Tell me lovely things about having a baby girl

(106 Posts)
OTheHugeManatee Wed 20-Apr-16 10:29:05

I feel quite ashamed to admit this. I'm 20wks with my first child and we found out at the scan she's a little girl. Though of course I'm overjoyed that I seem to be growing a healthy baby, my second thought was 'bad luck little one, this is becoming an increasingly shit world in which to be born female'.

I think about the plastic tits, the objectification, the erosion of women-only spaces and the vanishing right to define ourselves by biology rather than ladybrain, the porn, the death of feminism, the pay gap, the Cologne attacks, the myriad ways in which women's rights are being set back and back and back and I think 'how am I going to protect my little girl against all this?' sad

So, feminist mothers of daughters, please cheer me up with the positives. Tell me how it's going to be brilliant, and please tell me your strategies for raising strong, confident girls in the teeth of all the bullshit.

crazycatdad Wed 20-Apr-16 10:46:29

I have a newborn son so I can tell you one of the lovely things about having a girl is that she won't pee in your face while you're changing her nappy.

Not what you were looking for, I know, but you'll be grateful for small mercies. smile

Muskateersmummy Wed 20-Apr-16 10:49:19

I would say the positive of having a little girl is being able to raise them strong, independent and able to make their own choices and to challenge those injustices they may face.

chunkymum1 Wed 20-Apr-16 10:50:49

I have no doubt that your DD will be a strong and amazing person and will be well placed to take on the world- from what you have said (and the fact that you have not bought in to the lie that feminism is no longer needed) she has an excellent role model.

I have a DD who is just approaching the teenage years and I share your concerns but my view is that the main thing I can do is to make her aware of these things (when age appropriate obviously), model the right behaviour and continue to challenge behaviour/words that go against what I believe in. I also have a DS and I think it is equally important for all that DH and I also discuss gender equality/appropriate behaviour to women with him. My DH is on board with this (not sure I could have borne his children if he was not)- I think that's important too.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 20-Apr-16 10:56:01

I have a newborn son so I can tell you one of the lovely things about having a girl is that she won't pee in your face while you're changing her nappy.

grin

OTheHugeManatee Wed 20-Apr-16 10:59:11

Thanks everyone. I'm probably extra agitated about this because hormonal, but I do think my worries are valid. I guess we can only do our best though, challenge the bullshit when it rears its head and above all teach our daughters to think for themselves and not be afraid to question how things are.

All sounds a bit wishy-washy, but she is after all only a 20wk foetus at the moment...

steppemum Wed 20-Apr-16 10:59:48

The world has changed since I was a kid.
The world will change again as your daughter grows up. Who knows what it will be like in 30 years?

I have a ds and 2 dd. They are all wonderful in their own unique way.
I love the fact that they are individuals. I don't see them primarily as female or male, but in relation to their characters.
I am bringing my son up to be one of the good guys. I am bringing my girls up to be strong, free thinking intelligent women, who will take a stand in the world. But I want that for my son too.

Role model the woman you want her to be.

whattheseithakasmean Wed 20-Apr-16 11:00:02

I adore my teenage girls, although I wouldn't say it is easy. Toddlers are hard work, but the baby and primary years were a complete delight. Back to hard work in the teens....

What I would say is, just because they are female, don't assume they will fit in a box, or go for all the typical teen girl stuff you see in the media. My two girls are chalk and cheese. One is quiet, studious and introverted and the other is dramatic, lazy and loud! Character traits you find in both sexes, actually.

Maybe I am lucky because we live in the country, but they don't seem that invested or interested in all the plastic tits, fake look stuff. I think teen girls are smarter than a lot of older people give them credit for - there is a lot of unconscious bias against young females, as much by older feminists.

So I would be confident and brave that you will learn from your daughter just as much as she learns from you. Yes, she will up in a different world to you, but the past wasn't perfect, there is no perfect world. I think looking forward boldly rather than with trepidation is the way to go.

MrsJayy Wed 20-Apr-16 11:05:27

That's a shame you have that view I know I just had babies I brought them up as children if that makes sense you have years and years to mould your girl into a wonderful woman its not all fake tits and tan its fine my girls are now women and are fab even if I do say so myselfgrin just let your baby develop and grow it will be ok

YorkieDorkie Wed 20-Apr-16 11:08:52

Their smiles are just the most heartwarming sight smile I don't see my DD as a "female" yet - she's my baby girl and she'll find her own way in this crazy world with my help.

I hope she has the confidence to go to school with no makeup on, wear non objectifying clothing, use her brain, follow her heart... We can but try!

deepdarkwood Wed 20-Apr-16 11:09:48

Yes, girls face a set of challenges that boys don't face. But whilst there are many steps back at the moment, there are also so many steps that have been taken forwards. My dd (I have one of each) is the most confident, 'can-do' little person - a leader and someone who is utterly, utterly happy in her own skin. She's taught me a lot about not getting bogged down in the theory and the problems, but also engaging with the good and great things about being female. Some of the things that maybe I'd lost sight of. We have a special bond, and she very much sees our bond 'as women' as being something different to the (very close) relationship she has with my dh.

She is 10, and at the moment is navigating the whole thing of 1.starting to like boys; 2. realising there is an 'official' line to what makes girls attractive; and 3. rejecting that to embrace being herself/not spending time and energy trying to fit into the model. She's thought it through on her own, & I think that's a pretty amazing thing to have sorted at 10 (I am fully expecting her to wobble in the next few years, mind you!) I wonder sometimes if the fact that the pressures are so out there sometimes helps you to spot them....

