I distinctly remember a conversation with a fellow mother while our 5-year old kids were playing together in the park. She asked me what my dreams were for my daughter when she grows up. I asked her to explain further, and she reframed her question:
“Doctor or engineer?”
I stared at her blankly. When I asked her what her ambitions for her son were, she instantly replied:
I told her my daughter was too young for either of us to know what she should pursue later in life. She wasn’t convinced with my answer and further probed me to know if I really had no expectations or ambitions for her.
I told her that her happiness mattered the most to me.
She looked at me like I was an idealistic fool.
But I have to admit she was far more progressive than the other mothers and even fathers I had conversations with.
One educated and working professional mother advised me not to have high ambitions for my daughter as she was a girl child.
Another guy asked me if my husband and I were investing in gold for our barely four-year-old daughter for her marriage and before the rates spike up.
I’ve wondered why we have these boxes for our girl children and women. Why can’t we let them explore and discover what they truly want for themselves?
While this goes for all genders, the male child certainly has more privileges when it comes to freedom, experimentation, and support.
The above conversations have made me reflect on what I truly want from my daughter.
1. Focus on higher education and have a fulfilling career
As a mother, I’ve had umpteen conversations on how important her academic learning is.
Education empowers our children with the freedom to live their lives responsibly and purposefully.
I will be passing on the same advice that I’ve received from my mother. She has always told me never to give up my career for anybody and constantly reinforced the need to be financially independent.
While I had a break in my career when living in the US as dependent on an H4 visa, I restarted all over again upon returning to India. While it was fun building something from scratch and making my career blocks of success with my multiple talents, it certainly wasn’t easy.
I’d want my daughter to explore her talents and find her calling while being financially independent.
Having a career is not only about making money and paying the bills. It’s pursuing your passion, multiplying your talents, and truly enjoying the work you do.
I also wish that she always has the zeal to learn and evolve into a sharper individual.
2. Evaluating before getting into marriage, motherhood, and raising a family
Marriage is a big step in anyone’s life, and it’s important to know the person well enough to take the plunge into this long-term, legal commitment.
Marriage and motherhood can be catastrophic for a woman’s career if she doesn’t think through these decisions carefully.
So, I’d want my daughter to be proactive about her life partner choices, have open discussions from the start. So, she marries someone who is wholeheartedly supportive of her dreams.
On the other hand, there are proven scientific benefits to being in a stable, happy marriage and being a mother.
You’ve got to work hard in sustaining a blissful marriage and raising a happy, healthy family.
3. Being an abundant individual
Usually, when we think of abundance, we tend to think only in terms of wealth. But abundance applies to every aspect of your life – love & relationships, money, health, and character.
I’d want my daughter always to take ownership of her happiness. To let go of negative emotions, baggage & people.
I know that perennial positivity is not just an impractical dream but also a self-limiting one. There has to be a balance of all emotions to experience life and evolve into a better person.
Sometimes it’s braver to smile when there’s a raging storm inside of you. Sometimes it’s braver to cry it out or let the rage out instead of bottling up emotions.
I’d not want anyone to make her feel guilty for choosing herself above others, and I’d want her to practice kindness to herself.
I firmly believe when she practices kindness to herself, it creates a ripple effect as she extends that kindness to others.
I wish my child will be abundant & evolve into a sensitive, empathetic, kind & resourceful individual that builds her community and the world into a better place.
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