Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday's Woman: Dreams for My Daughters


Today's guest blogger sent me the following post and it was so well done, it needed no editing. While watching the election returns, I thought, "Wow. I can just copy and paste this right into a post and then continue focusing on this news stuff."

But I can't do that.  I need to share this with you:

Last spring, like a lighting bolt, Ashley appeared to me as a jolt of renewal in the hope that compassion is a reality.  I had just found out that I was selected a BlogHer 2012 Voices of the Year Honoree and she offered me her ticket to BlogHer 2012 in New York City.  I accepted but, unfortunately, I could not attend.  That killed me because I wanted to be there in honor of her and everyone I knew like her--a devoted mother, an advocate for young women and girls, and one who is not afraid to tell it like it is. However, Ashley's bravery is not in pointing out reality, her courage is in delivering the punch with empathy.    

After you read today's Wednesday's Woman, be sure to check out Ashley's space, The Dose of Reality, follow her on Twitter, and like her on Facebook.  

I am beyond grateful to have Ashley, The Dose of Reality, here today.

Ashley is a mostly-stay-at-home mom to Emma (8) and Abby (4), wife to my husband Robert (41ish), and an occasional nurse (turns out she would rather just play a nurse on TV). At this point, she stands a better chance of creating world peace than keeping her house clean and organized. She considers it a good day when she remembers to pick up both kids at school and also only raises her voice at bedtime. Her main goal in life is to surround herself with people who are real and tell it like it is.The Dose of Reality

The Dose of Reality



Wednesday’s Woman: Dreams for My Daughters
By Ashley Taylor

My girls are still so young, relatively speaking, despite the fact that like all clich├ęs, I feel the time rushing by. I know that in practically the blink of an eye they will go from now to then. The same way that it has gone from then to now. I wonder if I have squandered the time that has already past. Have I missed moments that I will never have back again? Do they know that my presence with them, even when it feels distracted, is real? Will they ever truly be able to grasp the fierceness of my love?

I feel like I still have the chance to control things in their world to a certain extent. I can make sure that homework is complete and a healthy lunch with an encouraging note awaits them in the school cafeteria. I still have the power to push through the stubborn silence and find the cause of the hurt feelings. This time, this moment, this period feels like my chance to impart all of my knowledge for the future when they will quite likely choose their own food, their own clothes, their own friends and their own beliefs.

So, what do I need to make sure they know? What do I want to ensure they believe?
I hope they never forget what it is like to have each other. The power of the sister bond. I hope they never stop needing each other and my messages of that bond, as demonstrated by my own sister relationship, reinforces their closeness. As I say so often to my girls, a sister is a forever friend.

I want them to always love to read. To become so engrossed in a book that they forget everything around them. I want them to know in their core that knowledge is power and that reading is a gift.

I wish I could spare them the experience of real heartbreak, but I know that I cannot. So, what I hope is that when they come to those moments that their ability to rise back up and keep going is strong. I hope that their sense of self is intact enough that no one else will be able to make them doubt their own worthiness. Because I will not lie, the thought of one of my girls believing herself to be less than makes my own heart break.

As a woman who struggles with her own body image, mostly in part to a mother who struggled with her own so severely, I would love to believe I can stop that cycle in my own children. I would love to believe that they will be immune to the societal media pressure to be a certain size. To look a certain way, to be a certain something. I would love to believe I am teaching them that being healthy and loving their own unique bodies is far more important than what the number on the scale says.

What I think I hope most in the world is that they own their potential as women, but never use it to hurt other women. Secretly inside, I have this belief that perhaps seeing their mother as a blogger who so strongly supports validating other women will somehow rub off on them. I would feel a great sense of pride if my girls grow up to be independent and self-assured and use their strength to help others.

This mothering gig comes with such overwhelming responsibility because I feel like I am here to shape these little girls into women, and I just want so badly to do it well. I want to look back someday and say to myself, “Yes, your girls know that they are loved, they know they are protected, and they know they are everything amazing you always knew they were”.
Those are my dreams for my daughters.


Wednesday's Woman is a weekly feature dedicated to spotlighting women who are role models for our daughters. . . and the world.



photo credit: Sunciti _ Sundaram's Images + Messages via photopin cc

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

2 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful thought to acknowledge. I miss the days when my kiddos were so teeny but I am loving the (fraught with emotions)people they are growing up to be now!

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  2. What a beautiful piece Ashley!!! I agree with it all... our mission is strong and I only pray that our girls will grow to be extraordinary and beautiful confident young women some day. Each step of the way... us moms can only leave imprints on their hearts that we hope lasts through their entire lives.

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