Because my baby girl, you come from a proud line of loving, nurturing, loud laughing, often giggling, deeply feeling and wonderful women with curves who have been wounded by other people's aesthetic expectations and cheated by their own understanding of perfection. I want you to see me love myself for all the gorgeous, nurturing mamas that came before me.
"Careful" is a helicopter parent's mantra. These kids have grown up in the shadows of fear, always too afraid to take risks, too cautious to make sound decisions alone and too callous to stand up for themselves as they have never had to. In their childhood their parents made all their decisions and as young adults they have no clue how to fend for themselves.
As I was preparing myself for my maternity leave, all I could focus on was bringing this new life into the world. I did not want to think about all the changes that were happening at my workplace and did not want to overthink the changes happening in my workplace. Why would I invest that extra energy elsewhere when I needed it for my baby? Besides I was going on maternity leave so I had to come back, right? Well, not quite.
Our children need to develop and equip their own tool box -- we cannot do it for them. This is not our job, nor should we be trying to make our children's happiness and success our goals. This generation of parents is much too eager to do their children's work for them, and therein lies the problem.
This news story is a sickening one: Talk of women being allegedly blindsided with punches to the head in the name of foreplay, of them allegedly bashed against cement walls, of courageous women agreeing to press sexual-assault charges only to be ridiculed on the witness stand. What, on earth, do I tell my intelligent and social-justice-minded daughter about this?
"When I work with kids, I tell them, 'You are the chef, I am the sous-chef.' They feel good about themselves and they don't want to let you down. Involve them in the whole process. If you let them pick out the ingredients and bring them home from the store, they are going to be more excited to prepare it and eat it."
As much as we want to sit and communicate with our spawns of Satan, to talk it out, to discuss the situation calmly and rationally, they will stare blankly over your head, at the wall behind you, at the fly on the window and then insist they were listening. Ask them to repeat back what you just said and it's instant amnesia.
As a mother, I still check my kids' candy each year, just like my parents did. But nowadays, I'm thinking beyond the safety of the children sitting right in front of me. I'm considering the millions of children who helped produce ingredients for the chocolate bars and colourful candy. My heart feels desperately guilty as I remember how they may have been harmed.