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Life can be hard, this mom tells her daughter, and I want you to become tough enough to be able to take it head-on, not be a pampered princess.
I have created an email id in the name of my 1 year old daughter. It’s her name followed by surname @gmail.com. I hope she keeps it instead of something like [email protected] or [email protected].
Every now and then I send her a mail with little anecdotes, my feelings for her, the name of the song she loves to dance upon, a video of when she laughed hysterically as her dad made monkey face and so on. I intend to keep doing that and give her the password once she grows up. I feel she will also be able to experience how we celebrated and enjoyed little moments of her childhood.
A few days after her first birthday, I drafted a mail, the gist of which was ironically – you are not a princess.
First a little background on why I chose such a morbid topic. As we look around there are two kinds of families – those still stuck in patriarchal mindset where birth of a girl child is frowned upon and girls are still discriminated against, and a second kind where the girls are cherished like princesses and treated like one too.
I don’t want to talk about the disgusting regressive mindset of the first kind but there is something wrong with the second group too.
In my role as a teacher I came across numerous university girls who were unable to cope with studies, and a little rebuttal would result in a stream of tears often leading to anxiety attacks. Many girls had a hard time adjusting in hostels, eating mess food, and could not survive without an air conditioner in their rooms. In recent heart-breaking news, a girl in Mysore committed suicide as her hair-straightening procedure went wrong and she had excessive hair-loss. Girls ending their life over a failed relationship or bad result have become common news. In a quest to provide unconditional love and protect them from hardships, we have created entitled individuals unable to tackle real life issues.
So II don’t know how the future pans out for my daughter, but here is what I wrote –
My darling S…
You are a piece of my heart, but I don’t want you to be treated like a princess. I would rather prefer calling you my power puff girl. My girl is not a Cinderella waiting for her prince charming; she is a Moana unafraid to sail out on her own to build her future.
You will forever have your parents’ and family’s love and support, but I want to prepare you for a world that is full of all kinds of people, and life that may bring you face to face with unexpected circumstances. As you grow up you may face various situations – your closest friends having no qualms gossiping behind your back, your teachers being unfairly biased, relationships that break your heart or a boss being unnecessarily judgmental.
This does not mean that everyone is unfair; in fact most people are actually kind, but it’s just a part of life and I want you to be strong enough to take the ups and downs in your stride.
How happy or sad we are marginally depends on our circumstances and majorly on how we respond to a situation.
Chose your battles wisely and learn to let it go. If a situation seems tough and out of control and you find it hard to go on just look around and you will find me by your side. I promise to walk along with you as you carve your own path.
Be happy, confident in your skin, kind and humble.
I promise I will forever be there for you, love you, and protect you.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: shutterstock
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Dentist, writer, corporate healthcare professional. In my earlier avatar, I taught budding dentists and published
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