When we become mothers, there is a switch in our brains that is triggered and can never be shut off. It’s the piece in our mind that tells us our children are special, they are unique, and they can do anything. Where before we might have seen a world of endless limits and closed doors, we now see endless possibilities and exciting opportunities.
When I became a mother, the same happened to me. Songs like “I Hope You Dance” and “My Wish” became meaningful and would move me to tears. Our wants for our children are numerous, and since the day my first daughter was born, my wants for her, followed by those for my second daughter, have filled my head and heart. As the girls have grown and their interactions with the world have changed, I have come to realize that the emotions I feel about my wants for them are not just tied to my love for them and belief in their abilities but also because I know the road for them will not always be easy. The words they hear will not always be from me, and they will enter a world where implicit assumptions about their gender and what that means for them still exist. So aside from my wants for them to conquer the world, there are some very fundamental ideas I need them to embrace.
You are valuable.
Your worth is tied to no one. It comes inherently, and you build upon it through your morals, your own values, and your interactions with others.
You are no less than anyone. There is nothing characteristic of you that puts you below others.
Your body is your own. Treat it well. Have pride in it, but don’t rely on it for your self-worth. Be selective of the others you share it with and know without a doubt that no one has any claim over it.
You are powerful.
You have the ability to learn, to treat others well, and to reach all of your goals. You might fall down at times, but that will never diminish your ability to be powerful in your own world and in your community.
You control the direction of your life. Spend time learning who you are and the fundamentals you hold most dear. When others’ do not align with those beliefs, know that you hold the ability to choose how you interact with them.
You are deserving of every chance to pursue your own dreams.
You are the keeper of your ability. Others’ words, ideas, and criticisms are their own. Let no one’s stereotypes define you, your talents, or your abilities.
The world and its characters will shout, whisper, and presuppose your worth, your ability, and your purpose. We don’t yet live in a world of equality, but this doesn’t mean you aren’t equal. My greatest want is for you to be more sure of that than they are.