I don't reflect often enough, I don't think, about just what it means to be raising girls. I don't have time for a lot of things, because I am occupied with raising them and life and stuff, but it's worth taking a moment today on International Women's Day to think about what that means. Glass ceilings, birth control, suffragettes, housewives, pant suits, sermons about, "you can be anything!" There is a history of which we are a part.
I like to imagine my daughters as limitless. They can be CEOs, power houses, badass mamma mammas who don't take no for an answer. To me, though, feminism in 2015 looks a little different than Sheryl Sandberg high-fiving Hilary Clinton. To me, it is about choices.
I stay home with my girls. I am a housewife, or a 'homemaker' as I clarify on my income tax forms. I bake bread from scratch, have a hot meal ready for my husband when he comes home from work. I keep my body healthy and in shape. I have a professional degree, but I don't use it on a M-F 9-5 basis. It all sounds very 1950. But this is 2015. I chose this.
I chose to forgo an immediate jump into a career, because I had a choice to start a marriage and family. I chose to stay home and raise these girls because my husband's job supports this lifestyle, and we make it work where sacrifices are necessary. My female ancestors worked hard so that I may be free to make these choices. Rich and I get to negotiate what's important and then make those things real.
My girls have what it takes to do anything they want. This includes the freedom to assert what they want, to explore and discover what they want. My girls are free to grow into women who do what satisfies their search for purpose and meaning. I teach them this by showing them how.
I bought my girls a bouquet of roses today at the grocery store. They took turns smelling the blooms, and we all marvelled at their colour while we ate at the table, surrounding the vase in the centre. I told them I loved them, that they made me so happy, and that they are all so special. Worthy of a surprise bouquet of roses.