arabella loves all the things i always wanted my daughter to love. and although i may seem like the kind of mother who made sure that she chose the things i wanted, i'm not. i have had very little influence, if any, on her deciding she's obsessed with princesses or pink, or nail polish or jewelery etc.. i mean, obviously she sees me use this stuff but when she has been into the things i despise (ie. baseball, yellow, dora, purple etc) i still tell her that its great that she loves those things. anyway, i've been thinking about all the things she loves, princesses and princes, her kitchen and all that entails, the baking, the cooking, wearing an apron. she loves talking about getting married and saying 'when i get married', and she loves taking care of her baby.... all this scares the shit out of me, to be honest. i'm not afraid i wont be able to teach her what i want to, but this just wakes me up and makes me realize i dont like the way its headed. luckily she's two, and i have a lot of time to move in other directions.
the point here is that i dont want to raise daughters who think they're role, or the things they should be excited about or enjoy are the traditional womens activities. i dont want them thinking they are supposed to love baking, sewing, or princesses. i dont want them thinking they are supposed to want a prince, that someone is EVER supposed to come rescue them, or that they are supposed to get married. i dont want them thinking they are supposed to have children. i want to teach them to love the things they love no matter what they are. if they get older and hate baking or cooking, god love them, i'll tell them to hire a chef when they grow up. if they hate princesses and want to be a soccer player, i'll tell them to bend it like bekham. (then i'll blush in embarrassment for myself). if they want to be single for the rest of their lives, i'll tell them to enjoy themselves and their friends. if they decide they love women, i'll tell them i'm proud of who they are. i want my daughters to understand that exactly who they are is beyond enough. they never have to get married or have children or do the things i've done or like the things i like. they are great just the way they are. i want them to think of marriage as something that is an option, something they can partake in if they choose, an added extra that they could certainly live without. not a necessity.
i might offend a thousand people right now, but i dont really care, it makes me furious that people, any people, think women should be mothers and wives, that we should cook and clean etc. i never want my daughters to end up housewives with children and thinking that's all they are. i get that some women like that that's all they are, and think its more fulfilling than anything else, but for me, if i end up with daughters who feel that way.... that will be the hard thing to deal with. i have to balance this extreme, because chances are they will get married and they will bake at some point, and i want to be happy if that's all they ever choose to do. but it makes me want to hide my sewing machine and teach them to be feminists.
the reason i want them to know marriage, sewing, baking, babies, are a choice, is because i didn't know. i mean i knew they were a choice, but i thought they were the obvious choice and any other would have been shameful. my mother didn't teach me how to be a good mother or a good housewife. she didn't teach me how to bake or sew, but something she instilled in me from a very young age was that i needed a man. i needed someone else to make me whole and i needed someone to rescue me. she taught me that i should learn to adapt and form around whoever this man might be that i will need in order to make him happy, therefore denying myself and letting me go. this is something i see in the church a lot, spoken about as a great thing. i see it as excruciatingly harmful.
most of the women that will be in their lives are women who either have gotten married, had kids and done nothing else... or women who have wanted that and didn't get it. i want more women in my daughters lives who have done no such thing and have no intention.
i know my daughters will look up to me and therefore might want to follow in my footsteps of marriage and children, if they are persistent i will have to love and support this choice. but i want them to know that this is NOT the only choice and any one of many options they choose could be the best for them. although i've already made the marriage and baby choice, i want to lead by example in other areas too. i want to show them that i am so much more than just this and i want more in my life than this, and thats not just acceptable, its great. i want them to see that seth and i dont need each other, we chose this and had we chosen differently we would be no less.
i want to learn how to give them a balanced view of marriage and children, and i'm not sure quite yet how that works but i am sure as hell not going to have little girls running around saying things like 'when i grow up and get married', or 'when i grow up and have babies' as if it is their only choice.