Monday, January 28, 2008

Girl Power?

The other day I was clicking through links and came upon a site for girls. The premise of this site was a good one, "Encouraging Successful Girls." I am all for encouraging my daughters to be successful, but what does that mean?

The site doesn't contain images, ideas, or role models that are all done up, that have a "spoil me I'm a princess" attitude, or that I found annoying in any other way. The role models presented there are four young girls who are very intelligent and dream big. Sounds like a great concept doesn't it?

Well what bothered me about this site wasn't specific to this site alone, but an attitude that I felt as a student myself, and that seems to be almost everywhere. What bothers me is what is missing here. The big dreams involve being a brain surgeon, a computer expert, the leader of the free world, or a rocket scientist. Can't a women reach her full potential by being a mom and a wife? Have I squandered my intelligence and potential because I am a stay at home mom?

The whole world tells our daughters that they must reach their full potential. That if they have any brains they should spend many years (and many dollars) in college, and develop an important career. There is nothing wrong with that path, but I know a lot of women who have taken that path, or at least started down it, and found themselves with a dilemma. When it is time to have children, they find it hard to balance the demands of the path they are on with the demands of being a parent. In the worst cases they find they find that first path really isn't that important them, but feel stuck on it due to financial pressures. It is a hard place to be.

I believe in girl power. I believe that my daughters can be whatever they want to be. I don't believe their success should be measured by the title by their name, or the size of their paycheck. I want them to know if they want to become a brain surgeon, I will support them all the way. If they want to be a wife and a mom, I want them to know that is a big dream, and an important one. I will encourage their success in any path they choose. That is girl power!


  1. I so agree! I chose to be a stay at home mom. My career is being a wife and a mother, and I feel it is a choice more women should make, that our society would be a lot better off if more people made this choice, if people in general felt this was something to aspire to. An important choice, not something to look down upon. Honestly, I feel more women should stay at home and take care of their families, that continuing to work outside the home once you have children is selfish.

  2. Why would I want to be married to any one else?

  3. Looking at it from another perspective...
    As the mother of boys, these type of programs annoy me b/c they're all geared towards girls. I've never seen a "Boy Power" program or anything like that to convince boys how great they are (not that they need it, LOL).

  4. I totally agree with you! I was just talking about this very issue with a friend when i came upon your post. Thank you for putting into words, it says exactly how i feel.

  5. Love your open mind to every aspect! It is great that we really can be whatever we want. Some women like to work, some to stay home, some to do both. Good for them all...they all have their own reasons for their choices!

  6. I can't agree more!
    I know that not every woman needs to be a mother and a wife to feel fufilled. That's perfectly fine. I also know that motherhood and being a wife is how God designed it. If it's not fufilling enough to be the best mother and wife that we can be, then would anything actually fill the void?
    There is no more important job title than "Mother".
    Perhaps I should start signing my name Mr. Crystal Newman. Oh,,, wait,, that's already been taken hasn't it? LOL

  7. Kids need both moms and dads to be actively involved in their lives. Back in "the day' when most people farmed for a living children were with both parents most of the time. In todays culture where most people work away from home one has to be much more creative to spend quality time with their children.

    In our materialistic culture we often get our priorities all screwed up. I appluad you for staying home with your children and denying yourselves of many of the material comforts that many others feel we have to have! There may be a day when all that tuition money will provide financial rewards!

    BTW your niece posted again!

    And if I could change one thing about my past, I/we would have spent much more time doing things with our children!


  8. I read your post last night, and spent quite a bit of time thinking about the perspective you present.

    I suppose I land in the middle. My Mom, always home, told me I could do anything I wanted to ~ and I've just about "done it all" as the saying goes. I'm equally comfortable in the home and in a business setting or a public forum.

    I do hope that I've transferred that capability to my girls ~ that they feel comfortable in either sphere.

    I LOVE being home with my children, yet I am capable of so much more. Isn't that true of everyone of us? For indeed, God created us with amazing capabilities, most of which lay untapped to our dying day.

  9. Well those are some diverse comments. :)

    We all have to choose what is best for us and for our families. I tire of the attitude that taking care of a home and family is settling or secondary. It takes a lot of skill and brains to be a parent and manage a house, especially on one income. I also tire of the "us" vs "them" for working and stay at home moms. Perhaps that is what it all boils down to...

  10. I have done both. Now I do stay at home, but work from home. I get tired of hearing people bash SAHMs, but to each their own. Great post.

  11. All my life I have wanted to be a wife and mother. In my area, at least, those are not admirable goals (I had to quit my job when I got married, because my customers and coworkers were so against my being married in my 20's). I think it's important for well-educated parents to spend their time with their kids, because how else will those kids grow up well-educated?

    That said, I am also pursuing my degree in psychology, and intend to go on to a Masters. This is a personal goal of mine, not a professional one, although it will be nice to know that I can be a bread winner in a pinch. I will still be attending school when my first is born, and the Masters work will extend well beyond that. This is by design. I want my children to know that a "normal" route isn't always "right," and that their mom struggled to reach her goals. I couldn't do that if I were focused on career over family.

  12. I totally agree! Great post.


  13. I totally agree with you! My dream was always to be a wife and mom and I feel very successful!