What We Should Be Teaching Our Daughters

With the 1st trimester now behind her, I can honestly say that Sarah is looking more beautiful than ever. I’m not really surprised {biased, yes!}. I now have a GrandPeach, which won’t be for long, since there are definitely more exciting times ahead. It won’t be long before we find out the sex of the baby. Although we’re hoping for a boy, I’m good with either, as long as {s}he’s healthy…of course. As the bump grows, it’ll become more real for all of us; it’s felt like a dream since we first found out. We heard the heartbeat at the prenatal appointment a couple of weeks ago, which was an emotional moment for me. Her current complaints are heartburn and fatigue.

My last post was about what we should be teaching our sons about fatherhood and I suggested that I would do a post about what we should be teaching our daughters. Most of what I wrote in my previous post applies here, too, but here goes:

  1. Although there are no guarantees when it comes to the sort of father a guy will be, give more consideration to any guy you’re considering having sex with. Don’t look at him as only a potential sex partner because he will be MUCH more than that if he gets you pregnant. As a rule of thumb, you should NEVER, EVER consider having sex with anyone you can’t see as genuine husband/father material. This is why getting to know someone is an absolute must before you even consider “going there”. Spending time with a guy and paying attention to the way he behaves toward you and other people is the only way to know what sort of person he is. Any guy who’s worth your time will understand this and give you as much time as you need. Any guy who doesn’t understand this and pressures you before you’re ready = big fat red flag. Always pay attention to your instinct; it doesn’t lie. Most of the time {but NOT always} red flags will show up right away:
    • Does he treat you with respect?
    • Do you trust him?
    • Is he reliable?
    • Is he kind and compassionate? Further, is he kind and compassionate to 1/people in service jobs; 2/ people who can’t offer him anything?
    • Is he ambitious {but for the right reasons, such as the desire to make a living for himself and his family…as opposed to greed and status}?
    • Does he treat his mother, sister{s} {and every other female in his life} with respect? {BIG red flag, if he doesn’t!}
    • Is he honest?
    • Is he faithful?
    • Is he religious or spiritual?
    • Is he supportive through the rough times?
    • Are his actions transparent? If he’s mysterious or secretive about any aspect of his life and can’t explain why, RUN.
    • Is he comfortable around children?
    • Is he educated and making plans for his future?
    • Does he have genuine friends?
    • Does he have any substance abuse issues?
  2. Regardless of the relationship you have with a guy {before sex}, there are no guarantees it’ll be the same {after sex}. The dynamic changes in every relationship, but you will have a better way of predicting how it will change if you know more about the guy before it happens. If he doesn’t clearly {and consistently} specify that he wants you in his future {before sex}, he’ll most likely disappear {after sex}…especially if he gets you pregnant.
  3. If you’re looking for approval or a relationship, you won’t get either of those things by consenting to sex right away. In doing so, you’re starting from a place that’s reserved for an advanced relationship. Once you go there, where else is there to go? Value yourself and you’ll attract someone who agrees with you.
  4. Curiosity is not a good reason to “try” sex. If your partner isn’t experienced, it probably won’t be the greatest experience. If your partner is experienced, consider how many partners he has had to gain that experience ~ and, perhaps, something more sinister, like an STD ~ and, furthermore, he’s not going to be interested in a long-term relationship.
  5. Peer pressure, “because everyone else is doing it” are also not good reasons to try sex. There are so many factors in establishing when and if one is ready for that and none of those factors depend on anyone except the two people involved. You shouldn’t base your decisions on what others are doing; what’s good for them isn’t necessarily what’s good for you. Emotional maturity doesn’t happen for everyone all at once, nor is everyone at the same place in their relationships.

And if, somehow, the result is pregnancy:

  1. Keep calm. Getting hysterical doesn’t help anyone.
  2. Do NOT feel pressured into making a decision, based on what other people want. If possible, the father should be consulted, but if he chooses to not be involved, do what you think is best for YOU. It is your life, your body, and your bed. Nobody has to live your life except for you.
  3. Tell your parents or a trusted adult. You can’t through your situation alone. If you can’t tell your parents first, tell a trusted adult so that {s}he can act as a buffer when you tell your parents.
  4. Don’t make any decisions from an emotional place. Explore all options and make sure you learn as much about each option as you can.
  5. Realize that it’s not all about you anymore. When you create a life, that life becomes a priority. Your responsibility is to your unborn baby and you do what you must to care for and nurture the life growing inside of you.
  6. Shut down ALL EXTERNAL DRAMA. Are people harassing you on social media? Block them on all fronts or disable your account{s}. Your baby’s health and keeping your stress levels low are more important than paying attention to anything being said about you by people who don’t know you. You don’t need that sort of negativity in your life. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who you trust and you know will support you.
  7. However tempting it is to opt for an abortion, let me just say this: there is no easy option out of such a situation. Each option has its pros and cons. What you must consider about abortion is this: once it’s done, it’s done. There’s no reversing it and no way of knowing how you’ll feel once it happens. Maybe you’ll be okay with it, but what if you’re not? It will become a pain that you can’t fix, nor can anyone else. Once you commit to doing it, you must live with the decision for the rest of your life, amid the constant reminders {families, babies, baby clothes, pregnant women, etc.}.
  8. If you decide to keep the baby, prepare yourself for the toughest job you’ll ever do. Know that you’ll experience every emotion, some in rapid succession, sometimes all at once. Once your baby is born, you’ll instantaneously understand every reason for every decision your parents ever made about you with crystal clarity. You’ll wonder how you’re going to survive the constant worrying as soon as your baby is no longer contained in the safety of your womb. You’ll feel terrified by the fact that you never thought you could love another human being so much. Your entire existence will revolve around this tiny person and you’ll devour every piece of information. You’ll constantly wonder if you’re doing the “right” thing and look to others for comparisons. What you’ll eventually learn is that comparing yourself, your baby, your circumstances with other moms, babies, circumstances only serves to feed feelings of inadequacy, when the focus must stay on you.
  9. As your child gets older, you’ll realize that each age brings a whole ‘nother set of challenges that you were {seemingly} unprepared for. Many times, you’ll feel unappreciated and how anyone can consider Motherhood a “gift”…but it’s a greater gift than you can ever imagine. Creating a life within your body is an amazing accomplishment that not everyone gets to experience. Motherhood is a learn-as-you-go role. You will make mistakes, but give yourself a break.

What would you add to this list of advice? I believe that we moms should do everything to support each other, regardless of our approaches to parenthood. Whether we work/stay home, breastfeed/bottlefeed, etc., we all must do what’s best for us. When our teens find themselves in a pregnancy situation, we should never spend time criticizing or judging them because it happens. Above all else, we must support them as much as we possibly can and arm them with the information they need for whatever choices they make.

Until next time…

babyfeeticons

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