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'I don't want my little girl to be like me': Brittany Hoskins' biggest fears about raising a daughter

By Brittany Hoskins|

When I thought about my future family, I'd always pictured two boys C ideally twins, one pregnancy, done and dusted, thanks for coming.

So when my husband and I opened an email from our obstetrician exclaiming "it's a girl!" my reaction, honestly, was fear.?

And before I get into the nitty gritty of why, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge that raising a child, whether it's a boy, girl, non-binary, is tough C and a lot of what I'm afraid of probably applies to all children.

But for the sake of this piece, I'm speaking personally about my experience as a woman and as a daughter.?

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9News reporter Brittany Hoskins with her daughter.
9News reporter Brittany Hoskins with her daughter. (Photo credit: Liam Paget)

Anyway, back to it.?I was fearful because I don't want my little girl to be like me. To inherit my insecurities. My anxiety. My depression.?

My mum felt the same.?

A woman who has battled body image issues her entire life, she went out of her way to tell my sister and I how beautiful we were, how worthy. And yet, she never told herself this. So while she encouraged self love, she didn't exemplify it C and as they say, monkey see, monkey do.?

"How do I explain to my little girl that she's been born into a world where she can't win?"

Now, at almost 31, I'm still learning to love myself.

How could I possibly teach someone to do something I don't know how to do?!

My biggest wish is for my daughter to be confident in all aspects of life, to never doubt herself the way I do everyday and I worry my words won't be enough, that she'll look at my actions and see through my front.?

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Brittany Hoskins as a child with her mother and sister.
"Mum went out of her way to tell my sister and I how beautiful we were, how worthy. And yet, she never told herself this." (Supplied)

Beyond that, I know first-hand how hurtful others can be, especially if you're already battling insecurity and struggle to shake it off.?

Growing up, we're told 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' C only, they do and sometimes they scar.

I'm a grown-ass woman and I'm still haunted by remarks made to me in school; in fact, some have probably shaped the person I am today, reiterated my negative self-talk. I don't want that for her.?

It's a fact of society that she will be judged more harshly than her male counterparts.

I've been told I'm ugly without makeup, that I wear too much makeup. I've been told I need to wear pants in order to be taken seriously.

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Brittany before she had her teeth 'fixed'.
Hoskins before she had her teeth 'fixed'. (Supplied)

We're constantly compared to other women. I once had a female 'friend' pull up a picture of me and another girl and point out how perfect that girl's teeth were and how imperfect mine were (my teeth have since been 'fixed' as a result of this conversation).

People aren't afraid to point out a woman's flaws. Too skinny, too fat. Too "fake". We're judged for ageing, then judged for having work done to reverse it.

How do I explain to my little girl that she's been born into a world where she can't win?More importantly, how do I raise her so it doesn't bother her the way it's bothered me??

"Deep down I know, no matter what, there are simply some things I can't protect her from."?

To top it all off, I'm terrified of social media and its potential impact. It wasn't a part of my childhood, not really. It started taking off while I was in high school, but if I wanted to log on it had to be on my parents' computer.

Sure, you can monitor or restrict your child's usage, it's still there though and it adds another layer of difficulty in raising a daughter or any child for that matter.

Brittany Hoskins with her youngest on Christmas Day morning.
"I suppose all I can really do is try to be the best version of myself for my daughter. Be there for her, listen to her." (Supplied)

It won't be easy, it's going to be a long, hard road, and perhaps the biggest reason I'm scared shitless is because I know what it's like to hurt, to feel less than worthy, to be bullied, to be a woman in a man's world and deep down I know, no matter what, there are simply some things I can't protect her from.?

I suppose all I can really do is try to be the best version of myself for my daughter. Be there for her, listen to her.

Encourage her to believe in herself. Believe in myself as a mother. Allow her to make mistakes and show her unconditional love. Be a safe space for when she's faced with any of the above and maybe together we can crack the code of self-love.

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