Today I'm going to write about something that I have been really considering, as it gets kinda personal for me, but I decided it's time. I'm going to talk about why I'm afraid of ever having a daughter.
Growing up, I was a very awkward, insecure girl. Sure, sure... I know what you're thinking. Weren't we all? But my insecurity was honestly and truly debilitating. I was always really skinny. No, not good. I mean scrawny... Allow me to paint the picture: my knees were the biggest part of my leg for a good majority of my life. I weighed 58 pounds in 7th grade! No... There wasn't anything wrong with me. I was just knobby knees and elbows on a 4 foot 11 inch frame. And I remember that I always ate like crazy, so I guess you could say I had a super fast metabolism. I was always going, going, going, too, so I'm sure that helped. In any case, I had an awkward body. I was (and am) short, yes, but I have always had more leg than torso. Since most kids my weight at the time, were probably 5 or 6 year olds, this meant that I almost always wore jeans that looked like I was ready for a flood. As you can imagine, middle school was rough. But high school - at least the beginning - was brutal. As a freshman in high school, I entered weighing in at a grand total of 86 pounds, measuring a whole 5 feet tall. I definitely got asked several times throughout the day if I was lost and told that the elementary school was across town. Yeah... It was a ball. My parents made the decision when my sisters and I were younger, that we could wear makeup when we turned 16. Now, I respected that decision, though I resented it up and down; but until the day I turned 16, I walked the halls feeling as though I looked like an ugly boy with crooked teeth. My body "blossomed" suddenly and completely out of the blue, and this almost made things even worse! Here I was... Still wearing my high water jeans, no make up, crooked teeth, weighing 96 pounds, with a chest that did not match the body. I felt like I had no idea how to dress myself, and can't remember really feeling all that comfortable in my skin. With a sister two grades ahead of me, with straight teeth, gorgeous hair, and knowing who she was, I felt like the ugly sister. So I made up for it all by using my volume. If boys weren't gonna think I was pretty, I was going to make as many friends as I could!
Suddenly, my Junior year of high school, braces, my teeth, makeup on my face, and having broken 100 pounds, I finally felt a slight surge of confidence. It was short lived when I realized that my thighs would look wider when my legs were flat on a seat. I swear to you, I never noticed this before that moment. I also started noticing that my stomach was no longer concave! I was finding myself in the body of a woman, but had been in the body of a girl for 15 years! I thought I was getting chunky. I just didn't understand. I started to believe that people had certain expectations of my appearance and began stressing about meeting those expectations that NO ONE had ever communicated with me. Still... I felt a little more confident with some makeup on my face and not feeling like I looked like a boy anymore. In fact, I thought I might be a little pretty. My Senior year, I felt pretty good about myself. Still awkward, and not completely sure how to dress myself, but I was alright, I thought. Certainly, I figured, I wasn't ugly anymore! Though I had had a few boyfriends, it wasn't until College, braces free, when I felt like I could truly be seen as attractive, and I met MH. But I still carried that "expectation" of myself that I needed to be thin and that being thin would mean that I was pretty. I even stooped to drastic levels of losing weight... It's something I'm still not proud of, but it all makes me... Well, me. I was unhealthy; I was insecure. Through my 20s, I though that I had experienced some confidence here and there as I got older and started to understand what was important in life; but it hasn't been even until having baby C that I have been able to feel any true confidence in my body. I now find my body beautiful, strong, and am proud of where it has been and what it has done.
So why am I afraid of having a daughter? I still look back on my middle school and high school self with regret and resentment for not having taken hold of my youth and control of my confidence. I watched my younger sister have some bright, bold confidence in high school... Knowing who she was and her sense of style. I scold my past self for not forgetting about what others might think of me and just being who I was. This makes me so nervous to ever have a daughter, because I fear that I might project my past fears onto her. I worry that I may even attempt to live vicariously through her in some way, to make up for what I feel like I missed out on. The whole time I was pregnant, I thought I might be having a girl, because my family has girls! We just do! But I had always secretly hoped for a boy. And even from the day I found out I was pregnant, I could only imagine myself carrying around a baby boy in the future. So when we found out we were having a boy, I was shocked! I didn't know what to do with a boy! But I was relieved... I wouldn't have to worry about trying to keep myself from molding him into the teenage girl I wish I was. Don't get me wrong, if I ever end up with a daughter in some way, so be it. And I will love her just as much as baby C, and I will face my fears head on. But I don't ever want my future daughter to feel the way that I felt; I would do anything to protect her from that, and that scares me.
Zebra love and hugs!