The Real Reason Why I Never Wanted A Daughter

The Real Reason Why I Never Wanted A Daughter | KeatingBartlett.com

Today we’re getting real around here. These past couple days have been a little rough around here and honestly, I’m having a bit of a hard time right now. A couple of years ago, I shared a post on removing negative people from your life. At the time, my parents were finalizing their divorce after two years of nonstop court dates and a whole lot of family drama. And in that time, my relationship with my mom quickly became nonexistent.

A little bit of a back story here: growing up, it was my dad that I didn’t have the greatest relationship with. My mom always told me it was because our personalities were too similar and now that I’m older, I see where she got that from. The two of us have worked hard over the years to rebuild our relationship and get it to where it is today. Now, my dad is easily one of my best friends. I go to him for anything and everything and I couldn’t even imagine not having that relationship with him.

My mom was the opposite. I was very close with my mom growing up. To the point where our household felt pretty divided at times with me and my mom on one side and my dad and sisters on the other. She was my go to person for just about everything. She always had my back when I needed her to. If I needed someone to talk to, she was there. But these days, our relationship looks nothing like that.

As you get older, you start to see people for who they really are. You’re not as easily influenced and persuaded like you are as a child. And the older I got, the more issues I saw with my mom and our relationship and even with my parents marriage. After a while, the relationship I had with her became toxic and nine times out of ten, I found myself stressing out over the things she said and did. By the time my parents separated in 2013, I was just about done with trying to keep a relationship with her.

At that same time, I was also quickly falling in love with Zack and went on to marry him later that year. After spending more time with him and his family, I gained the courage to cut ties with my mom altogether. Zack had become such a positive influence in my life that I too wanted to surround myself with nothing but positivity. So some cuts had to be made (I did this with friends as well and still to this day continue to do this).

So my mom and I stopped talking for about two and a half years and in that time, I felt better than ever. So stress-free and calmer. I was better able to focus on my own health and my life goals and my marriage. I completed two college degrees in that time, started grad school, celebrated three years of marriage, moved cross-country, started my career, and improved my mental and physical health more than I ever could have imagined. I felt amazing and it was all because I started to take my social circle more seriously.

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So how does all of this relate to why I never wanted a daughter? Well because of the negative effects my mom’s presence had on my life and the way our relationship had developed over the years, was enough to make me determined to have sons. And yesterday, I was quickly reminded why I had been desperately hoping for a boy when we found out we were having a baby.

When I found out I was pregnant, I decided to open up the door to potentially rebuilding my relationship with my mom. Nothing too extreme, but I wanted to take baby steps. I’d send her photos of the baby and keep her updated on how our baby appointments went. I’d send her some of my bumpdate photos as well to keep her in the loop a bit more. She had her moments here and there where I’d have to stop talking to her or limit our contact for a bit, but for the most part, it honestly wasn’t too bad. I even debated on possibly allowing her to occasionally be present in our daughters life.

Then I had a very rough conversation with her last week which resulted in me taking another step back to reevaluate the relationship. And then sh*t hit the fan yesterday. It was a never-ending stream of texts to tell me how horrible of a daughter I was/am. Telling me I’m going nowhere in life and how I’m a disappointment to her. Bashing my dad for his “poor parenting” and even bashing my husband and his job and anything else she could think of to complain about. And it all came out of nowhere.

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This was why I never wanted a daughter

Reading those texts hurt. A lot (not to mention they were completely insane and inaccurate as well). And it’s not the first time I’ve received texts like that from her either. It’s appalling to me that someone would speak that way to anyone let alone their own daughter. You have to be a really sh*tty human being to bash your own child like that. And to drag my husband and our unborn daughter into it was a whole new level of mean. To tell me I’ll be a crappy parent is horrible. To wish my unborn child anything but a happy life and good health is cruel. And to think she calls herself a parent is completely insane to me.

This was why I never wanted a daughter. I hear the way she speaks to me and see the way she treats me and the last thing I want is to have that same kind of relationship with my own daughter. I couldn’t imagine ever treating my child that way or speaking to her in that manner. I couldn’t imagine getting joy out of tearing her down rather than doing everything I can to build her up. I couldn’t imagine never being able to meet my grandchildren because my daughter hates me. Never being able to see or speak to her because we just can’t set aside our differences.

