I LOVE having a little girl! She’s only 2, and I don’t yet know what it’s like to have a boy… but I love how much easier it is these days to dress girls in blue and trackpants and tractor tops without getting any of the weird looks you might get for putting your boy in a pink frilly dress. Similarly with activities, I feel like there’s not THAT many boys doing ballet, but loads of girls doing soccer or martial arts.
She’s going to be influenced by what she sees around her, so is already talking a lot about pink and noticing sparkly unicorn stickers… but she loves diggers and fire trucks too, and is interested in all sorts of things. We read and talk about so many books, play duplo, cook together, garden, go swimming, etc etc. She’s not very physically skilled… no idea whether that’s anything to do with being a girl or whether it’s just each baby being different regardless of sex, so certainly doesn’t leap all over the place like some of her male cousins. But it’s made things easier as a parent… hard for her to race off and get herself into trouble when her idea of running is just waving her arms faster with her legs going the same speed! And her language skills are AMAZING, so it’s really cool to be able to explore the world with her as she tells me her ideas and wonderings and the way she sees things.
I understand your fears about your relationship with you own Mum, but as others have said, I think in some ways that’s a huge advantage. You already know what parenting doesn’t work, and how you’d like to do things differently. [name_m]Just[/name_m] watch and respect your child. Respect her being her own person, separate from you. And gently guide her with how the world works and how to manage her feelings.
My Mum tried her very very best and was on the whole an amazing parent, but grew up with quite old-fashioned strict parents herself, and didn’t have much support in parenting from my father who was loving and a wonderful man but just pretty hands off and clueless with kids. When Mum was stressed out her parenting choices didn’t always feel helpful.
I know now how I want to be different. I will never smack or yell or give time out. I will always offer comfort and always talk through things. I will be very very open about my own feelings and try to encourage my children to do the same. I’ve “picked up” some of that stress/anxiety from my Mum, but will try to be aware of and reduce my own stress levels and anxiety, and make more careful choices about how I vent or respond to them, including owning them as my own problem that I need to work through. I will actively encourage confidence and independence. And I’ll carry on with the things she did so well, loke bedtime stories and home-made christmas decorations and valuing people rather than material things and encouraging curiosity and discussion and excitement about the world.