5 Books that Help me Raise A Mighty Girl #MomsSpeakUp
If there was one thing that I was sure I wouldn’t do as a mother to a girl was bind her by the patriarchal notions that I was raised with. All through my pregnancy, I dreamed about having a girl (which Mother Nature did bless me with) and raising her to be a strong and confident woman who isn’t afraid of opine.
The Dichotomy of Motherhood
Cut to the day she was born, and all I wanted to do was hide her away from the world and protect her from all the evil in it. And thus began my journey of overcoming the dichotomy within myself.
Considering all the growing awareness around it, raising a mighty girl may be easier today than ever, but first I had to overcome a gazillion views I had of the daughter, sister, wife, mother, and professional I was and will be.
For starters, I had to unlearn a big part of my upbringing that primarily focused on raising a girl only to be a good wife and daughter-in-law. There are still times when I feel guilt over pride in what I do. Second, I had to re-shape my views on women choosing to lead all kinds of lives. For, to be able to raise a free-spirited woman, I had to let go of my notions of what an “ideal” woman is or is not.
Resorting to Books to Help Raise a Mighty Girl
As an avid reader, I have heavily relied on books to help me hone my ideas, expose myself to different points of views and even find a friend in an author who agrees with me. It was by default that right after Little Miss A was born, I attracted a number of books written by feminists, strong women and even men who were joining in on the movement of gender equality.
Here are some of the books that may speak in different voices; using different words; but give me the same strength to nurture a girl who will go out into the world and live life on her own terms.
- Let Her Fly: A Father’s Journey by Louise Carpenter and Ziauddin Yousafzai
Raising a girl with a destiny such as Malala’s could have been anything but easy. This rather extraordinary memoir accounts fatherhood has experienced by Ziauddin Yousafzai, highlighting the various facades to feminism.
- The Feminist Guide to Raising a Little Princess – by Devorah Blacho
The actual actual title of the book is – The Feminist’s Guide to Raising a Little Princess: How to Raise a Girl Who’s Authentic, Joyful, and Fearless – Even if She Refuses to Wear Anything but a Pink Tutu.
(This should explain it all)
- Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This short and sweet book is a great place to start for mums raising daughters. (even sons for that matter).
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response. Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33585392-dear-ijeawele-or-a-feminist-manifesto-in-fifteen-suggestions
- My Daughter’s Mum – Natasha Badhwar
I have been a fan of Natasha Badhwar’s writing in Mint for a while now. While her book may not necessarily be a “feminist” read, her account of raising three girls appear in many of her essays. Her writing is comforting to read, often like a hug during the uncertain parenting moments that tend to hit you again and again over the years.
- Becoming – Michelle Obama
There was something exquisitely inspiring to read about a figure that has emerged as one of the most influential women of our generation. That said, it was also extremely humbling to read of her journey as a daughter, wife and mother – making her a part of a larger tribe of women who are constantly balancing these roles while in search for themselves.
With every turn of a page, in every book I read I get a better hang of what it really means to commit to the thought of raising free spirited girl. Every once in a while, I am able to put aside all my worries over what this harsh world may have in store for her, and find empowerment in that little assertive spark that she brings out in her.
I would like to thank Revati Bhushan for introducing me. You can read her piece here . I would also like to introduce Amritha Srinath to this blog train. Do spend a few moments on her fascinating insights on her decision to be a stay at home mom here.
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