This article was sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001. www.massmutual.com All opinions are those of the author.
Every single day my daughter is listening, and she watches me. I am her first example of what a woman should be. As her mother, I have the power to empower her and future generations to come. Today, I am partnering with MassMutual to share what it means to Live Mutual.
To Live Mutual is to appreciate the ways, both big and small, that we’re interconnected. It is about celebrating the strength of community and family. Thank you to MassMutual for supporting (and celebrating) Women’s History Month.
Women have come a long way. I can remember stories from my great-grandma’s past in the 1920s when she was young. She didn’t have the rights that we have. She did not have a choice of further education, as we do. She wasn’t even allowed to work once she married my great-grandfather.
I remember stories of my grandma’s past in the 1930s and 40s and how women had more rights, but still not nearly as much as we have.
I hear stories from my mom about growing up in the ‘60s and how things were so much different from her mom, and getting better every day, as more amazing women of history changed the world.
I tell my daughter stories about growing up in the ’80s and how I can’t wait to see the way that things will change even more as she grows up. Amazing women of our past have paved the way for future generations and now it’s up to us to continue the journey.
So how does it happen? How does the world change… woman by woman? It started with someone’s mom, sister or friend, somewhere… because these little girls in our lives are watching our every move.
In my life, it’s my daughter – she watches my every move. She listens to me talk about how someone was strong that day. She pays attention when I tell the story of another unsung hero in the community, like the woman who bought a car for her daughter’s teacher to make the long commute.
Right now, all my daughter knows is that she loves me. She believes me when I tell her that she is beautiful, strong, confident. She believes me when I tell her that, like MassMutual, I believe that women can do anything and be anything.
Sadly, the time will come when she will question this, so I will do my best to remind her of it often. I will remind her of her strengths and I will remind her of the community of women that support her. I want her to be confident in herself … and I can help her STARTING NOW.
Every day, we have the choice to influence our daughters with toys and books that show girls can be so much more. We have the power to influence how they think by how they see us acting every day.
My daughter watches me every day. She is watching me when I try on a few outfits before heading out the door.
She sees me put on my makeup before I go downstairs for the day (or she will put it on for me when we are sitting at home). She watches how I run back upstairs to change one final time before heading out the door, but she also listens to me say “Just Right!” to myself in the mirror, with or without the “right outfit” or the “perfect makeup” because I want her to understand that it is good to have confidence in yourself.
Every day my daughter watches me. She hears how I talk about myself when someone compliments me: Do I say something like “Oh… no… it’s just because of …”
Or does she hear me say “Thank you!” I want her to know that it’s ok to take a compliment and it’s even better to complement others. Making others happy is a wonderful thing.
Every day my daughter watches me. She watches me when I hug her brothers. She watches me when I hug her dad. She watches me ask him “Don’t you think that Allie and I look so lovely today? Like we are ready to impact the world?”
She hears his answer “Yes! You are Beautiful.” and she sees him looking right at her, so she believes it.
I want her to be confident. She watches me ask her brothers “Who is the most creative, wonderful, best mom and sister in the whole wide world?”
She hears me when I say “Allie- you are the bravest little girl in the world!”
She hears me when I say “Allie- you are just the sweetest!”
She hears me when I say “Allie- you make me smile!”
She hears me when I say “I know that you are going to be so kind today and make someone’s day. You will be someone’s hero today.”
Every day, we have the opportunity to teach our children to be their best selves. And to believe in themselves. We have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to teach them to be kind, caring and loving. We have this amazing opportunity to Live Mutual and to teach our daughters to do the same. Like MassMutual, we will lift each other up, not just during Women’s History Month, but all year long.
Go out there, Allie… be the superwoman that you were meant to be. Change the world & the generations after you will follow your example.
Read more stories of hope, community and the unsung heroes here at MassMutual.