I love the fact that one of the things the Hubs picked out for Alexandra’s room is a plaque, hung above her door, that read: And though she be but little, she is fierce. It’s become an oft Instagrammed Shakespeare quote in perfectly curated little girl nurseries everywhere, but I feel I feel like it’s popular for a reason. It’s true.
Being a woman and being a mother is amazing, but being a little girl and adolescent and finding your way in this world as a woman can be terrifying. I’m both excited and nervous for all the trials and tribulations that will come with Alexandra growing up, not because of the inevitable bumps and bruises and growing pains, but because of the heartbreak and discouragement and being told “you can’t because you’re a girl”, and all the body insecurities that this newfound social media obsession has perpetuated. I’d like to think that I’m a strong woman, who holds by her convictions fiercely and is confident in herself and has never given into being told “you can’t”. I don’t remember every specifically being told it that I couldn’t do something because I was a girl, but I know that the implication was there. And I know someday Alexandra will face the same thing.
I’ve often heard my mom tell people the story of applying to college, and that her parents told her she could apply to one school, she better get in, and she better choose a major that would enable her to get a job because she wasn’t going to school for her “Mrs” degree. I have been privileged to grow up in a time where going to college is normal for women and that the foundation had been laid by so many women before me to become whatever I wanted to be. And I know that my daughter will grow up with that same privilege. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.
My new identities as mom, and especially stay at home mom, have been amazing new hats to wear, but also challenging at times. I am extremely happy with our current situation, but there are a lot of people who view stay at home moms as less. There is this stigma that as woman, you can do everything so you should. You should have children and work and take care of your house and have a healthy dinner on the table every night. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to. If you can do all of those things and you’re happy in that, do it. If you can’t, that’s fine to. If you have to do them and you resent it, I feel you. Being a woman is hard enough without society telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, how should or shouldn’t be a mother.
My own mother is amazing. After the death of my father, single parenthood was thrust on her and she was, and continues to be, an amazingly strong woman that I love and admire with all my heart. On International Women’s Day, my biggest hope is that I am the role model to my daughter that my mother was to me. That I can be her rock, her confidante, her cheerleader, and her shoulder to cry on. That she will find her own squad who will support her and laugh with her and love her as fiercely as I do.