My daughter won’t hear me tell her she has to “do it all.”
Instead, she’ll hear me ask God to keep guiding us both to do what we’re meant to do and be who we’re meant to be.
And she’ll see me doing my best trying to show her that we’re both better off doing what makes us feel genuinely happy — rather than endlessly finding ways to do all.of.the.things.
It’s a message girls receive from the time they’re young all the way through adulthood: you can do it all! And sure, it’s meant to be positive, I know. But for so many hardworking, dream-seeking young girls and grown women it becomes nothing short of overwhelming; these days it’s hard not to associate success with doing as much as possible.
It’s not that I don’t think she can do it all—I know she can—I just don’t want her to make incredible everyday and lifetime achievements and be left thinking she should be wearing more hats or juggling more balls. And I especially don’t want her to fall prey to the downward spirals of comparison.
I do want her to follow her dreams—the big ones and the little ones—and, regardless of the outcome, feel pride, inspiration, and personal fulfillment.
And I want her to know that doing this—really doing what makes you happy—isn’t always going to be easy.
It’s hard to do your own thing when it feels like you’re going against the grain and when you’re growing up in a world where everyone has a shiny, picture-perfect alter ego.
It’s hard to do what speaks to you when it means you may get made fun of, rejected, or abandoned.
And it’s hard to do things you’ve never done before especially when there’s no guarantee it will go the way you envision.
But I want her to know that all those reasons—those very real reasons—they aren’t enough for her to shut down her heart whispers.
So, right now, if my daughter wants to play soccer outside in her gold princess shoes, I’m going to let her. If she wants to pick out how she wears her hair 25 times a day or what color plate she wants to eat off of, I’m going to let her. If she decides she wants to sing a song out loud on the beach at the top of her lungs and pretend the shells are her audience, I am going to let her.
Because when she gets older and has to decide things like what she wants to study in college or how she’ll raise her own children, I want her to have confidence in her choices.
I want her to know what it feels like to do what is right for her. I want her to have no regret over the choices she’s made because she’ll know deep down inside that her decisions were rooted in love, passion, and genuine desire to bring goodness and joy to her own self and to the people around her.
I want her to know that when she listens to her gut and turns down the noise from outside, God will come to her and help her find a way to grow and glow.
Ultimately, I want her to believe in herself—in her own truth, intuition, and aspirations—as much as I do.
And since she is young now, I know the best way she’s going to learn how to embrace simply being herself is by watching her mama do that very same thing.
So, it’s time ladies.
It’s time for us to let go of the pressure to be the doer of all the things and to be magical superheroes all of the time.
It’s time for us to stop setting up our daughters to feel the same failure and guilt we feel so often when we really should be celebrating all that we already are right in front of them.
I know my daughter can move mountains. I know she can make a difference. I know she can shatter glass ceilings. And I know yours can, too.
But, above all that, I want her to be happy and to love herself for who she really is—and I know you want your daughter to do the same.
So, let’s show them how it’s done so they have a crystal clear idea of what this looks like—
straight from their very own mamas.
This story originally appeared on A Place Within Me