2.17.2010

The Balancing Act


As my daughter gets older I find my self feeling more and more hypocritical.  
A recent post on Julia's blog got me to thinking...

On a daily basis my daughter tells me how much she wants to be like me.
But WHO am I and is THAT who I want HER to be?

I am insecure.
I don't deal well with stress.
I am stubborn.
Foul mouthed.
Unorganized.
I'm vain.

Just to list a few.

And what about Vintage KelsyC?  I was not what a parent would consider a "good" girl.
I got into trouble.
I did things before I was legally able to do them.
I *gasp* had sex with my teenage boyfriend (who is now my husband.)

I wasn't a "bad" kid by any means.
I played sports. Choir. Drama. Japanese club.
Got decent grades.
I was vice president of the Cultural Awareness Committee.
I took running start (college classes while in high school)
And I was president of the college Forensic Club.

Now I have a good job.
A family.
A happy life.

So I find myself at odds as to what to teach my daughter.
I certainly don't want her to pick up my insecurities and body issues.
But I want her to have my love of art and creativity. (My sense of style... access to my closet...)
She has my fearless spirit.
Well, I HAD a fearless spirit when I was younger, and life has made me jaded.

Hubs thinks she won't date 'till she's 30.
But we met when we were 15 and have been together ever since.
Do we deprive her of that chance at puppy love?
Protect her from a broken heart?

I suppose as a parent, one can only hope that they raise their child to make the right decisions.
But also, as a parent, I think you have to give your child the opportunity to fail as well.
In our failures, we learn how to be strong.

And then the issue of "sexiness."
It's impossible to escape and therefore, necessary to address.
I, a grown woman, want to BE sexy.
I want to make my husband look at me that way.
I like the extra "perks" that come with outer beauty.
But that's not how I want my daughter judged,
That's not how I want her to learn her value herself.

So what do you do?
Lying is not an option.  Nor is "sugar coating" the truth.
But, I think, at this stage, honesty is too much to comprehend.
And yet even at 3 years and 11 months.s (NO! My baby is NOT 4... yet) I am amazed at the things she picks up on.

The way she shakes her butt when she dances.
Or the way she wants to wear skirts to "be pretty."
She likes to put on make up with me.
And I wear make up... every day.
However, she doesn't care if her clothes match. Or if her hair is brushed.
She snacks all day and still eats dinner.
She prefers veggies to candy.

But...

Thats all well and good, for now.
I don't know what to do as she gets older.
Yes, I know I will always be her parent... but there will be a time when we become more equals.
When you realize your parents are fallible human beings, just like you.
You realize they don't have the answers.
You realize they are making it up as they go along.
And then you become a parent and it REALLY hits you over the head.

And personally, I'm pretty laid back and liberal. 
Oooo... its like a dirty word... liberal.


Anyway, nudity doesn't bother me.
I walk around the house in my skivvs all the time.
But it bugs me when Goose doesn't have clothes on.
It shouldn't. It's hypocritical. But it still bothers me!
I think how your ACT is more important than how you LOOK.
I still don't want my daughter growing up looking "slutty."
I don't want her to think that her only sense of worth comes from her looks.

I feel, at the same time, that I would be doing her a disservice by not at least informing her of, I don't know how to put it... properly use her physical appearance to her advantage.
Let's face it.
People like pretty packaging.
And men use their physicality to their advantage all the time...

I realize this is many years off, but the foundation is being laid now.
She is learning NOW.
How to love herself...
How to let herself be loved...
How to love others...
Ya know, all that important stuff down the line.

I look up to my Mom so much.
And I am SO grateful that she is able to look after Goose 3 days a week.
I love that MY sisters are so close to Goose, they might as well be HER sisters.
I'm glad my mom is able to have such an active role in raising my daughter.
I know I sure couldn't do it alone, okay there is Hubs, but still, definitely NOT without her!

And, while there were many bumps along the road to my adult-hood...
I don't think I turned out all that bad.

So, maybe, just maybe, I'm getting things right after all!

2 comments:

Lindsay Miles said...

I love how open and honest you are. It's rare.
Plus I loved this post.
You and your daughter are beautiful.

Angie said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we were the only ones that get to influence how our kids think and feel about themselves? There are so many other outside ideas given to them - TV, kids at school, even people walking down the street. Wow...the real challenge is helping them to process it all in a healthy way. Being mom is tough! All we can do is the best that we can do, and love them no matter what. I think that will go a long way.

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