Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Can we as women really have it all?

Being a women and a mother I  was recently asked this question by my daughter, as I carefully controlled my response which was pretty daunting I realised I really didn't know the correct answer to such a broad question.

It got me thinking and took me back to time when I was just a child growing up in a society where technology and women's rights was evolving.
I was raised by my mother who was of Caribbean decent, a strong women who for as long as
I remember worked 2 jobs to raise myself and my 4 other siblings.

 I was lucky enough to have an entire army of very strong and hard working women around me of family and friends- its really true what they say cause it really did a take a village to raise me and shape me into the woman I' am today.

I remember attending a Saturday school that taught me about my heritage both African and Caribbean our history and our legacy.

This become the beginning of my understanding that being a women of such an important heritage I have so much excellence to give, I never wanted my ancestor's to have fought in vein for the right to be recognised as equals so, I proceeded to take up every opportunity I was given .

I remember my mother and my aunt always telling me that anything is possible if you work hard, and have determination, They also taught me not to be naive, that there will be some real bumps in the road but to keep focused and deal with such bumps with integrity and a learning experience.

 I was educated on prejudice and how I would have to work harder, not only due to the fact that I  was women of colour,  but also as a women in her on right. I further realised that element's on prejudice came in different forms nether the less I stayed level headed.

During this time I also attended an after school club for girls called Ajani the name translating into  "He who wins the struggle" that was run by women I called them women of excellence, these women knew my story cause they once lived in my shoes, they made me feel a sense of relief, that I as a women could become something great, and be an inspiration just the same way they inspired me.

These women worked hard at providing us with a safe haven and giving us light at the end of the tunnel. Its was a sisterhood, we would spend times on endless trips, activities, movies nights and team bonding but the excellence didn't stop there, individually we was all assigned our own youth leader who would then proceed to walk us home one by one after the school club was finished.

Attending church every week was a must, of which my Sunday school teacher was a women who also helped run the church choir and the summer play schemes.
Once a week I would also attend ballet lessons with my ballet teacher Alison- wow I had a busy Schedule but life was good.

At this stage I began to realise that  for most of my childhood, I had been highly influenced by strong educated women around me, they were my mentors,  and they were all women from different backgrounds.

After bringing my thought process back to current times, it made me wonder has much has changed and what kinds of barriers my children may face,  as they begin there journey through there childhood into there teens and then into the adult world. Can we really have it all, as women can we be business/career oriented, partners, wife's, mothers and still be able to have our own identity.

For sure this can be possible, but for me the real mentor ship for my daughter was to share with her my journey, no stone was left unturned as I proceeded to answer her questions one by one, her intelligence shined as I realised she was indeed a child of excellence.

 Her knowledge and understanding was overpowering and we talked about both negative and positive experiences she has encountered. True story is that my daughter at the age of 5 and 7 had two very different encounters with prejudice, but even at a young age her mind still in its innocent's she has established coping mechanisms to deal with such behaviours.

I am happy to say that I was apart of shaping the way she not only views her self but, how she views others, her peers, her elders and her care givers. The irony is we can't change the way people think but, we can change our reactions and use our platforms to educate each other in order to move past stereotypes.

 I always say one of our strongest tools is our voice,and when used in the correct way, can be one of the most powerful sources to deliver hope, encouragement and inspire each other that it is possible to have it all .

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