Today is Mother’s Day and last week it was International Women’s Day. Days when we celebrate the strong women in our lives. Since I became a mother to a daughter I have felt my parental responsibilities more acutely. Not just to her but also her brothers. They will learn from her and me about how to treat women. They can change attitudes and learn that equality just makes sense. Despite all this though my daughter has reminded me about the woman I am and what I want to be.
She is an equal
Her brothers are her equals. Little Miss understands that she’s different but she wants to do the things they do and play with what they do. Her first favourite toy was a one legged wrestler called “Dolly”. Why not I say. Her best friends at nursery are boys because to her they’re just play mates. She just looks for qualities she likes. Like who makes the best mud pies. She doesn’t differentiate between boys and girls yet and I hope she can hold on to that.
She is fierce
Little Miss is kind and compassionate too. Even before I let dolls in the house (I find them a bit creepy) she was mothering her teddies, changing their nappies and putting them to bed. But when she feels she has been wronged, then she is fierce. She stamps her foot and roars like a lioness. Every climbing frame is a challenge to get over, no matter how high. If her brothers are up there, then she is going too.
Since Little Miss came along I have found my roar. It isn’t in anger or frustration but in determination. Life muted my roar in recent years but seeing her resolve and her grit to be the same as them makes me brave. Granted her roars are also for other things I have said no to, like cereal for dinner or how it is inappropriate to strip from the waist down to ride the supermarket shopping trolley. But I guess we all need a cause. Although I hope that isn’t the kind of woman she wants to be.
She wears whatever the hell she wants
A tutu and wellington boots, the Dinosaur onsie on Fridays at nursery, or her super girl cape and mask for approximately six weeks, day and night. Little Miss has her own style. Pretty much anything goes. Princess Anna through the nature reserve welly wash, who cares about appropriate dress for any occasion.
Ok so I’m not going to work wearing a Spider-Man costume and a wrestling mask (yet), but I’m re-finding my love of clothes through her brave dress sense. Who cares what other people think, dressing up is fun especially when it is least expected. For Christmas I treated myself to a huge tulle skirt in electric blue. I mean every girl needs a party skirt.
She can be whatever she wants
Right now her world is about being whatever she wants. Pirate or princess, Doctor or fairy, superhero or ballet dancer, to her the world has no limits. I still doubt my ability to fully achieve my dreams. Being a grown up is littered with responsibilities and domestic chores. Little Miss has shown me that I can see through these things and make time again for my dreams. I can run again, transform my body into something strong, and paint pictures with my words that people want to read.
Whenever I feel as though life is throwing hurdles in my way, I think “what would Little Miss do?” I know that she would do. Choose a costume from the rail, pull on her welly boots, pick up her axe and shield and face it with a roar. A miniature Wonder Woman, and I’ll have her back. I want to show her that woman means strong. Strong willed, as physically strong as your body will allow and determined whatever life throws your way. That just because you are a woman you don’t have to be limited you just might have to fight for it.