This toxic relationship is why I never wanted a daughter. And now here I am just three weeks away from being the mom of a little girl and I’m flat-out terrified. Becoming a mom is stressful and scary in itself. But to sit here worrying about what the future holds for my relationship with her makes it even worse.

I want to be that mom who dresses her up in “embarrassing” matching outfits for our weekly Target and Starbucks run. I want to be that mom who can’t stop bragging about how amazing and beautiful her daughter is. I want to be that mom who’s there for her whenever she needs me. I want to be the one person she can go to for anything and everything life throws at her. I want to be in the front row of every dance recital, sporting event, and graduation throughout her lifetime. I want to be the first person she tells when she gets engaged and the first one in the hospital when she has her first child.

While I never wanted a daughter, I’m trying to be optimistic about it. I want her to be surrounded positive and supportive individuals that all love and care about her and want what’s best for her. She’s not even here yet and yet she’s already so loved by so many amazing people. She’ll have two parents who are hardworking and love her more than anything. She’ll have two hilarious uncles and four crazy aunts. She’ll have two super loving grandmothers and three great-grandmothers who I know will all spoil her rotten. She’ll have one grandfather and two great-grandfathers. Someday she’ll have cousins to play with as well.

Seeing our little one in ultrasounds, hearing her heartbeat, and feeling her move has made me fall in love with her already. It’s those little moments that actually make pregnancy worth it. She’s ours. The most important thing in our lives. And regardless of what the future may hold, we plan to love her no matter what and give her the best life we can possibly give her. As scary as this journey is, I am so incredibly excited for her arrival and to start this chapter of our lives. I’m ready to be her mom.

Do you have issues with a difficult family member? How does that affect your parenting choices?

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  • Amanda

    Quite possibly the best thing you’ve written thus far. A lot of strength comes from pain, but some people try to put their pain on others. We will never know why they do it, and sometimes all we can do is walk away. I don’t know your mom, obviously. But I know you won’t be like her. You’ve got too much love in your heart for that.

  • You will be the exact kind of mom YOU want to be, no matter what your relationship with your own mom is. I’m a mom of two girls now, and I can tell you from experience your own little girl will only push you more into the person you want to be. You will want to be better for her. You are not destined to repeat the same relationship. You’re in control, and the fact that you are so aware already makes you an amazing mom.

    Being a girl mom is a beautiful thing. You will be amazing at it. Raise her with love and support from the people you cherish, and keep the negative out of your life. You can do it, mama! <3

  • Shannon Sams

    Relationships with parents are difficult at best, even though we as parents do the very best we can at the time, we can always look back and think, what if. Your child will feel loved and supported as long as those are the vibes that you are sending her way. Yes you will make mistakes as a parent, we all do, just learn from them and try not to make them again. I am sure you will be a fantastic mother.

  • Gram

    That was so brutally honest I am sure you cried your heart out while writing it. I did reading it. I could not have been so public with my life,

    You are going to be a GREAT Mom. You have so many examples to follow: Verna, Zack’s Mom, Jenna, Phyllis, your friends, maybe me a little bit and even your father who spent years being both Mom and Dad to you girls.

    You also have the example of what not to do. A mother who wants control and to be the center of attention can only wind up the loser in the end.

    Always remember Allison is a person who just happens to come to you in a very small size. Take care of her needs, teach her values – right from wrong, guide her, let her make discoveries and decisions and mistakes. Enjoy her as a person. One bit of warning, don’t overcompensate for your upbringing by being too lenient. Children not only need but want limits.

    I have seen you with children and you are great with them.

    I am very proud of the woman you are.

    Can’t wait to see you with your little girl. Enjoy her, I never got my little girl to spoil until you were born.

  • I’m sorry that your relationship with your mom has caused you so much heartache. The good news is, knowing how you don’t want to treat your daughter, will insure that you don’t treat her that way.

  • Oh girl, I wish I could hug you right now and tell you that everything is going to be okay. I know it’s scary, becoming a mom is scary enough but don’t you worry your pretty self over the kind of mom you’ll be. You are going to be nothing like your mom is to you. You don’t deserve that kind of relationships at all! I know you’ll rise above and be the most amazing mom ever because you know what it’s like to be on the crappy end of that and you would never ever cause your own daughter that kind of hurt.

    Sending lots of love to you and your sweet, perfect little family!

