I look at my daughters and feel blessed beyond measure. But at the same time the weight of the responsibility that has been placed in my hands is immense. These little children who are my mini me’s in every way, have my face and have my personality, even have the same legs as me! These little girls are relying on me to show them how to get on in life. To show them how to be a success on whatever path they choose to take. They also need their mum to show them that life isn’t always easy and that as a woman, and as a black woman there are some challenges that they will need all their strength to face. They will still have to fight for equality as they grow. But I hope to instil in them the good that I would like them to receive from all other people. It’s not easy being a parent. Bringing up the next generation. But it’s so worth it. I know that I’ll get some bits wrong along the way, but as long as I give my all, I see a bright future for them. With all that in mind I decided to write them a little letter. Let me know what you think, or if there is anything you would add.
To my little women,
I like to think that when you were being knitted together in my womb, you were already better versions of me. If you were a film you’d be Chi the sequel, but the kind of sequel that’s way better than the first. Like The Godfather II (ask your Daddy), or Star Wars V – empire strikes back (ask me). You’re kind of a Chi 2.0 a more advanced version, and my hope is as we nurture and raise you, you become a women without the same bugs and glitches I had!
I am not anywhere close to being a perfect Mum, but I’m the one you’ve got (So cherish me ok!). Sometimes you’re going to wish I didn’t exist. Sometimes you’re going to think I’m the greatest person in the world. That’s normal. I went through that too. Eventually you’ll see that everything I ever did was for you and your siblings to be happy, fulfilled and loved (It’ll probably be in your 20’s when you are hopefully fully independent and realise that you have to put serious work into life. – That’s when I caught on anyway).
At some point you’re going to think I’m an old woman who hasn’t got a clue what you’re going through, and I’m going to tell you that “I’ve been your age before.” You’re going to roll your eyes and probably think. Whatever Mum. But it’s true I was your age before (and it won’t be as long ago as you’ll think).
You will get to a point in life where you think you know everything. But, you won’t. And speaking from experience, you will come to the realisation that you never will know it all. It can be a moment when you have to shovel a lot of humble pie into your mouth an eat it, but that is when the capacity to truly become wise women begins.
In everything you do make it your mission to find those people who are more wise and experienced than you (they’re normally the old folk like me) and ask their advice. You don’t have to take it if you don’t want to. But girls, there is a strong possibility that it will save you a whole heap of trouble, and the, ‘I wish I’d listened’ monologue that inevitably follows.
I am your mother, and in the unending tradition of motherhood, I will probably give you unsolicited advice at some points during your adult lives. For this I apologise in advance. It’s because I care and love you. But when I overstep the mark please be kind and gently tell me so. I’ll try my best to back off. But as I write this you are still little, so it’s still ok to give you these words of advice, hopefully you’ll carry them with you into adulthood.
go Nurture self-discipline. It will take you far.
- Wakes up early where you can and prepares yourself for the day spiritually, physically and mentally. Have your morning time with God. Have your daily green smoothie, and practice being mindful.
- Learn to spend your money wisely; it saves a lot of hassle further down the line. Save don’t borrow. Credit may offer you instant gratification, but it soon comes back to bite you in the butt (that may sound painful, but that’s because it is.), and once it’s sunk it’s teeth in, it takes a lot of time effort and strength to get rid of that sucker.
- Create a monthly budget and stick to it. Give some. Save some. Spend some. Enjoy your money, but don’t waste your money.
- Keep your home, car and life organised. There are many ways to do it. Find one that works for you. It saves you a lot of headaches (Yes that is code for keep your room tidy.)
source Look after Yourself
- Don’t wait till you’re older to take care of you’re body, mind and spirit. Believe me it’s easier to maintain your health if you start from now.
- Eat healthy food (most of the time). When I’m telling you to eat your vegetables, don’t look at me like I’m a crazy woman whose sole aim is to torture you with rainbow coloured goodness, and ruin your life. I’m doing this for you.
- Exercise and stay active. I’m saying this to you at a time when you have boundless energy. The moves of a blockbuster movie stunt person, nothing to do but play and explore plus the added bonus of youth on your side. So it might seem like a null point. But as you get older and life gets in the way, you have to make a choice to stay physically fit and healthy. Sometimes you won’t want to, but that’s where the self-discipline you’ve been nurturing will come in handy (and boy will you need it).
- Read the Bible and pray. This is where spiritual strength is built up. Don’t wait for a crisis to start spiritually working out. Get strong in the Lord so when the time of testing comes (and it will), you’ll be able to stand firm through it all.
http://thesweetsunshine.com/tag/old-town-scottsdale/ Be generous and care for others.
