I remember being pregnant with my daughter. I had convinced myself that I would have another son, because being a boy mom was something I knew how to do. When Stella was born, I was secretly delighted to have a daughter, but soon after, I felt a subtle yet oh-so-real sense of doubt. I could figure out cute dresses, doing hair, and all those girly things. My greatest fear was that one day, my precious little girl would learn what it means to a woman in this world today.
In this world, being a woman means being stripped of all your rights. Being a woman means putting the needs of others before yours. Being a woman means having to choose between a career and a family, because even if you are “lucky” or “fortunate” to find someone to love you – because loving yourself is clearly out of the question – men get to do what they like. Men are not expected or even encouraged to participate in the raising and nurturing of their children. Men make the rules, then get to break them all. Men can be rude, misogynistic, abusive, and unrelenting. Women are expected to grin and bear it, in spite of the fact they are HUMAN and were not made to DO IT ALL ON THEIR OWN.
I cannot say for sure if I am the best role model for my daughter. Some days are a breeze, while others make me want to run and hide under the covers. On Tuesday I can be totally in my feelings, but come Thursday I have to pretend to be okay, so that I can convince myself I actually AM okay. But is that what I want for Stella? To grow up pretending to be okay? To hide her true self, while presenting to the world a false image, her personal representative? To smile at people who are simply HORRIBLE, all for the sake of making them comfortable. Not. At. All.
I want my daughter to be a warrior. A true Goddess. Someone who loves herself, respects herself, and knows how to honor HER feelings. Even when those feelings are dark, and less-than-glamorous. I do not want to raise a woman who hides herself for the sake of making someone else comfortable. If a man cannot respect Stella for who she is, he can move along. If my daughter chooses not to engage in sex, because she ain’t feeling it, then her NO better be respected. The end. Whatever choices my girl makes, I pray she makes them because she wants to. Not to please me, her father, or anyone else for that matter.
I know what it feels like to work hard at changing YOU to make THEM happy. It feels gross, disgusting, and so fake. It’s the sort of shit that makes you want to jump in the shower, and rinse all the falsities and fake-ass-bullshit off your skin, so you can live to fight another day. Honestly. Openly.
I don’t know what the future holds. And finally, after all this time, I am okay with not knowing all the answers. My heart has a lot of healing to do. My soul has a lot of growing to do. Baby steps. Better days. One thing at a time.