THE greatest mentor I have in my life currently is a two year old girl.
My two year old girl in fact. Elsie, my beautiful daughter.
I always used to think, before I became a Mum, that a parent was the only one to teach in a parent / child relationship. But I was wrong, because amazingly Elsie teaches me as much about life and myself, as I do her.
It’s quite astonishing really.
And so with International Women’s Day upon us this weekend, I can think of no better female role model to talk about today, than my daughter.
Here are six things all grown up women can learn from my terrific toddler.
Use your voice
Elsie is still at that wonderful stage in life when she is ‘free’ with her voice. When she is pretty blissfully unaware of decorum, expectations or restrictions and long may it continue.
When she wants something, you know about it. When she’s unhappy, you know about it. When she has something to say, she says it. (Whether you like it or not.)
But too often as women we mute our voices. And we silence ourselves. We keep things that should be said, unsaid. We don’t speak up. We don’t express our feelings. We conform to society’s expectations and we remain quiet. Best to be quiet than to provoke, threaten or trouble people ey?
But we are wrong.
Women have been silenced for far too long and it’s time to reclaim our voices. To demand to be heard.
If you’re ever in doubt as to how powerful a voice can be, just listen to a toddler who refuses to be silenced. It’s awe-inspiring.
Elsie is into everything at the moment. Like a wonderful whirlwind, she runs, she leaps, she bounds and she falls. A lot. Numerous times a day in fact.
And do you know what she does when she falls down?
She gets back up. Quickly.
She dusts herself off and carries on with the same determination and commitment she had before, forgetting that her fall has even happened.
Life knocks us down on many occasions and sometimes the older we get, the more hurdles seem to appear in our way. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my wee bundle of energy, it is this. When life knocks you down or you trip up, you just gotta dust yourself down and get on with the show. It is the only way.
Toddlers are wonderful at expressing themselves. Elsie may be a little dramatic at times, but one thing is for sure, I always know where I stand with her.
She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable or deliriously happy. Nor is she ever afraid to laugh out loud or run and dance and sing when she feels like it.
She is deliciously herself and deliciously proud. And her fearlessness and freedom is wonderful to behold.
Just imagine if we were all unashamedly ourselves. How amazing could that be?
The drudgery of everyday life can often take its toll but if you want to be reminded of how wondrous life is, I have a very simple tip.
Just look at the world through the eyes of a toddler. Think like a two year old.
Explore, listen, ask questions and be curious. Try everything once. Even if you’re rubbish at it. Do things just because you love them, even if you do them badly.
Watching Elsie draw is both fascinating and liberating. She draws because she can and because she wants to. She expresses herself with her squiggling and knows of no limitations or expectations. She draws simply because it brings her joy.
Being open and inquisitive is a wonderful way to be. Try it.
Knowledge is everything
Elsie wants to know everything. She asks questions all of the time and is fascinated by everything she learns.
She understands that knowledge is compelling. She wants to be educated and has an innate desire to learn more. And to become more.
Knowledge is power and we never stop learning. Nor should we want to. It’s what life is all about it.
Love With Abandon
If I’m ever feeling unloved or down in the dumps, I only have to receive a big hug from Elsie to feel on top of the world again.
She is such a loving little girl. She loves fiercely – as those who receive her hugs will know! – and she loves everyone.
Yes, both her Dad and I are the centre of the world, but when I say she loves everyone, I mean everyone. Her grandparents, her aunts, her cousins, my friends, her friends, our cat, the neighbour’s cat, the blackbird in the garden….I could go on but you get the gist.
She loves everyone and is never afraid to express it, through her actions or in her words.
She is the cutest love machine. Kind, caring, thoughtful and affectionate. Tiny but with a heart that is vast.
Watching her love so intensely, so brilliantly is an honour to behold. And absolute proof that loving with abandon IS the only way to really love.
To all the wonderful, inspiring, kind, talented and fabulous women I know – Happy International Women’s Day for Sunday.
Wonderful women, you are a force to be reckoned with. Never forget it. X