Raising Tiny Strong Women
Today I'm so excited to be a guest writer on Strong Girl Nation. I’m Candace wife + mama + career woman+ blogger. I live in the charming suburbs of Atlanta with my better half and our cuddly, not so camera-shy, sweeties Milanca + Maksym. I absolutely adore being a mama and spending time with my little family. Hubby is a self taught photographer and I know a thing or two as well! I am a Nurse by profession and a self-described health-nut, lover of all things organic, photo enthusiast and inspired by all things beautiful. I’m a total mermaid! The beach is definitely my happy place, deep down I’m a wanderlust at heart. I am passionate about health and the health of my family. I am a full time working mother in the challenging health care industry for a leading academic health system and without a doubt love my career! Sometimes, I just need a mental break. So all this brings me to blogging. It is where I can share all of my passions in one place and help inspire strong women like you.
I am so very excited to share today about raising a daughter in today's society.
The world can be a cruel yet beautiful place. We have oceans of pure beauty and then an evil in the world where our kids are judged for their looks, hair, eye color and what they wear. The truth is from the first day my daughter was born, I feared the day I would have to let my babe out into the world to spread her wings. I know I sound a little manic, but this is a true deep down fear of mine. I am 33 and have seen way to many women suffer from low self-esteem, depression, suicide, divorce etc. They do not know their worth. It really saddens me to know how many women struggle with the way they look or need to feel beautiful. We as women have all felt that way and feel the pressure from society in all forms, social media, TV, Billboards, magazines its EVERYWHERE! Here are some statistics we as women face.
- Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media. 58% of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight.
-Unhealthy teenage body image is directly related to low self-esteem, which can lead to negative moods and mood swings. Young people who are feeling down are more likely to focus on the negative messages around them and make negative comparisons between their bodies and what they see as 'ideal' bodies.
These facts really scare me and give me as a mother a little insight of what I can face as my daughter Milanca gets older. I will admit I'm not always 100 percent happy with my body at times but I feel confident and comfortable in my own skin. I have learned to love myself and know my self worth. The world can break me down , make fun of me, laugh in face, but I have learned to over come all of that. If I can now raise my daughter to be the same way, but a touch more humble, it would warm my heart.
My daughter came home from Pre-k which for those of you who do not have kids, that is the grade before kindergarten. It is a class filled with 4-5 year olds. A fellow classmate did not like my daughters boots. The girl in the class called them "Stompy shoes" my daughter came home and never wanted to wear them again. This issue for me as a parent is hard. I explained to my daughter and showed her photos of kids that do not have any shoes and wish they had some "Stompy Shoes" ahhh! Well she grasped the concept and happily continues to wear them to school.
These are just small examples of what girls today will have to deal with and I know I will face many more challenges raising a girl. Bring it on! As I sit writing this post I no longer feel so scared. I say this because I consider myself a strong woman. I built a lot of my strength from my mother, she is a cancer survivor and fought for her life. She has always been there to lift me up when people tried to tear me down. I feel all of my strength was slowly given to me throughout my childhood from my mother.
If my daughter is anything like me or my mother, then she will be the strongest woman in all of our families generations. What I have learned is a strong woman is not just created out of the womb. It takes life experiences and constant guidance to help mold strong women. This is my plan for my daughter. I promise to give her all of the support and encouragement I can and I will never stop encouraging her to be strong, and as she grows, she will learn she is strong. I already see her tenacity at life and her ideas of brilliance.
As a mom all we can do is be STRONG for our children. Promote self-love and love them unconditionally.
Thank you so much for reading today. I hope I have inspired you to raise strong children and always know you are worth it!
Candace will be speaking on May 3rd at Start Loving You in Atlanta.