One of my favorite mom-to-mom blog resources is Cafémom. Recently, an article about TV mother-daughters reminded me of my panic when I found out I was having a girl – a story I’m finally willing to admit to and share out loud.
Here’s the straight, never-before-admitted, honest, mom-to-mom, truth: I never wanted a girl. Now, I said all the right things out loud … “I am just so happy to have a baby at all, I just hope it’s healthy, so I don’t care whether it’s a boy or girl.”
But in reality, I really wanted a boy. Like, really.
I’d always been a tomboy. It wasn’t until my 30s that I really developed healthy relationships with girlfriends. I was terrified of the prospect of relating to a girl. Terrified of the terrible teens, terrified of the hormones, terrified of the drama, terrified that girls always hate their mothers.
When I found out I was having a girl, the first thing I did was binge-watch Gilmore Girls. I thought if I could discern the secret sauce to perfect mother-daughter relationships that Loreali had clearly discovered, I might make it without a complete nervous break-down. I’m not kidding, so don’t laugh, but I literally took notes.
Now that my older daughter is hitting the dreaded teens, I realized that sadly, you need both a mom like Loreali AND a daughter like Rory, so there’s a reason this is a fictional show — the chances both exist together in the same world (let alone the same family) are slim to none. Maybe somewhere in the world, a mother and teenage daughter have established the fun, easy, banter-filled relationship that this show presents, but it wasn’t true in my life. Despite my best intentions, if I had to pick a TV mom I realistically have come to resemble, I’m way more like Roseanne than Loreali. And, it works for me, and my daughters. We may not have the “snuggle-in-and-watch-movies-together-while-drinking-coffee-and-speed-talking” relationship that you see on Gilmore Girls, but we have sarcasm, teasing and passive-aggressive insults. It’s not understandable by everyone, but it works for us, and although the conversations take a decidedly different slant, I think our relationship is Loreali-Rory worthy.
What have I learned after having a girl for 11 years (although she acts like it’s been 15…)? I have learned that yes, hormones happen. Yes, her moods are unpredictable — one minute she is cuddling with me, the next she hates every bone in my body. Yes, it’s not easy. But… it’s easier than I thought. I’m stronger than I thought. I can take “MOM I HATE YOU!” with a laugh, an eye-roll, and a fun retort. I can shrug off the drama, tears, and hysteria from “her ONLY pair of decent jeans being in the wash, OMG she has NOTHING to wear!” I can walk away from the everything in the world being my fault and embrace the title of “MEANEST MOM IN THE WORLD!!!” And for that, I thank Roseanne, and the valuable lessons she taught me. Loreali has nothing on her.
[Editor’s Note: CICADA Magazine for teens age 14 and up is great way to help your child navigate the stormy waters of adolescence. Featuring exciting new works in fiction, poetry, and comics, plus interviews with the authors and illustrators who made it happen, CICADA is a place for teens to speak their truths. PLUS, free with each paid subscription to CICADA comes access to bonus content on the magazine’s companion Web site, www.cicadamag.com, the online home of CICADA. The site features The Slam, our award-winning online forum for microfiction and poetry. Designed for budding writers, CicadaMag.com gives teens writing tips and submissions needs for CICADA and urges them to keep up with their writing practice, even when they may feel discouraged. Rory Gilmore would totes approve.]
Cricket Media Mama realized, as her daughters entered the dreaded puberty, she’s eternally grateful for a girl because “The Talk” is way more manageable than it would have been with a boy.