Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Biggest Fear in Raising a Boy

Even though I have more experience raising and being around boys, I feel infinitely less prepared to handle this than I did when I thought I was having a girl. To some extent, I am afraid of having a boy.

So what am I going to do? Even admitting this will make some people raise their eyebrows and mutter "ungrateful." But being judged isn't making them go away. It just makes me feel belittled. For now, I can put aside most of my fears. A lot of them are petty, and I may not have to deal with them at all, so worrying about them now is silly. But there is one fear that nags at me.

I worry that he will make me feel stupid.

Ever since I was little, men have been putting me down and making me feel inferior. Male teachers made jokes at my expense when I didn't understand material. Male friends enjoy humiliating me for a laugh. Even men in my family, including a nephew who used to adore me, tend to use that incredulous voice when they talk to me - the one that plainly indicates that they can't believe they're talking to such an idiot.

I can't even convince myself that he wouldn't do that to his mommy. I know just as many boys who think their moms are idiots as I do boys who think their moms hung the moon. My odds are not good. If friends and family already think I'm stupid, he's going to pick up on it. If he ridicules me and anyone laughs at it, his behavior will be reinforced. Then what do I do? Once it starts, if it starts, how do I stop it?

And how do I stop feeling like this? Feeling like I need to be guarded against a baby now because of how he might behave when he gets older?

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