The moment it was time for me to put my infant daughter in the car seat to take her home from the hospital, I began to cry. It wasn’t a soft cry, it was an ugly hysterical cry. I was terrified to take this tiny human into the cruel, challenging world. Looking at her tiny body in that big seat that was made to protect her, I felt helpless. I wanted to wrap my body around that seat the entire car ride home as I realized it wasn’t just her tiny body that I needed to protect – it was also her mental well-being.
- Body image – I had bought her a bikini swimming suit because she was born in June and I thought it to be cute. But that moment in the car I realized the swim suit was not cute and that it was a way to sexualize her body. I made the decision that neither she nor I was going to conform to such beauty standards.
- Confidence – I thought of all my shortcomings and fears and I wanted to protect her from such experiences. I wanted for her to be comfortable in her skin, to be assertive in every aspect of her life.
- Sex – I realized that for only so long could I protect her from learning, talking, thinking, and having sex. Teaching her self-respect became a top priority in the way I chose to parent.
Overall, I was scared shitless to have this tiny baby girl when women are perceived as weak and vulnerable. I knew on that car ride home that my feminist background was going to be an important tool to raising not just a strong, successful woman, but also a socially responsible woman.