Behind every historical victory of women’s rights is an incredible woman who saw the need for change. Behind every incredible woman who changed the world, stood strong grounded parents who helped nurture her fire. Whether by positive influence or negative reselance, her parents molded her into who she became. As I think of myself, I am who I am because of the strong parents who sculpted and shaped me into the woman I am today. When I look at the face of my daughter, I want so much for her. I want her to be strong. I want her to push. Be determined. I hope I am able to do half as well for my daughter, as my parents have done for me.
She deserves that doesn’t she? She will fight her way, tooth and nail, to greatness. This world won’t be handed to her, not because I don’t want that for her, but because learning to stand when you feel like falling builds character that only tripping now and then can teach.
Here’s where this takes the curved road instead of the straight path you thought we were headed toward. Not just her, my sons as well. They deserve to hold the same resiliency, strength, and zeal that I hope for her. While I love the pep our young generation of woman have within them, trust me… I’m one of them, I can’t help but be nervous the tables may turn in a negative way for my boys. Not because anyone has actively attacked their personal character, but because of how independent I am with their father, my husband.
I’m not taking him out back with a switch by any means, while there are days I totally think about it. If I’m being truly honest with you, my children totally catch me saying things like; “I’ve got this, I don’t need no man.” and “I don’t need you to do that for me.” Admittedly, most things are in jest. Some, like the later, are completely truthful. I cringe at the thought of my boys being put down for things I am actively teaching them, like chivalry. Scoff all you want ladies and gents, chivalry is not dead, and should never be! However, it along with basic humanity and respect for a strong partnership will be extinct very soon if we don’t put ourselves in check.
Our boys need… no, they deserve the same effort of growth our girls deserve. Equality goes both ways. I hate to think that my boys could someday live in a world where they feel a compliment could offend someone. A world where holding a door open for a stranger could receive pierced lips instead of a friendly smile. Where being a gentleman is viewed as suppressive.
We are strong. We are vocal. We are hella resilient! We stand up for the little guy. (yes, the little girl, too. *insert heavy eye roll*) Here’s the kicker; sometimes WE ARE the little guy. A man being our support in those moments does not make you or me any less of a strong woman. In fact, the strongest leaders know when to take a knee and rely on the people around them.
In the same years my parents were raising a strong woman who is more than capable to think for herself. My husband was being raised by parents who were teaching him to love, respect and protect his future wife and family. He was taught to stand up and speak when needed. He was shown how to continuously fight to provide and care for a family. He learned about partnership and respect. In the time so many women were being taught to stand up for themselves, so many honorable men were being taught to help those women shine.
Which brings me here. Let him love you. Let him care for you. Let him be your strength. Let him open a damn door now and then! And if he doesn’t; then teach your boys to be better. To do better. It does NOT make you less of a woman. It makes you a great partner who understands that it okay for him to show love his way now and again. He’s trying to understand what you need and how to best support you. Learn the same about him, meet the poor bloke half way, would ya?
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Photo credit: Gwendolyn Dattage Photography