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If I Have a Little Girl

The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Beth Anne Ballance.

I’m kind of a pop-culture nerd, especially when it comes to things that should be so ten years beyond me.

Twilight? Yes, please. Harry Potter? Counting down the days until Deathly

Hallows II! Jeggings & tunics? Hello, weekend wear! Fizzy girly drinks for the beach? I’ve got my koozie ready. Cupcakes? MY LOVE LANGUAGE.

Like any self-respecting career mom, I love to lose myself with my inner 15-year-old and although I am thrilled to be a boy mom and embrace the mud, trucks, and hollering that accompanies such a lofty charge, sometimes I find myself yearning for a little girl next time. You know, so I can have tea parties and throw birthday parties full of baby-pink balloons. But sometimes I fear for little girls of the future and I sit and pray that my husband’s coffer only carries the Y-chromosome.

I worry when I see t-shirts for tweens that say “I’m in charge” or “Queen bee.”

I worry that they don’t know the message they send with 3″ inseams. Then I worry that they *do* know what message they send.

I worry when I read Twilight and wonder if my teenage girl would understand that Edward’s a controlling jerk and Bella should have run from that relationship back in chapter three.

I worry when I swoon over Kate Middleton’s classic gowns, but can’t help notice how pin-thin she has become and hope that is not a mark of beauty.

I worry about Ke$ha brushing her teeth with whisky because that’s just not healthy. Not to mention home girl better get thyself to a meeting if she can’t rinse with plain water.

Amy Poehler, of Saturday Night Live fame, once said: “I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart …”

I love this quote. I love everything about it to the point that I want to roll around in it and fall asleep for a few hours, then wake up the entire world with it.

Girls today are too biting, too sexualized, too indulgent, too….just *too*, you know?

When I picture my own little girl, I wish for her years of pigtails and ribbons. I hope she plays with dolls far too long and I hope she gets wrapped up in a Young Adult series before she discovers romance novels.

I hope she picks a prom dress that is feminine, and not sexy. I pray she tells jokes and plays MASH at the lunch room table. I hope she sings in the shower, into her hairbrush, in her car, and even in the church choir if she chooses.

I hope that if I have a little girl, *I have a little girl*.

Not a seven-year-old Britney Spears.

Beth Anne is a member of the Council of Media Moms at momAgenda. She’s a born and bred Southern Belle who blogs about motherhood at The Heir to Blair. You can also find her on Twitter.

22 thoughts on “If I Have a Little Girl

  1. I LOVE this! It’s why I loved Tina Fey’s book “Bossypants” so much too. When my daughter is old enough, I’m going to force her to read certain chapters and try to encourage her to wave her freak flag high.

    I’m so tired of slutty teenage girls. My daughter is only 3, and I’m terrified that in 10 years she’ll no longer sing out loud wherever we happen to be, will suddenly care how her hair looks and will no longer spend hours creating an imaginary world with her dolls and Legos.

    Great post.

  2. I have a little girl and I worry about this All. The. Time. I work in a mall and I worry about the messages being sent by the clothing industry. But I know that I need to do my best to teach her the difference between looking pretty and attractive. And looking like you are trolling for a bed partner. I pray daily for the wisdom to teach this to her.

  3. Yes, yes, yes all the way through this post. You know we’ve talked about how as a girlie girl myself, I’d LOVE to be a girl mom. But all your fears scare me too. Guess if/when that happens for either of us, we just hope & pray that our strong values & morals pull them through.

  4. I had a son first, and then twin girls. I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way when expecting my girls and still do. They will be two at the end of this month. I am going to keep them little girls as long as possible. I want them to play with dolls & dress up (in princess clothes, not Hannah Montana junk) until their 15! Ha! My hubs said he wont allow dating until 30. I think it all comes back to parenting. What you allow & don’t allow. The expectations & values you set forth. & lots & lots of praying!

  5. Great post, I have a 17 month old daughter and while on vacation at the cabin with family I cringed after I put her in a two piece hand me down swimsuit. Now that I have my own daughter I am constantly noticing what girls are wearing and playing with. I was happy that her favorite toys at the cabin were the cars and trucks my brothers and I played with as kids. I’m hoping to continue to encourage a healthy balance for her and will lean greatly on my faith and the women in my life who are also raising daughters!

  6. I really relate to this post, especially since I do have a daughter and today happens to be her 13th birthday. I am so proud of her because she is so totally….herself. I remember Halloween when she was in Kindergarten….all her friends dressed up as cute girls like cheerleaders, Disney princesses, etc…Jenna, on the other hand wore a giant unicorn costume. And she loved it. It’s a fitting illustration of who she is…someone who radiates confidence from the inside, rather than looking for it from others on the outside. I hope she will always be this way. And by the way, I take no credit for the way she is….she was born this way.

