I’m not a mother. The only thing I’ve ever had grow inside of me are fat cells. I don’t have the responsibility of another human life. I’ve never had to forfeit hour after hour of sleep because my child demanded care, and still go to work the next day. So when you finish reading this and you think, ‘she’s a self-righteous imbecile who doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about, ‘ you might be partially right. On the other hand, I am a woman. Which means I was once a girl. So you might be partially wrong.
I have spent my entire life being compared to boys. It’s no ones fault. When there’s four of something and one is different, you notice. And sometimes being different feels like being wrong. I know different doesn’t mean wrong, but telling my emotions to find the truth is like finding a needle in a haystack.
I’ve been hearing a lot of women say things that are making me mad. Some of the women I don’t know. Some of the women I’ve known forever. Some of them I respect greatly. But I do not like what I keep hearing.
“I’m so glad I had all boys.”
“My boy was so much easier than my girl.”
“I’m so glad I didn’t have girls.”
“Girls are hard.”
“Boys are the best.”
“Girls are mean.”
“Boys are so easy.”
Woman. WOMEN are saying those things. Not men. Women. Mothers. And I hear you. Do you get that? Do you understand what that means? If you did, I don’t think you’d be saying it. I honestly don’t think you mean it to the fullest extent that it carries. And yes, this is the part where you get to say I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’ve never squeezed a watermelon out of my vagina and raised it. But, this is also the part where you get to listen to me because I am that little girl you are talking about. You are that little girl you are talking about. I may be different, but I am not worse. My brothers are not the same as me. They are not even the same as each other. But they are not better. When I hear things like that, it makes me feel like different is wrong. And if I can hear you, I know there are more ears that can hear you. Little girl ears that listen just as well as little boy ears.
When I was 13 years old, a friend had hurt my feelings, and someone who I respected very much (and still do) told me he thought 13 year old girls where the meanest people. The meanest person I’ve ever know was a 27 year old boy. So there's that.
Growing up sucks. It is hard and you never know for sure if you’re making the right decision. You trust people because they tell you can trust them and it turns out they’re liars. I’m begging you, moms, to be our constant encouragers. You’re the ones who grew us, so don’t be the ones to tear us down. I know you’re not perfect. And you won’t do it all right. No matter you’re best intentions, you will mess up your child in some way. It’s the laws of this world. But you do control the majority of the words that you say. Maybe not all of the four letter words, but you do control how you talk about your daughter. And not just to her face, but to other people too, because it matters. She may not always be happy and easy, but I bet she is always strong.
I understand better than anyone else the depths of my crazy. I know how far my fear goes, my anxiety, my sadness. I know how far my joy goes, my hope, my dreams and goals. When you put of a lot of opposite things in one package things get weird. That's just the truth. I have done and seen a lot of things in a short amount of time. I am funny and intelligent. On days that I wash my hair I am mildly attractive. I have a lot of God-given talents I never use properly. But when I hear women talk about girls like their innately difficult, fear and anxiety and sadness start to trump all the good stuff. I forget how absolutely wonderful it is to be exactly who and what you were intended to be. If I ever have the opportunity to have children, I hope I have an army of girls. And I hope their all like me, and my mother, and my grandmothers and my sister-in-laws. I in no way expect it would be my easiest moments, but I bet it would be my proudest.
“For you formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are your works,
And my soul knows it very well.”
You know, I honestly could be wrong. But I don’t think those verses just apply to David. I think they apply to all of us.
I know we’re all doing the best we can. And I promise your best is enough. I’m sure some of you mean what you say. And I’m sure some of you are just expressing a feeling when you feel it. And like I said, never raised a kid. I do, however, have a boy dog and a girl dog if any body cares to have that discussion with me. I could say a lot of things about their differences but they both give me extreme amounts of love and extreme amounts of anxiety. And they both take my money. Which sounds like motherhood to me.
Boys may be easy, but girls get shit done. So think about all that.
For the record, I would like to end this rant by saying that I have a nephew who is better than all boys and girls ever, but that’s not because he’s a boy. That is because he’s Huck.