I am raising two small people. One boy. One girl. It had never crossed my mind that I would face different challenges because of their sex. I never understood the importance of raising a daughter to understand her power and value in a society that uses Women however it sees fit.
In all honesty, I’m terrified of raising a daughter. There’s so much I want her to know. I want her to believe it. I want her to believe in herself.
To my Daughter…
1. You are Unique
Every milometre of you is unique. You were designed using the best bits of me and Dad. Your big round eyes are full of knowledge and they sparkle when you smile. Your little turned up nose is just like mine and your brother’s, but it wrinkles when you giggle. You’ve got Daddy’s top lip and Mummy’s bottom lip and they blabber away telling stories in a language only you can understand. You have a birthmark between your eyes and on the back if your neck. It turns red and warns me when you’re sick. Your body is so clever. You’ll probably hate your sticky out ears when you’re older, but I love them. They are an ode to your Daddy’s family and they make you look a bit like uncle Mark. One of them curls over, just like your Dad’s and your brother’s. You exude wisdom. You are wise beyond your years. You are strong tempered and strong willed but you have an innate mellowness about you. Your hands and your feet are massive. I’m concerned that in the future, you may struggle to find shoes.
You will not be to everyone’s taste. You will be too loud, too quiet, too opionated, too mellow. But that’s OK. It’s more than OK. You will make friends who appreciate your differences. You will meet a partner who loves your strength and determination as well as your big round eyes and the wrinkle on your nose.
Don’t change yourself. Don’t ever change yourself. You are perfect just the way you are. Look after your body. It will be with you for a very long time. Be kind to it. Don’t let anyone take advantage of it. It’s yours. It’s precious. No one has the right to tell you what to do with your body. Love your body the way it deserves to be loved. Remember. You are unique. One of a kind.
2. You can be whatever the fuck you want to be.
You have the power, the strength and the support to do whatever makes you happy.
You can be a dancer, a doctor, an artist, a cleaner, a truck driver, a teacher, an acrobat (but you should probably steer clear of retail, take it from me and Dad). You are not defined by your career.
You can be gay, straight, transgender, asexual, polyamorous. You are not defined by your gender or sexuality.
Whoever you are and whatever you do just make sure you really really give it everything you’ve got. That’s the only way to make shit happen. That’s the only way to be happy. Don’t be half arsed. It’s a waste of time.
Know that money does not bring happiness. Passion brings happiness. Find something you love and you will be happy. Life is beautiful and life is short. Life is here to be lived. Me and Dad only had this realisation after you and your brother were born. Don’t waste a second.
Trust your gut. Trust yourself. And trust us. You can come to us with anything. Always know that we are here and we love you. We created you. Our wish is for you to be happy. And if anyone has anything to say abut your choices, fuck them. Fuck Everyone.
3. You are not a Princess (or a Prinny or a Prin) you are a god damn Warrior.
And you should be treated as such. Both Men and Women should respect you. Your future partner, boss, colleagues, friends should give you the respect you deserve. Princesses are locked in towers, treated like fearful animals and ‘saved’ by a handsome Prince. Fuck. That. You will not need saving by anyone. You came into this world an immense force, kicking and screaming and demanding to be heard. I hope you continue to do this throughout your life. You are not the weaker sex. Don’t ever be treated as such. You are a Warrior. You are a Woman.
4. Don’t be who they want you to be.
They are all around you. Our society is filled with stereotypes and ideals. The media will have you believe you have to look and act a certain way to be the perfect Woman. Don’t believe them. It will be difficult. There will be propaganda everywhere. But understand it for what it is. Just that. Propaganda. You are not a sheep. You are not a follower. You will create your own sense of self. You will make your own rules.
“I always loved that you marched to the beat of your own drum, even as a child. You have the ability to talk to anyone without fear and never make any apologies for who you are. I have always admired that about you and wished I could have had that strength when I was younger.” Kim, my Mum, 2006, a year before she died.
5. Don’t rush.
Don’t rush to grow up. Don’t wish your years away. There will be plenty of time for romance. Plenty of time for partying. Plenty of time for make-up and short skirts (if that’s what you’re into). Don’t make yourself older. People take advantage of disguised youth.
Enjoy your days. Play in the mud. Play with your dolls. Play with cars, trains, boats, fairy princesses. Play with your brother. Keep annoying him. Chase him and follow him around. One day you’ll stop wishing you were older and realise how fast the time went. Be a kid.
Be true to yourself. Always.
I love you for everything that you are. Everything that you have taught me. And everything that you will be. You are and always will be a force in this world, little Woman.
You make me a better Woman.
And I am so proud to be your Mother.