It never dawned on me that being a woman was a limitation. I grew up a Southern, Conservative, Christian, Middle Class transplant in Orange, California. My parents said I could be anything I set my mind to, enforced strict educational expectations, and told me I would work, I would go to college and I would meet my responsibilities at home. I was empowered to think, to strive, to pursue, to be independent, to question.
In this demographic, one considered by some as oppressive, I was given the tools to pursue all avenues of life: domestic and career. Never once was the suggestion of less than uttered. Because of this upbringing, I married a man who encouraged my career choices, celebrated my intellect, helped me to pursue my dreams and then also said, “Of course!” When I wanted to walk away from that career to be a full time Mom. This man praises my motherhood as a career most important. He encourages me to grow, continue my education, and pursue my next chapter’s dreams. It never dawns on me that my motherhood is a limitation.
I recognize how privileged I am for this life I live. I hope I am successfully impressing into my children, both sons and daughters, the expectation and responsibility of their pursuit of excellence in whatever life they choose for themselves. I never want them to think of themselves as limited.
On this International Women’s Day, I want to remind my daughters of their limitless potential when married with hard work and perseverance. May it never dawn on them that they are less than because they are too focused on being all their imaginations can dream. Your womanhood is not a burden, your femininity not a weakness, but instead the strong foundation on which you will build an amazing life.
This year’s theme is: #Balanceforbetter
Balance… it is weighing your options, it is a strong core, it is working hard, but making time for fun.
Balance….. it is standing straight, placing one foot in front of the other.
Balance….it is being proud of how far you have come while still recognizing the work ahead.
Balance…it is recognizing that equal does not mean sameness.
On this International Women’s Day, I wish you Balance in Abundance.
📸: Makayla Jackson @color_me_in_yellow