By Nancy Laws
I never wanted to be a mother.
I remember being a 16-year-old, watching my mother raise five children, and promising myself that it would not be me. I love my mom, and she did an amazing job, but I’ve always seen her as untouchable. She was the woman I wanted to be but felt I could never be. She made so many sacrifices. I remember my mom going without so that we could have everything that we wanted, I wondered if I could be that woman—the one with holes in her shoes soles so that her children can wear a new pair to school.
Having a mother like this makes you question your own ability to be a good mother because no matter what you do, could you ever be that selfless and incredible?
I swore that I would not have children. I wanted to be the next great heart surgeon or editor in one of New York’s top publishing firms and have an incredible industrial loft in the city. My life was mapped out before me and it was an incredible one!
Well fast forward 10 years later and I have three girls and one incredible bonus son.
Do things ever work out the way we think they will?
I am neither a heart surgeon nor an editor living in the city. Instead, we settled for a small town in Ohio and my life is filled with a lot more excitement than I could have ever imagined.
I remember praying so hard when I was getting my sonogram with my daughter McKayla, willing her so hard to be a boy because what would I do with three girls?
Here are three reasons why I’m terrified of raising teenage girls:
I remember being a beyond troubled teenage girl. I struggled immensely with self-image and had a hard time sharing these feelings with others. Shy and anxious, I preferred to struggle alone, walking down the dark paths of eating disorders and self-harm to cope with my problems.
Girls today begin to struggle with self-esteem the moment they can look into a mirror. It is a challenge I would love to say I am prepared for, but honestly who can really be prepared for this.
2. Dating in a World Obsessed With 'The Bachelor'
It's a guilty pleasure, one I share with my husband on Monday nights. It's the show we watch and don't admit to our friends that we do, but I look forward to it because it is like a mini date night, and honestly, I am a sucker for drama.
But who wants to raise girls in a world where 25 women have to date the same man to find love! Luckily, I still believe that finding love the traditional way is possible. It takes time, prayer, and work (you have to work on yourself first after all) but will they believe it?
3. Black Girl in America
This one is close to my heart. I think we need to work to create a positive image of black women in America; unfortunately we are not there yet. I don't want my girls to feel as black women that they must fit one of the many negative stereotypes, but rather that they define what being a powerful, positive black woman is.
I love motherhood, it is my greatest achievement, but it is a terrifying thought to raise my own teenage girls. They are young, so I am still wonder woman in their eyes.
Now, I just need to keep it that way.