- Let me make one thing clear. You don’t give because you have lots and someone else doesn’t. You give because it shows kindness and it’s the right thing to do. You don’t have to have a lot to give either. What do you have available? Is it time, talent or your energy? Can you smile at someone who seems down and ask them how they’re doing? Can you take five minutes and have a chat with your neighbour. Use what you have to help someone else. It really isn’t the size of your gift. It’s just the fact that you gave it.
- I hope your Daddy and I have set the example for you as you’ve grown, and I hope from our example you see that there is no perfect time to give or a perfect thing to give. We just want you to do to others, as you would want them to do to you. In simple terms don’t be class A idiot. Just be nice. Make it part of your day to day. Plus it feels good. Don’t get tired of doing kind things. Don’t see it as an obligation but as a joy and a privilege.
Be optimistic and confident about your future.
- Life is full of ups and downs. That is a certainty. But I will say this; a positive attitude will take you far. You won’t always feel like being that ray of sunshine. Sometimes you’ll feel like a thundercloud. That’s ok. Don’t hold it in have your stormy moment. Let out a few lightning bolts and then allow the blue sky to follow.
- There are so many people who have a permanent negative point of view. Don’t let their view drag you down. When negative things happen, your perspective will make a whole lot of difference. In those times look for the lesson in the experience. Allow it to change you for the better. But do not allow it to bring you down.
- You know when I wrote earlier that I’m raising you not to make mistakes. Well what I meant was I am teaching you not to make MY mistakes. I know that you will make your own (because everyone does), please know that when that happens, You do not have to hide it. I’ll be here for you with cake, ice cream and a shoulder to cry on.
- Learn to forgive those that hurt you, and LET. IT. GO. You don’t need unforgiveness in your life. That’s like you continually going back to a wound, picking and opening it up again. It leaves it open to infection. It prolongs the pain, and most of all it is pointless. Forgive, learn from it and keep moving forward.
Work hard and you can achieve anything.
- Do everything to the best of your ability. Sometimes you won’t want to. You’ll wonder what the relevance of certain things is to your life, (like trigonometry and long division). The truth is you’ll never know if or when these things will come in handy. But the fact that you did it as well as you could anyway, is the making of a beautiful character, and that is priceless.
- My advice for you, is to find what brings you joy and make that your career. It is so fulfilling to be able to do what you really love everyday. Don’t get me wrong. It is still hard work and some days you won’t want to do it. But because it’s YOUR passion, because you love it. You’ll find a way to roll out of bed and do it anyway (or you’ll stay in bed, in your pyjamas with a coffee and your laptop and do your work from there like me).
Use your words wisely
- Now the delivery of your words is totally down to your personality, and don’t let anyone tell you that because you are a woman you have to be a meek, mild, fragile wallflower. That is a load of nonsense. If that is how your personality develops that’s ok. But if you are louder, more assertive kinda woman (which I strongly suspect you are) that’s ok too.
- What does matter is the content of your speech. Don’t waste your time gossiping about other people’s business or speaking badly about people. If you couldn’t say it to their face without being hurtful, then don’t say it behind their back. Use your words to speak with kindness, wisdom and to encouragement. ALWAYS.
Make yourself beautiful
- When I write that please understand I’m not talking about that unrealistic beauty that you see in the magazines, the kind that will be shoved down your throat on a daily basis. Ignore that sort of beauty. It’s all smoke and mirrors and is so superficial. Realise that beauty isn’t restricted by skin or hair colour and texture. Neither is it restricted to a certain body shape. Everything that you have been created to be is beautiful. Don’t wait for the masses (or boys) to affirm that to you, you need to know that for yourself. Don’t doubt it, no matter what anybody else says (There are a lot of ignorant people in the world, who have a lot to say. Be ready for it). So learn to look at everyone as beautiful and worthy of love and respect.
- Enjoy getting your hair done, doing your make up and finding your unique personal style. But know that those things do not define you. They are not what give you your true beauty. Beauty comes from within. It comes from good character and a beautiful spirit. When you pick your friends and acquaintances, don’t choose them for the outward appearance. Take time to see what goes on inside. If there is any ugly within, it soon comes to the surface.
So girls, that’s all I’ve got for now. It’s a lot and it has all been written with love.
But out of all that I’ve written I want you to remember this. I was the first person to kiss you, hug you and love you unconditionally and that love will never go away. Know that I may not always agree with you, but I will always love and support you.
With all my love.