What I’m teaching my daughters this International Women’s Day

If you happened to be on the internet this week, you probably couldn’t help but notice that on Wednesday it was International Women’s Day. It might seem odd, seeing as how I am a woman, but it’s never really been an event I’ve paid that much attention to.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who could tell me why I should care more, why I should be paying attention or why this does affect me. I have a whole other post planned about letting people choose for themselves what they care about. All I need to say for now I’ve never really given IWD that much thought.

Until now.

Yesterday, lots of people were sharing pictures, quotes and gifs showing what IWD meant to them. I saw two that really got my proverbial cogs turning.

The first said

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

Now, I already consider myself a “strong woman”. You couldn’t live through the things I have in the past few years without at least a smidge of inner strength. Yet am I passing that strength on to my two little girls? What am I doing to ensure that they grow up capable and prepared to deal with everything that life is bound to throw at them?

The second was from Emma Watson and goes:

“Young girls are told you have to be the delicate princess.  Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior”.

This got my back up a bit until I went and did a bit more digging in Google and found this full quote from an interview with Watson, where she said:

“I feel like young girls are told they have to be a princess, and be delicate and fragile, and that’s bulls**t. I identify much more with the idea of being a warrior, being a fighter. If I was going to be a princess, I’d be a warrior princess, definitely. I think women are scared of feeling powerful and strong and brave sometimes. I think you’ve got to embrace it.”

Now that’s more like it.

I do get tired of hearing all the Disney/Princess/Feminist backlash.  I’m a pretty girly girl with a love of all things fairytale and romance.  Does that make me weak?  Hell, no!  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking wearing dresses and dreaming of finding the love of your life.  Just as there is nothing wrong with being a tomboy and not being romantically inclined.  Each to their own.

You also don’t necessarily have to choose between the two.  Why not be the warrior princess and enjoy the best of both worlds?  I myself am a particular fan of She-Ra, who was pretty hot (for an 80’s cartoon) but could also kick ass with the best of them!

For me,  I hope to teach my little girls that the best thing they can be is whatever the heck they want to be.  Don’t work at trying to meet other people’s expectations or what other people say is right.  Just embrace who you are and make it work for you.

Miss Mess is like me, a girly girl with a bit of edge.  She’ll happily stick on a tiara or a tutu, but you’d be just as likely to find her running around with a bow and arrow, or a sword and shield.  She’s always experimenting with her adventurous side while also bombarding her dad with questions about Science and History amongst other things.

Mini Mess is a law unto herself.  Sometimes she’s the princess, sometimes the prince and occasionally neither.  She’s often running around pretending to be one of the pups from Paw Patrol or Cat Noir from her new favourite show, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.

The most important thing for me is to let them be who they want to be.  They are bound to change a million times between now and adulthood. Hopefully when they get there they will thank me for giving them space to work it out who they are for themselves.

I have no doubt they’ll be all the stronger after the journey.

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24 comments

  1. Izzy Marie Hill says:

    I absolutely loved reading this! I feel like as long as we are teaching other girls and women to be whoever they want to be, then that’s all that matters! So many people, like you said, are telling us we can’t be girlie when we absolutely can and still be strong at the same time.I love the picture of your two daughters, so beautiful ❤️

    Lots of love Izzy | http://www.ADoseOfChatter.com

  2. Abbeylouisarose says:

    I couldn’t agree more that just becaue you’re feminine and like things like getting dolled up, doing your makeup etc. etc. doesn’t make you weak! You are just as strong as any other woman regardless of your hobbies and that’s a fact! I’m sure you are passing on your strong qualities to your daughters!

    Abbey http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    • Stacey says:

      Thank you! They certainly don’t struggle with having a strong attitude. They can be a trifle trying sometimes! My mother in law says they have spirit!

  3. Kayleigh zara says:

    This is amazing and such a great way to raise your children – they’ll grow knowing its okay to be who they want and thats such an amazing thing! x

  4. molly says:

    What a fantastic idea for a post! I have no doubt that your two gorgeous little girls will grow up to be wonderful women with such a lovely caring lady as their mummy! xxx

  5. Entirely Sarah says:

    I think it is so important to reassure children that they can be anyone, and anything they want to be, I have been through a lot of different evolution of myself from primary school, through being an teenager and even now in my 20’s I don’t know if I want to be a princess in a big ball gown with a tiara, or if I want to be getting stuck into a gory horror film and messing with computers, as so taught by my husband through his passion. I think you are a great role model and mum to your children and they are lucky to have you xx
    Entirely Sarah recently posted…Blogger meet at Copper Cafe NottinghamMy Profile

  6. Lora says:

    love this post – I completely agree, we shouldn’t be made to feel like we have to fit into any particular box since we are female!
    Looks like you are doing a great job raising the girls, you should be proud

  7. Becca @ The Married Cat Lady says:

    Lovely post! It sounds like your girls are lucky to have you as their mom. And I think you hit the nail on the head: empowering them through finding their sense of self will make them strong, confident women, ready to take on the world! 🙂

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