  7. Yes! My baby girl is 5mos old and I worry abotu all of this already. I worry dressing her in pink will ruin her and hated it when my mother in law bought her infant “skinny jeans”. Too much pressure on girls all. the. time.

  8. ugh, it is terrifying! we have 4 1/2 yr old and a 16 month old girls… already have rules about thickness of dress/ shirt straps if sleeveless, we put shirts away if belly shows easily, no “toy” makeup that really works, etc… Clothes are getting harder too, bc our 4 y/o is moving up into the big kids section now. We typically listen to country music, but even that gets too racy sometimes! Luckily we live in a fairly conservative area, so it’s pretty common… I’d hate to think of what we’d be up against if we moved! We still stick to Noggin & Disney Jr– no Hannah Montana, iCarly, etc… I tried no princess stuff for awhile but that’s backfired & now our oldest is obsessed. She’s incredibly smart, but I recently asked her if it’ better to be smart or pretty, & she said pretty! AHHHH! I’m in trouble already… can I get my baby boy now??? lol…

  9. My daughter is 15 months old, and I am already dreading the next 18 years. I hope I can teach her poise and modesty and morals, without it being overbearing. Without her catching flack from her peers. Peer pressure is terrible.

  10. My 10 year old is “sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart” & I pray she stays that way. I know exactly what you mean!

  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is EXACTLY how I feel raising my toddler. I hate even LOOKING at clothes past size 4… because they all look too teenagery. I want my baby to stay innocent for as long as humanly possible… and I fear she won’t.

    beautifully, BEAUTIFULLY written.

    Oh, and Pee-ess… I TOTALLY thought the same thing about Edward. I was Team Jacob.

  12. I am so with you, BA. I would much rather have my daughter (who is 6 months now) create mini-explosions with Daddy’s chemistry set that have “DIVA” emblazoned on her Trapper Keeper when she is a pre-teen.

    My fears extend beyond this, too. I worry that I won’t be able to protect her from things I couldn’t protect myself from. Unfortunately we live in a society that tells girls “don’t let yourself get raped” instead of telling boys “don’t rape”. I hope things change as she gets older, or I’m going to go gray prematurely, I’m sure…

    Growing Up Geeky

  13. I completely agree with everything you’re saying. Having two girls, one 18 months and the other 3 months I have so many fears for them. My husband and I walk through the mall and see young girls with teeny tiny short shorts and I cringe. I hear the way these girls talk to one another (in the absence of adults) and remember how I was so reserved as a kid. All of my friends called me a prude back then and I thought it was an insult but when I think of it now I think they were complimenting me. I think there is definitely something to be said about teaching young girls to not grow up too fast. I hope that I can manage to keep my girls age appropriate, respectful, and poised for as long a possible.

  14. I love this BA. You nailed it. I’m not a girl mom and will probably never be as I’m pretty sure my uterus is retiring soon. But when I listen to some of the songs on the radio I find myself cringing that tweens and teens are probably listening to this stuff! I was so scared to kiss a boy when I was 15. FIFTEEN! I still missed playing with Barbies, I think. It’s just so difficult to raise a girl these days. Or raise a boy who will actually respect differences and that zits are normal at 13.

    Sigh, when will society get it right?

  15. I have a little girl and it’s hard. Soooo hard to keep her from all this super sexual stuff. And to empower her with a strong sense of self but to remind her the world doesn’t revolve around her. That her self worth isn’t based on how she looks or if boys like her. To protect her from mean girls and bullying. I know a lot of that is just normal mother fear, but it’s a special mother of a girl (any maybe mother of an only child) fear.

  16. This made me tear up a bit because it is SO true. My heart breaks for those little 7 year old Brittanys out there whose parents buy them inappropriately short shorts or leggings with ‘Cutie’ on the butt. What are they thinking? I’m with you on letting my little girl be a little girl for as long as humanly possible. Besides playing tea party and dress up and dolls is so much fun for Mom too!

  17. I went to a great event with my tween, all about being a “secret keeper.” it dealt a lot with modesty, and girls taking charge of their clothes, learning what is modest and what is not, also reinforcing that she’s a beautiful girl.

    I linked it with my name:)

  18. LOVE THIS POST.

    I don’t have any kids (yet), but I can’t agree more. I hate the toddler size outfits that look like they should be worn by a J.Lo backup dancers. I hate that children repeat cliche adult sayings. I hate that children are allowed to watch sexualized dancing AND THEN are allowed to mimic it.

    I was a nerdy kid who loved Barbies and baking. Even in high school, I was more interested in watching Jeopardy than going to the football game. I pray my future children are just as innocent as I was.

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