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Young girls are lectured on how to dress and behave. But it's these essential life hacks that'll help them live a happy & independent life!
Young girls are lectured on how to dress and behave. But it’s these essential life hacks that’ll help them live a happy & independent life!
Mothers have gone through so much as they were not taught basic life hacks like managing your own finances and not waiting around for a knight in shining armour. Moms, let’s teach our daughters these essential life hacks so we can spare them the same heartburns & ’emo-shit’!
I hate to give a long preamble to what I want to say. So, I will jump right away to the life hacks that you have been dying to read!
While there’s been enough talk about not being a damsel in distress and learning to be independent, we often fail to point out to our daughters that their life is not incomplete without ‘The One’.
It’s, of course, great to find a life partner to share your journey with but it’s not the most pivotal part of her life. There are scores of women who, from their childhood, have dreamt of a someone who’ll just make it all worth it. Someone who will sweep her off her feet and make life one hell of a dreamy ride.
Pffff! We all know relationships don’t work like that. They require a great deal of patience, adjustment and work to be successful. Then why do we not give our daughters the real picture? Most girls spend the nascent years of their youth, hoping for a heady romance or trying to fill some deep void, only to be brutally disappointed in their 30s. Mothers, we could really spare our daughters this emo-shit!
What we must tell them at a very young age, when they are glued to their favourite rom-coms, is that getting attracted to a prospect is exciting and makes you go all moony, but that’s just the start. In the long run, that association may or may not work but you are not inadequate without it. No man or woman adds meaning and happiness to your life unless you have discovered both on your own.
This is something that our daughters must know from the word go. As many of them will grow into sassy, economically independent and career-oriented women, they must never lose sight of management of their finances.
Along the journey of life, it happens to the best of us that we hand over the job of financial dealings and investments to the closest male relative available; dad, brother, hubby or even an uncle!
But you can never be independent in the true sense if you don’t know where your money is going and what your net worth is.
Darling, while some of us may have gotten away without learning our accounts, you know we have seen way too many women who have been unfortunate enough to have paid the price for it. For not knowing whether their money was stashed away or squandered and being clueless about it when they needed it the most.
There is no greater satisfaction than having a roof over your head that’s legally your own. It’s baffling how we, as women, have long been granted the right to ownership of properties but have never thought of getting one in our name.
Mothers, we have been making this mistake far too long, let our daughters not repeat the same! One of the many reasons that women put up with bad relationships and broken marriages is because they have nowhere to go.
The fear of not having a place of our own has been looming large over our heads but we still haven’t done much about it. So girls, once you get your finances in order, start saving up for that cosy, little nook you will proudly call your own.
Mothers, for this one, you have to start early. Like really, really early. In today’s age, girls as young as 6 or 7 are experiencing body image issues and feeling conscious about the way they look. It’s disturbing how the perception of a girl’s beauty makes a lasting impression on her mind and chips away at her confidence. We have to catch them young to help them escape this conditioning.
Let’s work to uproot this inception of low self-esteem right at the start. Let’s tell our daughters that they are beautiful just the way they are and don’t have to conform to any societal beauty standards. Teach them to embrace their bodies with complete love. If they grow up feeling confident and happy about how they look, they will learn to dissociate their life experiences with the perception of their appearance.
Whether on stage, in an office meeting or during a date, let no man or woman make your precious daughter feel that she is not beautiful enough. She is perfect the way she is and has the confidence to carry it.
In her life experiences ahead, the world will repeatedly look askance if she dares to flout her to-do list, if she talks too loudly, questions things, sits with her legs apart, hangs out late at night, drinks, smokes, wears short clothes and so on.
There is no one way to be a woman. We are all unique individuals in our own right and she must always remember that. The things on this list are subtle ways in which society teaches girls to be docile, to stifle their expression and keep up the façade of femininity.
Your lovely daughter needs to know that femininity is relative. She chooses to define what it means to be a woman.
The jury is still out on this one but it’s high time we stopped scripting roles for women. Tell your daughter that there are no prescribed rules to living her life. It’s okay if she doesn’t aspire to a regular hearth, husband and the brood. She may opt for one of these, all of these or none of these. It’s totally her choice.
With the world beneath our feet, we women, are carving new roles for us that may or may not fit the convention. You, her mother, has to remind her that there is no formula for happiness in life and she doesn’t have to be a part of this race.
It’s important that she establishes her own identity and finds the truest expression of herself before deep-diving into what the world has traditionally laid out for her. It’s up to her to accept or reject it and most importantly, not feel guilty about the choices she has made in life.
Let’s learn to empathise with our own lot. More than others, it’s we who understand what a girl/woman goes through, fighting patriarchy at home, glass ceiling in an office and chauvinism in relationships. Remember, we had to fight even for the right to vote!
Let’s not make it any tougher for our sisters. Smoothen it out for one another, stand up for each other! A bit of friendly advice, a discreet tip and a little bit of compassion are all that’s required.
While healthy competition is good for all, let envy not come in the way of our collective growth and success. That’s a sisterhood pact we all must sign up for.
Image source: Still from Shakuntala Devi
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A perennial misfit, my opinions have always been at odds with the mainstream society. So with all my WHYs & HOWs and a never-ending curiosity about the life choices we make, I started writing to read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
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