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Mom, What Does It Mean to be a Woman?

My college daughter asked me that the other night.  The question was given to her by her professor as a homework assignment and she was curious what my answer(s) would be.  I’m curious what yours will be.

This was my response:

Au_Moulin_de_la_Galette by Ramon Casas i Carbó, 1892
  • It means to hold the key to the success of the future generation.
  • It means to be able to accept imperfection and forgive yourself often.
  • It means to be given the most beautiful gift of assisting in creating life, feeling* life* grow inside of you, giving all of yourself to bring that life into this world and looking in the eyes of that new baby with a love that you have never thought possible.  That love is so amazing it is impossible to describe in words. 
  • It means to have to prove yourself and your capabilities more than your male counterparts in the workplace and society.
  • It means to have to justify what you’ve done with your day or what your “job” is if you choose to be home to raise your children.
  • It means having more expectations upon you if you choose to be a working parent.  Finding balance will be forever out of reach.
  • It means to always be searching for balance.
  • It means having a responsibility to empower and support other women and to help break the cycle of jealousy and competition. 
  • It means holding a silent knowing in your heart that you can change the world in the simple work you do with your children, your career or your choices each day.
  • It means forgiving yourself.
  • It means living a lifetime trying to find out who you are outside of yourself until you finally realize that everything you need in within. 
  • It means discovering, slowly, that beauty is much more than what you look like and self-confidence is the most beautiful outfit you can wear. 
  • It means that you have a responsibility to set an example and being worthy of imitation for young girls and other women.
  • It means understanding that being a woman is different for everyone – the key is learning to accept and love one another for who they are and to help our society let go of expectations of traditional roles.
  • It means knowing that it is ok and wonderful if you choose a more traditional path as a woman or mother.
  • And also if you do not.
  • It means knowing that deciding to have a family and have a career is a very real and difficult choice.  It means we must work to make it easier for all working parents, men and women, but also understand that the challenges and difficulties of doing both are real and must be considered when deciding to have a family.    
  • It means breaking the rules and going with your heart.
  • It means being ok with admitting you were wrong with old opinions and finding new ones.
  • It means always searching, trying and learning.  

So, what does being a woman mean for you? 

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