I unapologetically tell my girls they run the world. It’s more than a Beyonce song, or a t-shirt that says ” girl power.”
I have been in a few situations lately where people have stopped my daughters to have what they think is a “diplomatic” conversation about how it takes boys to run the world, too. Obviously, that’s indisputable. In my house, I try to teach equality, and that means no one is better than anyone else.
But I also say women run the world. We are the worker bees. No, the queen bees! WE HAVE BABIES! We go to work, we get the laundry done, we do the shopping, we get a semi-respectable meal on the table, not once a day but twice! Sometimes even three times! The lunches are packed, carefully avoiding the ever-growing list of allergies that every classmate seems to have.
All of this cooking means so many dishes. If your dishwasher isn’t full by noon, then are you even a mom? We know where that thing is that you left in that one place last Wednesday. We drop off forgotten mittens, and book reports. We schedule appointments for the doctor, the dentist, the dog groomer. We change sheets in the middle of the night (or do what I do and just change the kids’ pjs and put ’em in my bed). We wipe noses and bums. We stub our toes rushing at the sound of a crying child in the morning. We volunteer at school. We are somehow always trying to be in three places at once.
We pull hair from clogged drains (with daughters this occurs way too much for my liking). We sit and entertain one child while the other one is dancing/soccering/musicing and we realize it was our day for snack so we make it happen. We plan out magical tooth fairy/Santa Claus/Easter bunny memories for our kids. We remember to take our birth control and get our prescriptions refilled. We go to the gym (or at least we have a membership) to try to be our best selves. We listen to podcasts and books on tape while we clean the house because the only actual paper books we are reading include Amelia Bedelia and Fancy Nancy.
We pick up dry cleaning, we pick up coffee and a card for Susan, who is a dear friend with more kids than you and you don’t know how SHE does it (industrial strength coffee?). We throw baby showers and cook for team dinners. We go on social media and try to keep up with friends and family. We are always wondering if we are doing a good job. The job of just being a woman, a mom, a wife, a friend.
We make the world a better place. We are peacemakers and boo-boo kissers.
So when I tell my daughters they run the world, I mean it. Our power and worth has to come from somewhere within because the outside world is not handing it to us on a silver platter. I tell them that women aren’t better than men and that we need to work alongside men in peace. But being a woman means we have big responsibilities in life, and those responsibilities are valued differently than those of men. I want my girls to keep speaking their truths and continue celebrating being girls. I want them to blaze the trails ahead of them and make sure they never settle for less than they deserve.