The battle against girl drama

Hurt that’s not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows
When you’re trying hard to be your best
Could you be a little less

Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
What it feels like for a girl

Strong inside but you don’t know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak …”What it feels like for a girl,” Madonna

During the early weeks of my pregnancy, I was convinced my baby was a boy. I immediately began referring to “him.” When I went for my ultrasound, I saw my baby’s face but not gender. My baby kicked and rolled quite actively.  While at work a few weeks later, I received the phone call revealing my child’s gender. She was a girl. I sat at on my desk and wept for several minutes. I wept with joy, fear, and sadness.  I would be parenting a girl.

I call them girl mommy woes. I know parenting is tough work and can sometimes be emotionally exhausting, whether you’re a mother or father, whether you’re raising daughters or sons. As a woman, I struggle with raising my daughter to face the challenges in dealing with other girls.

The infamous holiday talent show from _Mean Girls_ 
“Girl drama” is a problematic term for me. I know it’s real and yet I wish it wasn’t. Those struggles hurt M and they hurt me.  I find myself talking about other girls and women with vicious judgment and even rage. Rambo helps to balance out those moments. Though he is quick to communicate with teachers if he senses any pattern of bullying against M or other girls in her class, he also reminds me that M has the power to respond(or not) to these situations.  Me ha costado mucho trabajo, I have worked my tail off to calm down, breathe, and not let M see how angry these situations make me.

What my daughter is experiencing isn’t anything unique.  Almost all women have faced and continue to face gossip, exclusion, and verbal harassment. It’s especially difficult when your closest friends are involved. That’s what hurts M the most, when her “besties” opt to leave her out of activities or make mean comments to her. Like many women have and do, M has to contend with the mean girls. Earlier this week, M wore a pair of sky blue short shorts to practice. I had initially purchased them for her use at dance, specifically for the dance convention workshops she will soon attend. Rambo and I have complained about the hemline time and time again pero mija es muy hardheaded (wonder where she gets that?).  She has worn these shorts to practice at least three times with no negative feedback from either coach.  One of her friends proceeded to tell her in a rude voice, “You shouldn’t be wearing those because you’re going to get kidnapped.” The girl then added, “Everyone can see your butt.” Two other friends, including one of M’s closer friends, chimed in with “you look naked. You’re naked.”  M chose to move elsewhere in the practice formation and near three friends who seldom or never get involved in altercations.  M didn’t cry until she was safely in my car on the way to dance class. I reassured her that she had done the right thing and I offered other options such as informing the coach and letting the girls know she did not like their comments.  By the next day, those same girls were being nice and sought out M during meals and recess.  M shrugged it off by observing “they are not my bffs” and that “they need to stay in their lane.” She also pointed out that she knows which friends are truly best for her.  
Mean Girls antidote: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 

M is 7.  What will be like when she is 11? 13? 16? I admire M’s strength, her confidence, even that hard-headedness that frustrates me at times.  I’m no longer in control of the people spends her time with and definitely not in control how she interacts with them. I know these issues will continue over the years; shoot, I still deal with this kind of nonsense at work (grown women upset over Halloween costumes!) 

50s gals; apparently this group costume theme caused a negative reaction

I will continue to provide M with opportunities to be part of positive communities such as her dance studio, with SambaFunk, and with our extended family of lifelong friends.  

Dance sister silliness 

Rambo and I will offer advice on how to be proactive when dealing with interpersonal challenges. I will continue to check myself, to not let my anger and resentment over my own girl drama scars hurt my daughter unnecessarily

One thought on “The battle against girl drama

  1. Pingback: Ladybug among bees | Mujer Evolving

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