I’m Scared to Raise a Daughter

It’s no secret — my mom is my best friend. She lives 7 minutes down the road and yet we speak daily. It’s unusual for us to go three days in a row without seeing each other and if you ask me what she has planned for the weekend, I can probably rattle it off as though it was my own itinerary.

While some mother-daughter duos grow to be best friends, I am lucky enough to say that my mom has always been mine. So you would think that when I found out I was having a daughter of my own, I would be elated. Well, you’re wrong. The truth is, I’m scared to raise a daughter.

When I think about my relationship with my mom, there are no other words to describe it than simply flawless. She is my mother, first and foremost. She taught me everything I know; disciplined me when my smart mouth got in the way and survived my teenage years with grace. Yet through all of it, she remained my friend. She didn’t bat an eye when I told her I needed to go on birth control and conversations ranging from deciding a college major to sexuality were met with openness. If you ask me, my mom did an unprecedented job raising not one, but two daughters. Yet, here I sit with my own, and I’m at a loss.

My baby girl is only 4 months old, but I’m scared I am going to mess it up and not have the relationship with her that I have with my own mom. Will she come to me when it’s time to go training bra shopping? Can I raise her to be comfortable in her own skin when I’m still struggling to accept my post-baby body? When it’s time for her to shave her legs, will I remember the Popsicle stick trick my mom used with me? Do I have the ability to answer ALL her questions about sex without cringing? Better yet, will she even feel like she can talk to me about it?

Those are the thoughts that run through my head at 3 a.m. while I’m rocking my sweet baby girl back to sleep. I don’t worry about her being successful or smart or independent because I know she’ll be all of those and more. She’s my daughter and she is going do great things and be a great person. That much I just know, but I worry that when those great things (and even the not-so-great things) happen, that I won’t be the first person she wants to call.

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