I’ve got it “made” they say. Having daughters (three of them) is like a never ending cycle. You raise them, they marry, and they are back in your house ….with grandkids…everyday… so it feels like they never left. But, until they’re grown, I’m going to get questions they need answered and problems they can’t solve alone and situations that I need to explain.
When will I let them know…
Why are you bleeding mommy?
I’m kind of very personal with this matter and still continue to hide from them so I don’t freak them out. I do, however, want them to feel comfortable with their bodies and know that this— menstruation— is normal. Yet, when is it appropriate to do so? Before having their menstrual? After? Or right now? So that I stop running, closing the door, and hiding clean pads between my boobs. Ha!
Why is that man a girl?
This is reality. My daughters will see more openly gay men and transgender people out and about more frequently than when I was five. So, yes, I know I have to have that talk— but when? I want to guard their innocence as much as I can, and I feel that now with the “restroom-sex rule” I need to talk about it sooner. It scares me… really. I remember just figuring it out on my own, to show no difference but only respect.
Why is that man looking at me?
Ugh! As much as I don’t want to think about it, I know it can happen. Pedophiles are everywhere— and, of course, my daughters know not to go with a strange man— but in those awkward situations, how will I let them know that some men are attracted to young girls? And that if need be, my girls need to run or poke eyes or scratch faces or kick them in the b…. You know where…
Why do you shave your legs but dad doesn’t?
Double standard? In their eyes yes, but naturally my daughters will come to learn that “society” doesn’t approve of hairy woman and it is not attractive to men. So then, when do I let them know that as they grow older, they will have to assimilate to what is considered “normal” for a woman to do? I, myself, have internal conflicts with things that are acceptable to men but not to woman.
Why does my friend have two dads and no mom?
Talk about conflicting beliefs! Raising our daughters Catholic, they will understand their faith vs. legal laws. Still, they might ask before they completely understand about Proposition 8. When will I let them know that our faith doesn’t lead others to believe the same way?
I think that I’ve stressed myself out just by writing this! But in all seriousness, I wish I could make it easier on myself by preparing all their questions and inserting multiple choice answers. Life, in and of itself, is not easy. I know many of these answers will come in due time as they grow and face each of these situations, but I honestly wish I could put my babies in a pink bubble gum bubble and keep them thinking of Doc McStuffins (“Tututica,” as Belen would say), fake nail polish and neon jelly shoes.
So, do I have it “made” having girls? To think, this is just the beginning…
What issues or situations do you worry about explaining to your daughters? I’d love to know how you plan to handle those difficult conversations!