Every Flower Blooms In Its Own Time
There is so much going on in the world right now that leaves many of us confused and disappointed. My 12 year old daughter asked me a few nights ago why women are not treated equal to men, and I was left speechless, which is unusual given I am a writer and words usually flow so easily for me.
We live in a time now where we are more fortunate than we have ever been to be a woman, but that is easy for me to say when I live in a country where woman can vote, wear what we like, and have amazing careers. Yet still we can not earn what man can earn, we are still referred to as the weaker sex, and we are seen as sexy more than smart.
I tell my daughter that women are smart, brave, powerful, beautiful and strong, and we are, yet I can not count how many times I was touched inappropriately when I would go out with my friends to dance. How many remarks about my body I received every time I went out, or was at the beach. How many times growing up I was referred to as doll, and sexy, or how many comments my breasts received!!
For the most part I consider myself easy going, I never complained about little remarks, or made a fuss about comments about my body. Unless someone was overly inappropriate I was happy to just let it fly. But now as a mother of an almost teen I am staring to see the world differently.
Last week my daughter had her orientation day with her school friends to meet all the new students she would be in high school with next year. And as a mother this both made me immensely proud, happy and excited and also terrified. My little girl who was once scared to leave my arms is growing up and becoming a beautiful, amazing, strong, intelligent young woman. I am so proud of how far she has come. She has always been very bright with an immense thirst for knowledge, but she struggled with confidence and believing she is good enough. But slowly she is beginning to bloom, people who see her now, who haven’t seen her for many years can not believe the girl who would barely speak is now confidently giving speeches and performing on stage.
People questioned how I was raising her, and they made me doubt myself and my parenting. Was I not pushing her hard enough, was I offering too many hugs when she cried, was I not a good enough role model? But the truth is I was there in the background telling her she could do anything, that she was so clever and brave, that she was strong, funny and talented. I was there telling her that she was loved, and that she could go out into the world and know that there was always a soft place to come home to. She needed to bloom in her own time and she is.
Am I scared for her when I see what is happening in our world? Yes I am, I am terrified for all girls and even for boys, but even though there is not equality and there is turmoil and confusion in this world I have to let her grow. I have to keep telling her that she can achieve amazing things, that she is strong and smart and that she should be proud to be a young woman. I have to give her all I can to help her grow, and I also need to stand back a little and watch her continue to bloom on her own.
As parents, uncles, aunts, friends and grandparents we need to keep encouraging our youth to be brave, and to believe that they can make this world a better place. We need to light the way with love, compassion and tolerance, and we need to allow them the freedom to grow.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any advice as to what I should tell my daughter? What do you tell your children about equality?
Thank you so much for joining me xx