‘My Do It’ Raising an Independent Woman

‘My Do It’ Raising an Independent Woman

It certainly sounds strange to talk about my two-year old as a woman. She is still a baby, perhaps to me she always will be. Yet one day, she will grow and flourish into a young woman, a young woman who I am trying to coax into being the best version of herself she can be.

You see, I was raised largely by woman, strong woman at that. I don’t really know another kind. Ironically however, I was raised to be an independent woman thanks to the man in my life. My Grandfather. My Grandad is a man from a much earlier generation, a different time, but he remains a man very much ahead of his time.

He always told me to rely on myself. To always have spare change for a rainy day. To know that I could do anything and be anyone I chose, if I was prepared to work for it, being female didn’t even enter the conversation. These lessons were well learnt and have stayed with me. It is only of late that I have questioned his teaching. I won’t divulge, instead I will turn to the words of another. Another who has explained some of the difficulties still faced by woman so beautifully and articulately in this post, by Whine Whinge Wine.

Zara

Despite my waiving belief in equality and my own questionable state of independence, I cannot help but be amazed by my daughter and her fierce independence. A quality that I suspect is already in her nature. That is part of who she is. There is an irony in writing about her independence as the thought of my children gaining more and more independence from me makes my insides weep. Yet, it also makes me want to burst with pride, just a little bit.

So when my daughter says to me ‘no I do it‘ or ‘my do it mummy’ I let her. She is always wanting to do things for herself. At two years of age I cannot fathom this burning desire she has to do everything. I am proud yes, but it also makes getting out the house 20 times harder, or making a meal twice as difficult. It makes us even later for our commitments and pushes my patience to new levels. However what I can’t do is bring myself to tell her ‘No you can’t’.

You will not hear me tell my children that they cannot do something. No matter how much I want to just do it for them. No matter how much easier it would be for me to just put her shoes on so we can get out the dam house. I will help them and guide them yes, but I will not stop them and I will not takeover.

Instead, I will be the one at the sidelines screaming you can do it’ or you go down trying.

I have heard lot’s of ‘can’t’ over the last two and a half years and it has, at times, been bitter pills to swallow.

It doesn’t end with my daughter either. If I am to be her role model (pressure!) then I to have to believe and show her I can too. It feels a challenge in today’s world but I must also go down trying, right? The woman before me have done their part, now it is my turn.

And my son? Because he was born male, does he not need these lessons? Absolutely not, he is being raised to believe he can. That anyone can. Irrespective of everything.

So when I ask myself what can I do? What can any of us do to make a difference to this world in which our children are growing into. What can I do as a mother to help raise my babies, my son and my daughter to be independent young men and women…

…I can let them do it, I can let them try, I can give them the time, space and encouragement they need to be able to try, to do. I can unleash and cultivate their independence, I can allow them to explore it and allow it grow. I won’t stifle it or take over. I will feed it and water it with self belief, even if I want to bang my head against the wall or burst into tears in the process. All in the hope that I am raising my daughter to be an independent woman and my son an independent man, who believe in themselves and their ability to do.

That said though, my darlings, I believe with every fibre of my being that you can be anything you want to be. That you can be self-sufficient and strong but, whenever you need it, I am always here. Your dad is always here. We will always be here for you, and never ever forget that.

Zara climbing the sofa

Hm, independence has its drawbacks huh

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12 Comments

  1. March 8, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Lovely post :) I hope that both of our girls get to grow up in a world that they truly deserve x

  2. March 9, 2017 / 10:57 am

    This is a great post. I love it when Amelia proves to me that she can indeed do things by herself, and I love her determination to learn. #ABloggingGoodTime

  3. March 9, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    I love this! I also have a very strong-willed daughter – yes, she can be challenging, but I wouldn’t have her any other way. I’ll let her do her own thing her own way, but I’ll always be there to support her. #ablogginggoodtime

  4. March 9, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    I was so pleased you talked about raising independent boys too. I want my boys to be capable, kind caring young men. They have been clearing the table and helping with simple things since they were able. It does take patience and time but it is definitely worth it. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime šŸŽ‰

  5. March 9, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    This post hasn’t disappointed. A lovely, well-written piece of writing about encouraging independence and self-belief. I hear one of my 2 year olds say ‘I can’t do it’ quite a lot at the moment (which I’m surprised about!) and I love Carol Dweck’s advice of adding ‘YET’ to the end of the sentence. I find this really helps in the classroom too. It’s naive to think we can do everything straight away but with practice and perseverance lots is possible and that’s what this little word helps us all to remember. xx #ablogginggoodtime

  6. March 13, 2017 / 7:25 am

    Your grandad sounds like a very wise man. I totally agree with not depending on others as you realise in life the only people you can rely on is yourselves and definitely got to be woae with money. I’ll definitely raise my girls to be independent and self sufficient. A lovely post for #marvmondays

  7. March 13, 2017 / 8:23 am

    Mine is only 16 months, and already showing signs of this. She’s going to be a strong women, I can tell already. I’m equally proud and terrified!!

    #marvmondays

  8. March 13, 2017 / 8:34 am

    Great post lovely! So so true that we have to let them do it – and yes if we do they can become who they are going to become without being squashed. I’ve always encouraged mine to believe that they can do anything they want to do. I love how you are so honest that you have to show them that you can too – so true – you must! #MarvMondays

  9. March 13, 2017 / 9:44 am

    Ahh I love this and the independence is definitely bitter sweet. I have a son and a daughter too and one thing I dislike but am probably guilty of myself is when little girls are referred to as little madams or bossy boots. If girls are assertive they’re labelled as bossy but definitely not so much with boys. Why do we do this? Great thought provoking post! Love it

  10. March 13, 2017 / 6:59 pm

    I can’t even tell you how much I love this! Some wise words from your grandad although I suspect we share a feeling of waivering belief in equality for a similar reason. So well written and some lessons I’ll be taking away! #marvmondays

  11. March 13, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    I was raised by a strong independent woman in my mother and not once in my life have I questioned whether or not I could do something. I was taught that if I want something I should go for it. I hope to instill this independence into Molly. She is definitely showing signs of being a head strong independent woman. Like you said, things may take longer, but if she wants to do something for her self then I won’t stop her. Lovely post. #marvmondays

  12. March 14, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    #marvmondays oh i love a feisty female…or male, or labrador….independance is crucial and i love your heroic and wise Grandad around a room full of women. Best of luck in your mission