As I’m writing this, you are in the daycare, probably playing with your friends, especially R. And definitely happy. I feel so content when I realise that you enjoy your time there. The mom guilt subsides a little when the choice I made for you seems to be a right one. But that’s not what I want to write to you about today, is it? Today, I want to tell you that being a girl is great. And I want to make a promise to you, gift you an assurance. So, keep reading, munchkin.
“Life surprises every one of us as we grow older. And it will surprise you too.”
As you grow up, dear M, you’ll learn and observe a lot of new things. One of those will probably be how the society usually has a different set of expectations from girls and boys. Gender roles and expectations we call it these days. Granted things are changing, have been changing and have changed. The lines are blurring, have blurred, will blur even more and such. But the shift, my darling, is slow, too slow for comfort really if you ask me. So, when you grow up to find that there are a set of dos and don’ts based on gender which differ for you and your classmate who is a boy, then I want you to come back to this letter. And I want you to always remember that being a girl is great. Of course, I know you’ll have questions and doubts. So, maybe this will help you a little, make it easier to comprehend and move forward.
But let’s back up a little to give you some context.
One of the greatest gifts that were given to me by your grandparents was of not raising me to fit into the ‘role’ of a ‘girl’ as defined by society. For example, I was never taught that my destiny was to get married and keep house. Of course, I eventually did do those things like marry. And as you would have seen how neurotically I manage our house too but because of them, I knew it was not the all of my existence. Because of them, I could choose to do it the way I wanted to when I wanted to. I was, am and will always be more, much more than that. They taught me that. They gave me that. And that’s why I promise you that you will have the same environment to grow up in. You will never be raised to believe that you are supposed to live a certain way, grow up a certain way or compromise on account of your gender. You will be taught that your gender is not your limitation or obstacle.
Being a girl is great.
You will have the gift of choice, M, the opportunity to choose for yourself. You will never be forced to learn cooking because you are a girl. I will never push you to enter the kitchen because someday in the future, you might need to cook for your family. You will cook because you want to and when you want to. It is a life skill that will help you when you live alone so you can learn that when the time comes. But I promise you that you will never be told that your ultimate goal in life is to get married, cook and have kids.
When you grow up to find that there are a set of dos and don’ts based on gender which differ for you and your classmate who is a boy, then I want you to come back to this letter.
I want you to remember that the universe is your canvas. You can do and be what you want to be without having anything pulling you back. You don’t have to pull back on your desires or aspirations either because of your gender. I promise you that I’ll try my best to tell you this and show by my actions whenever I can. Because M, you are a girl and that’s wonderful. Being a girl is wonderful. It’s a gift and not a defect or a shortcoming.
I promise to give you the opportunity to a life of your choice. I will never take away your choice because you are a girl. I will, of course, admonish you if you do something wrong which you will. I also know that we will even have heated discussions and arguments on several occasions when our thoughts don’t coincide. But that’s my promise to you too that you will always have an opportunity to make a case for your choice. Bottomline is you will always have an freedom to make a choice. You’ll not be raised any different because you are a girl. You will never have to live by the terms set by some archaic sections of society because of your gender.
Dear Daughter, you are a girl and that's wonderful. It's a gift and not a defect or a shortcoming. #Girl #LikeAGirl Click To Tweet
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