On Becoming a “Girl Mom”

When I was pregnant with my first child, I really wanted to have a girl. The idea of all the frilly things was intoxicating. Because I wanted a girl so badly, I believe my subconscious went into overdrive to convince myself that I was having a boy. That way I wouldn’t be disappointed when I found out I was pregnant with a baby boy during the anatomy scan. I was still slightly disappointed, but from the moment I met my son I knew I was the luckiest mom in the world. He is absolutely, undeniably perfect. (Well, anyone who has witnessed one of his tantrums might disagree, but I say if you’re going to throw tantrums you might as well be the BEST at it.)

Girl MomWhen I found out I was pregnant with a girl during my second pregnancy, I immediately starting crying tears of joy. And then I started buying dresses. And pricing out Victorian dollhouses. And thinking of names. After the initial excitement dissipated, I started to feel pressure.

First, I realized that having a girl might put an end to my baby-making career. After all, if we were expecting another boy, I would almost certainly try one more time for a girl, but would I try for another baby at this stage in my life now that I was having one of each?

Then I started to feel the pressure of raising a girl … the pressure of raising a woman. Would I be a good example of a woman for her?

My daughter was born last October and she is the sweetest, little doll. I love dressing her in ruffles and bows. I love spending time in her room with the furniture and decorations I would have adored as a child. I love staring at her. But when I look at her, it is in a different way than I looked at my son as a baby. It is not because I love her any more or less than my son, but rather because I feel like I have a bigger responsibility to her. After all, I am the only parent she has with experience being a girl.

girlmom2As a girl, the thing I worry about teaching her the most is self-confidence because it is something with which I have always struggled. I think about my huge list of insecurities and how they have affected me throughout life. And I hope she doesn’t have the same insecurities. I hope that she has inherited only my good traits – that she has my sense of humor, but not my sense of self. I hope that she doesn’t let moments and opportunities pass her by because she fears rejection. I hope that when she looks at herself in the mirror (literally and figuratively), she sees the best version of herself.

I wonder if there is a manual for raising confident children. But then I also wonder if having a healthy dose of self-confidence is a trait you are born with as much as your brown hair and blue eyes. After all, when I reflect on my childhood, I remember being validated and praised. I was told I could do anything. I was adored.

Perhaps the best thing I can do to instill self-confidence in my daughter (and son as well) is to be kinder to myself and lead by example. And if self-confidence isn’t something that can be taught, well, then I’ll just have to settle for loving her unconditionally and always letting her know how proud I am to be her mom.

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Marie is the owner of Little Hometown, a company specializing in locally themed baby swaddles and apparel. Prior to opening her business, Marie was a professional event planner turned stay-at-home mom. She spent nearly a decade living in New York City, where she met her husband, Jeff (a New England native). Early in their relationship, Marie told Jeff that New Orleans is the only place where she would want to raise her children. As soon as she got pregnant, they started shopping for houses. They moved back in December of 2012, welcomed their son in 2013 and their daughter in 2015. Marie now spends her days entertaining her kids with silly songs, desperately attempting to stay organized, and balance her life as a work-at-home mom.

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