By Kathy Zucker • Monday, May 26, 2014
I never expected to have daughters. My husband’s family is predominantly male – 100% of the relatives born in his generation have the Y chromosome. So you can imagine my surprise when I went into my first ultrasound and had the technician tell me, “It’s a girl!” I kept asking if she was sure, and finally she showed me the hamburger.
So, that was pretty clear, although I had occasional thoughts throughout the pregnancy of, “What if the tech was wrong and a boy comes out?” The only way to be 100% sure of the gender is through genetic testing, and we didn’t do that, mainly because we are lazy. My doctor freaked out when he found out my husband has Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and kept shoving a testing order form at me at various points in the pregnancy, but we figured, what are the odds of both of us having the same recessive gene since I am Chinese-American? And the baby turned out fine, so I saved our health insurance several thousand dollars. Yes, you can applaud now.
Eighteen months after our first daughter was born, baby #2 arrived and big surprise, was a boy. We used the name we had chosen over a decade earlier since we were sure we would have a son. I figured I had my girl and should be grateful for her – my husband and I both felt like we got away with something by having a daughter.
And then I got pregnant again, and surprise of all surprises, it was another girl. In a flash, I went from expecting to spend my life in a male-dominant household to being the mother of daughters. I was so sure we would have boys that I painted the main kid room – occupied by my daughter – the color green in anticipation of moving my two sons in there to share a room once my daughter got old enough to need privacy. I could have painted that room pink like I wanted to, darn it.
I look at my beautiful daughters and my handsome little son (all three have modeling contracts so I think it’s okay to say that) and I have very different concerns for them. I worry about developing skills to help them get into college and be successful in life, but I also worry about dating. My husband has been talking about getting a shotgun since daughter #1 was a baby but since he is extremely deadly with a sword, we’ll probably stick with sharpened steel.
My alma mater, the college where my husband and I met, has made recent headlines for mishandling sexual assault. One of the women leading the charge is fencer Emma Sulkowicz. With studies showing that one in five women report being assaulted in college, you might say I am seriously concerned. I want my children to be successful in life. I want to help them find the opportunities to find the job areas that make them happy. I would really, really like for them to find strong life partners, get married and produce grandchildren, but if that’s not in the cards, then it’s not in the cards. But the #1 thing I want for them? Is to be safe. And right now, I don’t know if I can keep them safe as they go out into the world.
To find a prince, you have to kiss a lot of frogs. I once estimated that I dated 40 guys before I found my husband. I managed to make it through those 40 episodes relatively unscathed, but will my daughters be so lucky? Most assault is committed by someone you know. I can’t keep my daughters locked in their room forever, but the possibility of them getting hurt haunts me.
Kathy Zucker, CEO of Metro Moms Network and Managing Editor of Metro Moms Magazine, mother of three young children and New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award winner and judge, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. She blogs at MomCondoLiving.com, tweets @KathyZucker, posts pics on Instagram, gets down to business at LinkedIn, cracks jokes on Facebook and gets outdoors on Youtube. Email is Kathy@MetroMoms.Net but the fastest way to get in touch is Twitter or Facebook.