Raising five boys has definitely taught me a lot. I became very accustomed to “boy mom” life. Obviously, as a woman raising 5 future men… I have strived to instill values in them that I feel are important traits to make them not only good humans, but men of integrity who value the importance of women.
Thinking about how we raise our boys and the example my husband sets for our boys made me think about raising our baby girl. The differences, the priorities.. She’ll be a little girl in a boys world — which, I’m hoping, prepares her for being a woman in a man’s world.
I want her to grow up knowing that she is not weak. I hope that if her brothers tackle her (and they will!) — she gets up, brushes off her tutu, and pins them to the ground. Stand up for yourself, baby girl! On that same note — I also want her brother’s to know that it’s perfectly okay when she wins, and ONLY encourage her to try to do so! While I do want her brothers to feel protective and defensive of her, I also want them all to realize she needs to be confident enough to hold her own.
I want her to know that she deserves just as much respect and equality as her brothers, and she should not hesitate to go for it! At the same time, however, I want her to realize that she is not entitled to anything simply because she’s a girl – just as her brother’s must also understand that they aren’t more deserving of anything based on their anatomy.
I hope that having all of these brothers helps her realize that she has value much greater than her looks. As a girl, people will surely remark on her outward appearance – and I don’t want her to focus on that. Be them positive or negative comments. Strive for strength and confidence before beauty.
I hope she challenges and encourages her brothers to continue to grow their views of what “masculine” and “feminine” mean. Showing that she can pretend to be Darth Vader and they can sit down in pint sized chairs for tea parties and both are entirely acceptable!
My biggest hope for her? That she realizes that even though everyone keeps calling her “The Princess” (Ugh…) there are MANY variations of “Princess.” I hope that living with these boys is empowering for her. I want her to see that Queen Amidala battled right alongside the Jedi. Princess Leia became General Organa. Mulan saved her country. Merida challenged tradition and chose her own path. I want her to see that she is more than capable of conquering whatever she wants. She can be strong, be confident, be brave — and she can do it all in a crown if she wants to.