.5 months you’re on track for outgrowing the 3-6 month clothes by 3.5 months. Everyone says you’re going to be tall because of your feet. I guess you are.

What can I say about you? You are the apple of you daddy’s eye. Both you and your brother have managed to wrap him around your fingers. He worries about you endlessly. Are you cold, are you hungry are you happy.  Actually we both worried about the happy part. Seriously child, you were not a happy newborn. Perhaps you didn’t like being evicted but mama couldn’t have you in her tummy forever. I am glad to report that you are a chill baby who endlessly chats with us and smiles almost on demand. Though when your mad, you let us know that too. Thankfully, you’re not mad very often

Your big brother ADORES you. I think I’m pretty much screwed when it comes to discipline because between your dad and your brother protecting you, I will not be able to give you consequences for anything. The first person he wants to see when he wakes up is you. He is super excited that you and him share a room. He LOVES to hold you and help give you a bath. There is nothing sweeter than watching him comfort you when you cry.  You’re a lucky girl my dear. You have a very doting family.

What about me, you ask? How do I feel? Obviously I love you fiercely. You are my baby girl.  Which also means you terrify me. I worry endlessly about putting my baggage on you. I worry that my rages against the Patriarchy will somehow hurt you. I worry about all the crap out there that tells you that the only thing that matters is what you like, that you’re not smart or capable or strong. Or its bad to be girly or not be girly. WTF is up with that anyway? I worry about how my words will effect you and what they really mean. I use to say I don’t want a girly girl. But why? What is wrong with a girl being a girl? Nothing, except that are society has made anything feminine = weak.  How do I teach you all these nuances when I myself am still learning? How do I surround you with positive images? How do I encourage you to be active and exercise without making you feel like you need to be a certain size?  How do I encourage you to take pride in your appearance without having you think that is what is most important? I worry more about this stuff with you than  I do for your brother. What if you make the mistakes I did, what if you don’t?

Most importantly, I worry about whether you’ll feel like you can talk to me. How do I not judge you for your choices. What if you think I’m crazy? What if I turn out to be crazy?

I hope one day, I have the courage to show you and your brother these posts about you. I hope you both know that you are my world. You come first, then my science though sometimes it might not feel like that. Know that I will have mothering FAILs but that my love for you runs deep and I will be your strongest adovocate and supporter.

You may not agree with that statement because of the number of times I will let you fail, I will not help when you ask, but it will be to show you how strong, capable and intelligent you are.

I LOVE you baby girl and I hope and pray I can do right by you.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

9 responses

29 09 2011
Leah Ferguson

Love this. As a mom of two little girls under 3, even more so. Gosh. And from what I saw in your “girly girl” paragraph, I’m thinking you read a lot of Peggy Orenstein, too, yes? 🙂

29 09 2011
ScientistMother

Hey Leah, Welcome to the blog. I’ve read a little bit of Peggy Orenstein, but most of my fears etc come from my own struggles with feminism and what it means to be a feminist. There was a time when teachers referred to me at the next Gloria Steinem and a time when I rejected the term for the idea that I couldn’t be feminine and a feminist. I know my mom but her baggage on me, I just don’t want to do that to my daughter

29 09 2011
chall

These letters (this one and the ones you’ve written before) are gems! I can’t imagine if you actually were to give them to monkey and baby girl when they are grown up…. I know I would’ve loved it.

As for the feminist thingy/dilemma. Yup, it’s hard knowing how to do a or b or… I’ve ended up going “it’s ok to be a stay-at-home-wife if it is your choice as a woman”, however I still think it requires some extra planning in regards to money saving for retirement etc since it’s still a fairly risky solution in case relationship goes wonky.

And the “I can be sexy and smart and a feminist at the same time” I’m still running into problems since I still don’t trust the idea that it’s always empowering and being “strong women” to strip/sexualise themselves … since someone else is calling the shots.. .hmm.. probably too much of a tangent here…. ^^

29 09 2011
Alyssa

Love this post, SM. I hope you do share them with your kids one day. I think I would have the same feelings about the feminism/sexist issues if we ever have a girl. It’s so hard not to pass on your own insecurities/issues. We just have to do our best, I guess, and hope they’re strong enough to bounce back from our (and their) mistakes.

29 09 2011
Leah Ferguson

SM, I totally understand you on many counts. It’s hard. It’s very hard. And I think it’s even more difficult when we are very conscious of our own pasts, of the way society works, of the way children develop. I call it reflective parenting, not over-analyzing. Har. I think you’re on the right track, though. You know how you want to be, and you’re very aware. Your children will see that alone, and be better for it.

3 10 2011
ScientistMother

Chall – I think right now, I’m leaning toward not sharing. This blog is meant for me to get my feelings out, uncensored. If I know / think my family or kids might read these in the future I think I would be inhibited. Maybe I’ll leave a link in my will 🙂

Alyssa – You can’t come here, be all nice and sweet and then expect me to go back to the other post and continue the trash talk. NO FAIR! You are right about having to do our best and hope it works

Leah – I hope my kids see it, though I’ve had many parenting fails. But its all about trying out best right?

3 10 2011
ScienceGirl

Oh, I hear you. As a mom to a little girl, I am constantly worried about this myself. Perhaps because I am all too aware of how my surroundings impacted me, the struggles I had (and still have). I don’t want my daughter to have the same struggles, and I don’t want to smother her in my own issues. If you ever see any resources on this, please promise you will share (and I promise to do the same).

1 08 2012
Teresa

I know this post is old, but I just started reading your blog. I’m currently 6 months pregnant with my first, a little girl and am at my desk with tears coming down my cheeks….you just put all my worries to paper. I guess we’ll just do our best to raise strong, confident daughters!

1 08 2012
ScientistMother

Hi Teresa and welcome to the blog. Doing our best is all we can ask.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s