Journey to Motherhood: My (Honest) Hopes & Fears About Raising a Girl

When I found out I was expecting a girl, I immediately felt anxious. Not that I wasn’t happy, but it’s almost as if a part of me was comfortable with the idea that raising a boy in today’s society would be easier. For some reasons, I unconsciously nurtured this belief over the years: bringing a boy into this world would be much less of a challenging task. Why? How did I come to this conclusion? There are so many reasons. Firstly, I have two young brothers I took care of from a young age, so it’s something that comes naturally to me. Secondly, I’m a woman in her late twenties who witnesses the different challenges young women of my generation face across the world through my work – challenges that were even bigger for my mother and grandmother’s generation. Thirdly, I came to realize that we are in 2017 yet still have to fight/march for women’s rights and advancement in society, even in the so-called developed countries. And finally, because gender inequalities do exist, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. They always did and will probably do for quite some time. I’m not talking about the recurring debate among some of my peers about whether or not women and men are different in nature, because to me, being equal doesn’t mean being identical. I’m talking about basic human rights that all individuals should equally have access to, no matter what their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or social status is. But the deepest reason of my anxiety and slight moment of panic, the one that made me the most uncomfortable, is the fact that I was scared. Scared that my child would face more challenges because she was born a girl. Because a part of me somehow internalized men’s privilege in society and oppression as something “normal”, so hearing my doctor says “It’s a girl, congrats!” resonated like an electroshock and left me with tons of questions.