Let’s face it, being female is hard work. Although, there are so many positives that come with it (like the ability to have babies), there is also the pressure to be perfect. And raising little girls in a society obsessed with body image and looks can be difficult to say the least.
So, to all mums, daughters and grandmothers out there, this is for you. These are the lessons we need to pass on to our daughters, to ensure they remain happy, healthy, caring and confident in the many years ahead.
Do what you love, not what society expects
Wear rain boots with swimmers. Play race cars. Colour your hair blue. And, as you get older, keep this same mentality. Sure, gender stereotypes exist and they always will, but the difference now is that you don’t need to follow them. You can choose to stay home and have babies or you can choose to become a tradesperson and still have babies. Or cats. Or dogs. Or parrots. Or anything you want.
If it’s what you want to do and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then it’s the right decision.
Never doubt your strength
Even when people try to shut you down, which they will because some people are simply not nice, just keep going. There may be people out there who are smarter, prettier and better at something, but it isn’t their journeys you are on. Focus on your path and don’t base your self-worth on the opinion of others.
Every single body is beautiful
There is no such thing as the perfect body even though society suggests there is. Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes – some cuddly, some lanky – and so do grown-ups. Sure, it’s okay to want to look your best, but just remember a beautiful heart is more attractive than a pretty face.
Look for the positives in every situation
Try to find something good in every situation. Even the really bad days can teach you something, can help you grow, can make you stronger and wiser.
Splurge on the things you love
Especially shoes. You can never have too many shoes.
Trust your instinct
I am a firm believer that there is nothing stronger than a woman’s instinct. Go with your gut. It is rarely wrong.
Value all opinions (even when different from yours)
Even if you don’t believe them. Try to understand them. Accept them. And respect the right for everyone to have an opinion, even if it varies from yours.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Without failure, you cannot move forward. And without failure, you cannot learn. Failure is invaluable, even though it can hurt. These life lessons may not be pleasant, but they shape who you are.
Focus on your health, not your clothes size.
Exercise because you enjoy it, not because you want it to make you skinny. Choose clothes because you love them, not because of the way you think they make you look. Eat foods because they taste delicious and give you fuel, not because it’s what the latest fad diet or celebrity endorses.
And, finally, no matter what, just remember to be yourself.
Because, you’re awesome.
I’m sure there are countless mums out there, who are raising spunky little girls. Mums who, like me, have a strong, smart, cheeky daughter that brightens each and every day And, like me, I’m sure there are countless other mums out there who learned these lessons from their own mums.
So, to my own daughter and to all the daughters out there, remember these lessons, now and forever. And, to my own mum and all other Nannas, Nonas, Omas, Grandmas, and Babas out there, thank you for teaching these lessons to us and for helping us pass them down to the next generation.