VestalVirgin Wed 20-Apr-16 11:12:05

... I don't know, your daughter will be morally superior to those who oppress her?

Comfort yourself with the fact that you have not brought another member of the oppressor class into this world.

(Yeah, I know, all moms on here raise their sons to be decent guys, but raising someone who has privilege to give up that privilege will be more difficult than teaching a daughter that she will not, in the long run, profit from shitting on other women.)

NapQueen Wed 20-Apr-16 11:15:34

I like the fact that I am raising a feisty little woman who (currently) is confident and interested in the world and knows what she likes. If she were a boy she would be labelled "typical boy" by others I can well imagine.

Ive just ordered her a lovely dinosaur print tunic dress and a blouse with cars and tractors on it - the world of retail is slowly catching up.

MrsJayy Wed 20-Apr-16 11:21:06

I always managed to dress my baby girls fine I didn't have a problem with clothes is there a lot of gendered clothes these days ?

MrsJayy Wed 20-Apr-16 11:22:16

What I mean I could easily avoid the frou frou frothy if I wanted

Lumpylumperson Wed 20-Apr-16 11:31:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lumpylumperson Wed 20-Apr-16 11:32:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Longstocking2 Wed 20-Apr-16 11:34:20

I have a wonderful ds who's a teenager and a wonderful dd who's 7.

She is naturally forthright and assertive but I have tried to encourage her to be her own person and to have a sense of herself, not to just follow others but to find her own way.

This has been in subtle ways, when she asks for example about a situation or a choice or a blow up with a friend.

What I've tried to do despite the fact that we think she is beautiful, is to give her messages that her looks are not more important than anything else. So this means her seeing that I don't think it's more important than anything else re my own appearance. If she sees me being strong and my own person, then she will think that's normal.

I never gave her Barbies, and of course she's played with them else where but she didn't receive them (and their messages) from me, I think that is very important myself.

I think we have also tried to give her a real sense of choice sometimes, a sense of agency. So that when she was young I tried to not train her to be a pleaser but I used to say 'why don't you decide' about a painting etc or a drawing so that she could start to strengthen her sense of self which is grown through a million moments of influence and action. I

I think it's also important to cherish and value who she is herself, intrinsically. I think girls can sometimes carry the whole weight of her mother's unmet expectations, a sort of 'mini-me revenge on the world' exercise. So many 'my darling princess' videos on FB. Look at any group of high achieving girls at drama club/music club/ballet class/swimming class, the will to succeed is often etched on the watching mother. I don't blame anyone, and I think I do it too in my own way. But the luckiest daughter is probably the one with the fulfilled and happy mother who knows who she is herself and is strong, supported and loving enough to create a world where a girl can grow up to be herself, not just an object for another's eyes and sexual satisfaction, or to be a compulsive pleaser. It's hard to achieve if you're bred to please first.

TED talks have a lot of speakers on how women see the world. It's worth watching some of the scientists who talk about how quickly girls appear to lose their scientific confidence.

Also another factor is that my dd has a very loving and kind big brother who plays with her and talks with her a lot. I think that has a very positive effect on her confidence with boys as I am already seeing how assertive she can be. She may expect to be treated as a person by boys in the future partly because of this.

Her dad loves and values her but her view of herself is likely to be hugely influenced by how my dh treats me. I think we are ok in that department, not perfect but ok.

I think having a child is a great act of faith in the future and it's a shame it seems to make us more selfish sometimes than more generous towards the world.

Sunshine87 Wed 20-Apr-16 11:35:42

The clothes so much better than boys. Baking with them although my DS enjoys baking. Going on shopping trips. When they reach their milestones school prom,first date, wedding, when they have their first baby. I adore my two boys but it's another experience having a DD. I'm excited to do all the milestones together.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 20-Apr-16 11:36:22

Every little girl that grows up into a stereotype-smashing, inequality-killing woman is a huge win for feminism.

Thanks everyone. I'll hang on to this. And it's lovely to hear about all your girls smile

MrsJayy Wed 20-Apr-16 11:39:40

She will be wonderful congratulations x

MrsJayy Wed 20-Apr-16 11:40:19

Meh a slushy X sorry grin

Longstocking2 Wed 20-Apr-16 11:45:14

Another hint. I kept some of my ds's clothes (in the hope we might have another child) so we had some boys clothes for my dd.

I think she looks fantastic in navy, for example and she has some great t shirts which were his. I think dressing a girl less as a pink decorative explosion of girliness and more as an active jumping leaping tree climbing lass - might well influence how the mother looks at the girl and therefore how the mother treats the girl. So maybe we should think more about how we dress girls and how that influences their view of themselves.

OutwardBound2016 Wed 20-Apr-16 11:50:48

I have two DD's, the best thing in my opinion is they can be whatever they want to be. I think boys are not encouraged to be 'soft' but girls can be as pink/girly/bolshy/loud as they like. My two dance, swim, play football, get muddy, climb trees are a total delight to be around. Give them the opportunities to do and be whatever they want and it will be fine. Congratulations x

lavenderdoilly Wed 20-Apr-16 11:53:20

My Dd is astonished at the idea that there might be prejudice against women. My dad in his clunky old school way refused to contemplate the idea that being a girl would stop me doing what I wanted.

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