  • I’m so sorry for all that you’ve gone through in your relationship with your mom. I think it’s amazing that you opened up to your mom during pregnancy as much as and for as long as you were able to. It speaks a lot to your strength and character. I can’t imagine how a mother can treat her child that way and think it’s okay. But you are going to be a great mom. You already have such a beautiful vision of what kind of mom you want to be to your little girl. And, also important, you know what kind of behavior can be damaging to a child and to a mother/daughter relationship. Your daughter is so lucky to have you and all of the other people who already love her in her life.

  • Lisa McDermott

    I’m sorry for the heartache your mother has caused. No family is ever perfect, there’s always some flaws. My cousin I used to be super close to growing up and I don’t even speak anymore and haven’t for 16 years. Sometimes you just have to cut people off that are toxic and do what’s best for you and your family and your unborn baby girl <3

  • Crystal Rainey Turner

    I truly appreciate your honesty and completely understand where you’re coming from. You just have to keep telling yourself that you aren’t your mom, and your experiences won’t be your daughter’s. At least, that’s how I overcame my fear.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your relationship with your mom. That must have been so hard and hurtful to get those texts. You are very strong to be able to reevaluate and make cuts if needed. I think you’ll be a wonderful mother…in fact, it sounds as if you already are. Congratulations!

  • Somehow I can relate to your story, although my relationship with my parents isn’t that distant. It’s weird that everything you said makes sense and lot of people can relate to it, but it’s so sad in the meantime.

    Cristina | *janded

  • Madi Dodd

    You are going to be the best mother to that little girl, and I know its going to be so much better than you could imagine! You are going to give her everything you never had. I wish you all the best!
    http://raspberryscribbles.com

  • Jessica Rose

    I am so sorry you have had to go through this but it sounds to me you are prepared to be a great mother. I thought I only wanted boys because I wouldn’t be a good mommy to girls. Well, I have 2 girls and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  • Audrey Knizek

    While I’m only 21, I too have said that I never want daughters. Based off your post though, it sounds like you’ll be a wonderful mother to your little girl! You’ve seen what not to do when it comes to raising a daughter, now do the opposite! Let her know every day that she’s loved and enjoy your new baby 🙂

  • Michelle Bartlett

    Well my sweet girl, what I am hearing is that you never really feared having a girl so much as you feared having a a toxic relationship with your child. Your experience has been as a daughter so I can see how you would have related it that way. I also heard a ton about what kind of parent you want to be, strong, together, and present. That is half the battle right there! I have no doubt that you will go after the gold like you do with every goal you set for yourself!! Your pain has taught you about yourself and about which path you want your relationships to take…travel with your heart and you have nothing to fear ? Love love love you!!

  • I’m so mad for you that you’ve had to be hurt like that repeatedly. Life is so unfair and you don’t deserve any of that. I’m just so sorry. I can’t imagine that pain. Keating, you are going to love your daughter more than you can imagine. Motherhood is a constant up and down rollercoaster of emotions, but at the end of every day you’ll know that there’s a baby girl sleeping in her room who is all yours. You and Zack will be everything to her, and I hope and pray you two have a very, very special relationship. I’m praying for you in the weeks to come leading up to her birth and the crazy newborn stage to follow. You can do hard things! As I mom of two girls, I swear to you that this baby girl in your belly will be your pride and joy every day!

  • Amanda Lauren

    I can definitely relate to your story, I don’t have a relationship with my mother either. Don’t let that affect your relationship with your daughter. Your life doesn’t need to mirror hers – learn from all of her mistakes and become your own person! <3

  • Twin Pickle

    I understand your concerns, but you not need worry, you’ll do great 🙂

  • Jen

    I have difficult relationships with a few family members that have reminded me that I do not want to be like them. One thing you have to remember is that who they are DOES NOT define who you are. You are far better and you recognize that you do not want to have that type of relationship with your daughter and I can guarantee you that you will have the most remarkable relationship with her because of that. Your mother is missing out on everything because that is the decision that SHE made, it ultimately has nothing to do with you. You and Zack will raise this precious little girl to be strong, independent, loving, and kind. You are going to be a great Mom and don’t doubt that.

  • Marissa Jones

    It sounds like your mom may need a mental health eval mood changes of that extreme could be something that needs help

    • Ummm right?! Don’t you think we’ve mentioned this to her? haha but somehow I’M the one who needs to be admitted to a mental institute (according to her). She’s insane. I can’t even deal with it right now.