5 reasons why daughters need to meet the women their mums really are
There's sometimes a big gap between the women our daughters know as 'mum' and the women we really are - it's time for them to meet us
My company Her Invitation held a photoshoot recently for 5 special women to walk the catwalk modelling – normal women, just like you and me. These aren’t stick thin, in-their-20’s-models, they are real women – with curves and scars and stories. They have overcome incredible things; divorces, confidence issues, body issues, deaths of loved ones, health issues – collectively, these 5 women have been through life and survived!
The film (out in the next few weeks) is about self-love, how loving yourself and accepting yourself RIGHT NOW is so massively important and their advice on how THEY did it.
It was all centred around a photoshoot in a professional studio with the experienced, award-winning photographer Jason Bergdahl and professional camera crew with Rob Walker.
And skipping about for the whole day with us, watching, listening, playing and engaging with these wonderful women, was Livvie, my daughter. She’s 5.
She comes everywhere with me, her and my husband Mark – they are my entourage! She’s involved in this female empowerment company of mine – I talk to her about the issues women face, we discuss it, she watches me, emulates me – how I speak to my clients, my team, how I interview people and then she recreates those scenarios with her teddies – and the way she speaks to them – oh gosh….she is full of encouragement and love and delight and wise words for them.
Like all children, she listens – to EVERYTHING!
So this photoshoot, like many other events, she was there, playing host, entertainer and making up games with my team.
You see, I want her to see empowered women, to meet them, to make friends with them, to know how their minds work – to fall in love with their power, personal influence and confidence! I want her to meet who these women really are – inside – not just friends of mummy’s or mummy’s clients – I want her to meet strong, empowered women who love life and who have lived. I want this so much it brings me to tears.
You may have the opportunity to do that every single day of your life with your children – in particular your daughters as they will grow up to be the empowered women of the next generation – the ones we really need to lead the way.
Little girls need to meet the women their mums really are. So often, they see their mums and just their mum – an identity which is often different to the women they really ‘feel’ like inside and this is why;
For girls to be able to see what decisions you have to make as a woman is vital
(And for them to see HOW you make those decisions is crucial) I know, as a parent, that when I have a decision to make, if it’s important to me, difficult or worrying, my tendency could be to hide it from my daughter shielding her from any stress I might be carrying – but in reality, she feels my stress anyway – she’ll see it, she knows it – she just doesn’t know what it is, can’t put words to it – but she feels it. When I explain that I have something on my mind and that as a woman, I have a responsibility to make a good decision, to take action and here’s how I need to think to do that – it helps her make her own decisions and understand the process. I don’t burden her with the stress of the decision but I let her into my thinking process enough for her to see how my mind needs to work to solve it.
It’s important for little girls to see our courage and bravery
When we are nervous, when we are about to do a big thing, when we need some strength it’s important that our daughters know how we plan to gather that strength – or to see that we haven’t worked it out yet. To involve a little girl in that process, for her to see her mum doing brave things as a woman, will give her strength that she too can do brave things and she’ll emulate your way of gathering strength in a bid to find her own method as she develops.
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to demonstrate to our daughters how our bodies work
They need to see how strong they can be, how capable and energetic our bodies are, to highlight the parts of our bodies we love as women – and why we love that part of our body. For instance, although I got my figure back after her birth (with the help of several incredibly focused trainers and hours in the gym), I love that when I bend over, my stomach looks like a burst balloon!
I love that! She lived in there and it’s important she sees those natural creases – that they are the bravery awards of women and what are bodies are capable of doing. One day, she will need a healthy relationship with her body – the scars she will get in the future, the marks and markers of time. Even if your relationship with your body isn’t as strong as it could be, tell her about your body, its marks, its stretches, and tell her about the bits you love – so she can love herself.
Demonstrate how you need time for yourself as a woman
In our house we call it ‘quiet time’. She knows that mummy needs ‘quiet time’ sometimes – she knows I need to think in that time, to mull stuff over, to write stuff down in my journal, to swim, to have coffee or read a magazine.
She’s with me almost always in my quiet time and she has quiet time too. We talk about how she might like to use her quiet time to feel balanced and happy. Which brings us onto conversations about why quiet time is even needed!
Because I have a million things going through my head, because I have decisions to make and I don’t know what to do, because I want to ponder on my direction and what I’m doing. She’ll need that skill one day. She’ll love herself just that little bit more if she makes time for herself as a woman when she is older and she’ll do that so much more comfortably if she sees you doing it.
It’s incredible for your little girl to see you celebrate yourself
Celebrate your wins, when you have achieved something – explain it, when you’re SO proud of yourself, show it, when you punch the air with delight – tell her about it. Let her celebrate your sense of importance with you – because you are important – as a woman, not just as a mum – but as a woman – your achievements are great and valuable. Let her see you treat yourself, congratulate yourself, speak highly of yourself – let her see and invite her to tell you her success and achievements.
I often say ‘there is only one way to inspire the women of tomorrow and that is the be the woman you want your daughter to be today’ Show her the woman you really are, let her meet her, write letters to her (write to her as an adult) and save them up for when she’s older – write about you, explain the woman you are to her – she’ll see you not just as a mum but as the role model she so desperately needs to be able to grow and love herself.
Get more involved
If empowering women and little girls is important to you – then I have a project that you’re going to love and I invite you to take the first step to seeing whether you’re ready to empower women. I have a quiz at www.amireadytoempowerwomen.co.uk
I’m reading all answers individually and responding to each person myself. Depending on your answers, my aim is to help put you in front of MORE women to empower, so you can shine just as my other experts at Her Invitation do with our incredible, life-changing female empowerment workshops.
Interested? Take the quiz and let’s take it from there www.amireadytoempowerwomen.co.uk – see you on the other side!