To my beautiful darling girls,
To my eldest you are 25 months old and growing up, everyday you learn something new and I am completely in awe of how you are developing. To my youngest- you are just 8weeks old and just losing the froggy newborn look and you are adorable! I love that every day we all make each other smile.
As your mum I want to cherish you both, protect you and help you grow up into a strong independent women with a good secure self esteem. I want to teach you that you don’t have to wear makeup or be thin or wear heels to be a “successful” woman. I want you to understand that you can be anyone you want to be and your gender should never ever be a barrier to that but sometimes unfortunately society doesn’t always agree, but that you can and should always fight for equality.
I want to teach you to love your body and all it can do. I don’t ever want you to have issues with your weight or body image but I know unfortunately society can and will impinge on how you feel about yourself but I will do my utmost to help you be aware of the dangers of that and to navigate through those feelings. I hope having a mother who never wears makeup, dresses like a complete scruff and couldn’t give a flying fuck about her pot belly (that proudly grew the both of you!) will help, but I will probably just completely embarrass you for looking like that- I know my own mother (who was similar) did for me when I was growing up!
When you are old enough I will probably talk to you about the difference between a vulva and a vagina, what the clitoris is, the difference in vaginal secretions at different times of the month so you don’t confuse what is a natural state with thrush or bacterial vaginosis etc. I will also probably teach you about the mooncup as a much better alternative to tampons or pads. This is just basic female biology but it scares me how many women I know are not comfortable with their own body parts, or properly aware of how their body works. I think it is so important you learn these things and sadly I know you are unlikely to learn them at school.
I also hope that you will get the messages that female sexuality is as valid as male sexuality- your pleasure is equally as important and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbation etc. But I am also aware that in some of these messages I want to give you – as your mother I can have an opposing effect on the message just because of dynamics in mother/daughter relationships so I will need to think carefully about some of these things! My own mother could be a little too frank at times!
I worry about you both greatly too. You will be growing up in a more sexualised world than I remember growing up in and I don’t know that I am going to be able to protect you from the boy at school groping you at breaktime for a laugh, or the girls laughing at the size of your breasts, or the group who might taunt you for how you look. I worry that you may get pressured into having sex before you are ready, or watch things on the internet that you are not ready to understand. I’m scared that as a teenager you may get pressurised into drinking too much or take drugs and end up doing something you regret under the influence of them. But then I also know that I had some of those experiences as a teenager and it also shaped me into the person I am now and while I regret some of my actions I probably wouldn’t be working in the field I do now in a job I absolutely adore if it wasn’t for them. I guess the main thing is I teach you both to understand and respect your own limits and teach you how and where to get help if you need it for any situation you find yourself in.
I also hope to be there for you as you navigate your love life- relationships are hard as a teenager (and as an adult too! in fact they can be just as hard but also wonderful!)- all that “will they call?, when should I phone them back?- I don’t want to seem to keen etc etc”. I can honestly say I was a complete relationship disaster zone until I met your dad- and we just worked (and I really hope that by the time you are reading this we are still working!) . And if I were to pass on anything I have learned about relationships it would be to be yourself 100% of the time. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not to try and make them love you. It won’t work and it just means they are not the person for you. Likewise don’t try and change someone else into someone you want them to be. The person for you is out there (and there may be more than one person- I’m not sure I believe in the notion of “the one”) and whoever that person is- so long as they are treating my girls right then I will welcome them into our family. I hope I will teach you to stand up and not tolerate to any emotional or physical abuse from a partner- that was one of the most valuable messages your grandfather (who died recently) ever taught me.
I hope you will know that you can always come to me and your dad for help with anything and we will support you with your choices, although I think like most parents we hope you make choices in keeping with our own family values but even if you don’t we will work though it because we love you and ultimately want you to be happy.
Always know that me and your Dad love you so very much and you mean the world to us and we can’t wait to see the women you will become (but please don’t grow up too fast- not least because we can’t afford the clothing and shoes!)
Lots of love
Your loving MummyCurd.