The Princess

If you asked me before marriage how many children I wanted, I envisioned a life with 4 boys.  I am not sure why I thought that would be a good combination for myself but it’s something I internally told myself.

When I got pregnant with my second child I knew right away in my heart she was a girl.  And, although, most mothers tell me it is good to have a girl in the house I am not sure I really felt that way even though, I am a girl. Go figure!

Perhaps, it’s the fact that I have come to accept myself as I am – and I am not your ordinary princess. And, I’ll admit I get a little freaked out by the whole princess idea.

As the day drew closer and closer that she would enter into the world, I internally panicked.  I struggled deeply with my feelings that I had towards my first son. I couldn’t imagine how it was possible for me to love another human being as much as I loved my son.  There was no way in the world I would be able to love my daughter in the same capacity – I just didn’t get it.  I expressed that feeling to my mom; who laughed and said that she couldn’t understand how I felt that way.   But, I know my mom and she is one amazing woman and I guess when she was younger all she wanted was to get married and have kids (6 of them) but that changed.

So then, my daughter was born.  And instead of fear taking over love consumed me; it was like she was always here.  So much so, that my husband dubbed her my favorite child.  It wasn’t that she was my favorite but I just wanted to make sure that every moment I missed with my son I would try to do make up with her. But, how?

The simple truth is that she is a girl and my son is a boy – One is my first child and one is my second.  That’s just the nature of things.   And once you become a parent it’s very easy to see that there is some truth in the fact about the nature of things…

Perhaps, Men really do come from Mars and Women come from Venus.  It’s quite apparent to me as a mom that we are two totally different species in the same human family.

The truth of the matter is that if we start to look at life as a progressive journey we can drop the labels and realize that just because you are a beautiful princess doesn’t mean that you will have a fairy tale life.

Life takes on a whole new meaning when you get married and have children, in my personal opinion we don’t do a good job at preparing each other for taking on this task.  Perhaps my point is proven by the significant decline in marriage rates? or the rejection of the idea completely by the younger generation?  But, I think that’s sad – especially since I want my children to be happy and it’s proven that people who are married have a higher chance of achieving happiness.

Of course, not all marriages are happy.  But, perhaps that has to do with something a friend once told me; marriage is like a watermelon, you never know what you are going to get until you open it?  I think people are that way.  We all like to show up for people – that’s human nature – but what’s also human nature is that we hide our most vulnerable side because each of us are all very much human and very much flawed; every single one of us.

It’s odd – but we know it’s the truth. Over time we are shown that the nice guy proves he isn’t always nice, the good guy proves he isn’t always good; the good girl isn’t always good and the bad girl isn’t always bad, the beautiful girl isn’t always beautiful and prince charming isn’t always so charming. I’m sure there are a million examples.

These subtle human flaws are only revealed in the intimate setting of a marriage that delicately balance the lives of the children that are between them, if any at all.  This balance is what forces us to look at ourselves more carefully, especially given the fact we are merging two lives together, and all of us want to be happy.

My daughter is a beautiful human being – she has all the qualities I admire.  And there is nothing more that I want in Life than for my daughter to remain a princess; but a real princess. And, a princess must stand on her OWN; as Oprah believes. And, this means that she must search and learn who she is. My hope is that she will let me help her figure that out before it’s too late.

You may not find it in a medical textbook, but many young girls suffer from Princess Syndrome (PS) daily. What is Princess Syndrome, you ask? A girl who suffers from PS lives life as a fairy-tale: focusing only on the pretty things, putting herself as the center of the universe, and obsessing about her looks (even if she’s only headed to the playground). While this can be fun and whimsical when a girl is a toddler, it can also set the tone for how she develops into a young woman, influencing her self-esteem, her dependence on others, how she takes care of herself and how empowered she feels in her life.

I think Katy Perry said it best at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Personally, I don’t think we gave her enough credit for the strength it took to be able to divorce publicly; but then, to go and sing about her feelings on National television??… Wow – Bravo – Ms. Perry – I heard you loud and clear.

My mom told me once that she thinks that women come together with their husbands to fulfill a part of themselves. I think that this is true.  Of course not for all, but as you take the journey down the path of motherhood – I am sure that the feelings that we struggle with are universal. In my opinion, the fact that it has taken Jane Fonda 73 years to come to this realization and talk to us publicly is a little too long for me to wait to share this knowledge with my daughter.

Parents often have the misconception that their daughters can avoid being affected by the messages they are receiving. Unfortunately, as well intentioned as this idea is, it takes an incredible amount of self-confidence and self-awareness to avoid being seduced by these messages. Advertising is incredibly powerful and impacts all of us at all ages.

Adults need to be aware of the potential long-term impact super-competitive, beauty-driven pursuits can have on a young girl’s psyche.  The take home message for society is that natural beauty or brains aren’t enough to “make it.”

It’s not the idea of a Princess falling in love that rubs me the wrong way, it’s the priority the we have given to it.

Give me a powerful “princess” who uses her influence to protect and advocate for those who have no power. Give me a caring “princess” who uses what she has to make the world a better place. And if she knows which fork to use when, and can graciously take a compliment?

All the better.

So to my daughter – may you stay true to yourself and to your heart.  Get to know yourself and enjoy the journey we all call Life.

Live and Learn. We All Do.

Thanks for reading.  Please pass this on to someone who means something to you.

About julia29

Hi. My name is Julia El-Haj. I am a Hall of Fame Athlete, an MBA, Professional Certified Marketer, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, a Specialist in Sports Nutrition and a licensed Real Estate agent. I gave up my "seat at the table" to be home with my 3 children because that's where I was needed most. I blog about everything with Wellness in mind.
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