March 8, 2019 09:45 AM NPT
By: Isha Bista
There are many things I want my daughter to know so that she grows up to be a fearless, confident, and grounded woman. But these are especially those things I wish my mother had told me when I was growing up. I want to teach her these important lessons before she is told otherwise.
Eight is not too late to come back home
You don’t have to fear the darkness. You don’t need to make sure you are home before the lights are turned on. Tell me where you are, who you are with, and when you will be back home – that’s all I ask. But stay safe. Err on the side of caution. And, maybe, carry a sharp object in your bag and don’t hesitate to use it if it comes to that.
Cooking is a life skill you need to learn for yourself
You will not have to learn to cook because it’s expected of a girl or a woman. But I will teach you to make some basic dishes because there will come a time when I won’t be there to feed you. You will have to learn to make a meal for yourself. It’s not your husband and in-laws who you need to feed but yourself.
You needn’t keep quiet when you have an opinion
Your opinion matters, and I hope I have proved that by asking for it every time there is a major decision to be made or by involving you in important family matters. I will not tell you to be quiet because you are a girl so that you will grow up and be able to fearlessly speak your mind. But when you have an opinion, always have a reason for it.
You don’t have to do what everybody else is doing
Peer pressure can make you do things you will definitely regret 10 years down the line. Trust me, I have been there. So, it’s okay to go to a bar and order a glass of juice when everyone else is drinking beer or ‘doing’ tequila shots. Say no when you want to even at the risk of being ‘uncool’ because you will be happier that way.
You must love yourself before you love anyone else
I can only hope that you learn to love yourself the way you are before you let a man or a woman into your life so that nothing he/she does will make you question yourself and your values. Also, I want you to know that no one has the right to touch you without your consent, whether you are dating someone or are married.
Your heart will be broken but don’t let that break you
Heartbreaks are painful. So painful that you will feel like there is no way you can possibly go on. It’s natural. But this feeling, like everything else, will pass. Give it time. Don’t let a relationship gone wrong sour your equation with life. It’s too precious. You are too precious.
Be nice even when you don’t want to
As much as I would like to shield and protect you from the world, there will be times when things will go wrong and people will be mean to you. As far as possible, take the moral high ground and resist the temptation to be rude. An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind, my darling. And not only that, being kind is always a good thing.
You can’t always win all arguments and the sooner you realize that the easier it will be for you to know when to back down. Don’t take everything personally and try to analyze the same situation from another person’s perspective. You can only present your views and hope the other person will understand. You can’t force your ideas on someone and make them see things the way you do. And don’t stoop down to name-calling when you fight. That’s the lowest low you could go.
Forgive yourself when you make a mistake
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself. But all of us make mistakes at times. I know. I have made plenty. As humans, we are imperfect. The trick is to learn and move on from our mistakes. Don’t let little things bog you down or hold you back. And don’t try not to make mistakes because mistakes are signs that you are trying, learning, and growing.
And I hope you know that you can tell me anything
There is perhaps nothing that you have done or can do that I haven’t done already. So there’s nothing, and I mean nothing, that you can’t tell me. Don’t think I won’t be able to understand because times have changed and I am your mother. You are my blood so I know how far you can go. Plus, a mother always knows everything about her child by instinct.