OPINION

To My "Little Women"

March 09, 2010
Cee Kay

Dear M and S,


Yesterday was International Women's day. I wanted to write this for you then, but better (a day) late than never, right? 

You, my beautiful little ladies, are the reason your dad and I find each day worth living to our fullest. Before you came into our lives, we had no idea that we lacked something (or two special someones) in our lives. But now we cannot imagine not having you in our lives. I shudder at the thought of sending you to college. I will probably be the helicopter mom personified, literally hovering over your dormitories and classrooms. I have no qualms about embarrassing you, my darlings. See, that is what we are saving for - your respective therapies that will be needed just for the fact that you have been subjected to your dad and me :)

That apart, here is something I want you never to forget. You are going to grow up into beautiful, confident women. Your dad and I will make sure of that. The world and its uncle will try to tell you how a woman should behave, think, dress or live. Before they get to you, I want to imprint a few things on your minds.

1. You DON'T have to please everyone all the time. You DON'T have to please ANYONE at all, if you don't feel like it. Sure, nice people sometimes do some things for others that make them (others) feel good. I am all for such niceties. But remember - NEVER be forced into doing something, anything for someone if your heart, gut or mind says no. Listen to your "self". I am not condoning selfishness. I am just saying that do not give in to someone's "Good girls make sure their parents/husbands/boyfriends/friends/God/whoever are happy". Remember, a happy and contented self is much better than a happy anyone-else. But diplomacy sure does make life easier - remember that!

2. Stand up for yourself. Because no one else will, if you don't. Don't be bullied into doing something you don't want to. If you think what you are offering someone is reasonable and fair, it probably is. If they don't agree, negotiate. But DO. NOT. BE. BULLIED. INTO. SUBMISSION!! It is possible to be pleasant and yet stand your ground. At the same time, never be hesitant in unsheathing your claws when you have to. Sometimes you HAVE to show people what you are really made of in order for them to take you seriously.

3. Remember good men don't hit women. They don't terrorize women, humiliate them or coerce them into doing something they don't want to do. There are plenty of good men around. You DON'T have to settle for anyone less than "good". Not even for "good enough". It is better to spend life alone than to put up with an abuser just because "Good" didn't come along. Have the confidence to go on your way alone and I am sure you will find someone who is just right for you. Even if you don't, remember YOU are perfect for you! Remember how your dad loves and respects me. Always remember - you deserve such a partner too. Never settle for anything less.

4. Be financially independent. No matter how loving a husband/partner you have and even if you are well taken care of, make sure you have at least one UPDATED skill that can get you gainful employment whenever you need. You never know what curveball life will throw at you next year, next month or next moment. Be prepared. If you WANT to work, never let anyone tell you that good wives or mothers don't. Never let another person dictate whether or not you should work, or where for that matter. There is no blessing greater in this world than to be able to do what you want to do in life. And don't let any idealist tell you that working to "earn money" is inferior to any other goal. Don't let money be your be all, end all. But do make some money. You will realize a healthy bank balance brings along mental peace and allows you to focus on the more important things in life - like family. Don't undervalue money, but don't overvalue it either.

5. Take good care of yourselves. Take time out for yourself, no matter how crazy life is and no matter how many responsibilities you have. Even if you are with someone, make sure you take out time for YOU. Alone. Very important for your "self" AND for any relationship. Eat healthy, exercise, be active. Have some hobbies that take you outdoors and allow you to be physically active. Mental agility is good too. Try and strike the balance between the two.

6. Be cautious. In unknown locations, uncertain situations and around unknown people. ALWAYS be on your guard! Safety should be a habit, not a "hobby". I cannot stress this enough.

7. Learn everything there is to learn to survive AND to live comfortably. Learn what it takes to progress in your professional fields, learn to cook, to sew, to change a flat tire, change a light bulb, repair a fuse, fix a toilet. In short - anything that you might need to do one day. Or earn enough to be able to pay others to do all this for you. But I'd still say knowing how to do all these things is a good idea - then you will know if someone is trying to rip you off by charging, say, 50 bucks to fix a fuse.

8. Don't hold regrets and grudges. They poison minds, hearts and relationships. It is a difficult thing to learn. I am still learning it. But I hope you will do a better job of it than me. Talk things out. Don't let a little disagreement fester into a big one. Learn to apologize when it is your fault, but don't be apologetic all the time. Learn when to say "I understand you feel this way, but I think I am right".

9. Take a long time to make friends and even longer to end friendships. Remember it is hard to undo the hurt of a mean word or gesture. But also know when to let a relationship go. If it is preying on your mind and being, but going nowhere, you are probably best OUT of it than in.

10. Be competitive. Healthy competition builds character. Don't let the pacifists tell you that participation is good enough. Participation is good but winning, or trying to win, is better. I don't mean to tell you that your efforts are worthless if you don't win. What I mean to tell you is put in your 100% efforts and then some more. If you win, good, if not at least you know you tried your best.

11. Love each other unconditionally. A sister (sibling) is our first and ever lasting best friend. Sure you will have differences. Who doesn't? But learn to resolve those differences amicably. In the end, when your dad and I are gone, you will only have each other to lean on.

There! 11 things - one for each year that I have been a mother. There are many more things I want to tell you, teach you. More later!

I am an optimist. And an opportunist. Thats why I believe "When life gives you lemons - make lemonade. Then sell the lemonade and make air freshner from the peels. Sell that too!"
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