Reflecting on yesterday’s international women’s day, I thought about what it takes to raise strong women.
My list of strong and independent attributes will look very different from yours, and my idea of being a good parent will also differ greatly from yours. It is impossible to define exactly what it takes to raise strong women. However, coming from generations of strong women, I feel well equipped to tackle the task.
On my most crazy and hectic days I feel (at least one time throughout the day) that I am failing miserably as a parent. Some days I yell too much, other days I am too silly, some days when I slam my GOD-DAMN finger in the dryer door, I swear! I question my parenting approach and techniques, and I am constantly aware there is room for me to improve.
However, I try my hardest to be consistent about setting an example for my daughters, and I stay the course on two central attributes: (1) what it means to be strong and (2) what it means to be independent.
For me, being strong means being physically strong. I eat well, exercise, and take good care of my body. I want my daughters to understand a dress size does not create happiness, that being strong can help you be happy and that being comfortable with your body is a way to show strength. There is another facet of strength, emotional strength. Being strong emotionally makes you a resilient person. It helps you endure the hardships you face and to keep going when your life presents you with obstacles . With strength comes reliability. It is important to be accountable to those who count on you. Follow through, do what you say and say what you do.
For me, being independent means being true to yourself. It means doing the things in life that make you happy even if no one else is doing them! Be comfortable in your own skin, know what makes you happy and be able to provide it for yourself.
I know I can improve as a parent, and I will continue to set an example for my daughters. My pursuit of raising strong women with be a lifelong journey. But for today:
One daughter wore red to support women.
One daughter wore her Star Wars sweatshirt (because it’s her favorite, even though it is from the boy section).
One daughter drew a picture of the president of the newly discovered planets near Trappist-1!