Today’s bloggers guest post is by the lovely Vicky from Single Mother Ahoy. Vicky is always busy with being a single working parent and she also studying for a degree…. not one to do things by halves!! She blogs about crafts, household tips, life and sometimes politics…….
When I was young, I remember being forced to wear pretty, frilly dresses. For one particularly awful photograph opportunity, I was forced to wear the exact same style of dress and bonnet as my older sister. I remember hating it. I remember feeling uncomfortable and irritated. I remember just wanting a nice comfy pair of jeans to wear so that I could get on with the important business of playing. My mother used to enter us in photo competitions whenever they were open. On one particularly awful day, I remember being dragged into Debenhams wearing a terribly uncomfortable dress… only to win the bloody competition and have the prize – a large, framed print of the photo – adorning the living room wall until I was 25 and it was finally replaced by my brother’s wedding photo.
When I was pregnant with S, I remember one day sorting washing in her father’s kitchen. His sister was there. She picked up a hideously frilly dress one of his daughters had long since grown out of, and I said it needed to go to a charity shop. Her response was no, we should keep it in case my baby were a girl. She proceeded to tell me that if I had a girl the whole family would be buying her frilly, pretty dresses to wear. I didn’t appear to have much of a choice in it.
I went to the local girls’ grammar school. We had assemblies where we were told we were the top X percentage in the country; we were intelligent and beautiful and we could study maths and science and anything else we damn well chose. There was never any mention of “you can be as good as the boys” because there was never any concept of us ever thinking otherwise. Girls left my school and went on to be radio producers, doctors, solicitors, scientists and anything else they pleased. Our sex did not hold us back because it had never been held up as an issue.
This is what I want for my daughter. I want her to be just as good at climbing trees as she is at reading. I want her to be happy in herself, whether that means she’s painting her nails or scrubbing oil and dirt out from under them. So I dress her in clothes that allow her to play. She does wear dresses, but not the kind with ribbons and bows and frills that might get in the way of her exploring the world.
She plays with Duplo and Mega Bloks and has books about diggers and tractors. We don’t watch movies about helpless princesses who wait around to be rescued by princes, and if I have anything to do with it, we never will. We will stomp in puddles and make mud pies. I go out of my way when buying her toys to get the green option rather than pink or blue. She has a red, yellow and blue trike to ride around the park on.
It is my goal to raise a daughter who won’t feel constrained by her gender or pressured to conform to a stereotype or colour choice just because she has a womb. I don’t want her to sit and wait for prince charming to come and sweep her off her feet; I want her to solve her own problems, earn her own money, live her own life. And as long as she is happy, I really don’t care what that entails.