My daughter has made it perfectly clear that she wants no part of her name or identity to be used in relation with my need to vent emotionally about the job of parenting. And of course that is her right and I would never even consider putting any of her real-life situations or problems in a blog post for public consumption. But I can publicly vent about my general fear in regards to being a mother -- because frankly being the parent of a daughter is fraught with so many "what ifs," or at least it is for me.
My most looming concern for her is the fact that she has no biological sisters. As a woman who has two sisters, I know that there is nothing that can keep us from our bloodline bond. It is so primal and there is a loyalty we have for one another that is hard to articulate. I must admit it has never been easy for me to duplicate this same level of unconditional emotional intimacy with other women.
At 40-years-old, I am even more acutely aware that women are all about subtext. Unlike men, in my opinion, often times what women say holds no meaning. Their actions are often infused with some sort of ulterior motive but if YOU dare to raise this issue with them, somehow you become the target. You become the drama person. And Gd knows none of us want to be labeled as that girl who surrounds herself with drama.
I also see the interactions she has with her 12-year-old friends and how these are nearly the very identical dramas and inane underhanded situations I've continually dealt with -- on a regular basis with adult woman acquaintances and friends. So I look at her and although I don't want to project my own experiences onto her and let them color her opinons, as a parents it is one of the hardest things to keep from doing.
This is not a post about bashing women and that a sisterhood of women does indeed not exist -- it is just for me personally I have yet to find that elusive sisterhood OUTSIDE of the bonds of my own biological sisters. And so being that my womb is no longer open for procreation -- thereby making it IMPOSSIBLE to give my daughter a sister -- I figure at the very least I can jot off a life list that -- should she choose to -- she can carry with her, as a reminder that she is not alone in her thoughts and her strength needs to come from within.
1. If you feel slighted or wronged by another woman, swallow your anger and MOVE ON. Very little good can come from what another woman might perceive as being blamed or attacked for something she doesn't believe SHE did wrong. Most of the time women are acutely aware of the decisions they've made and have put a great deal of thought into them. In other words, you might have a problem with their action but THEY DON'T, so just let it be. And don't let any kind of grudge toward another woman live within you -- do not let any resentment take up any of your precious time on this planet. No one is worth that mental space in your brain.
2. Remember that your brother has to listen to you because your mother made him sign a pact in blood that he would be your surrogate sister and would let you vent any and/all frustrations a sister normally would. (I will procure this blood pact for my daughter and put it in a place for safekeeping).
3. Remember you are enough. You do not need to get your validation from other women. Take pride in the choices you make, the work you do and the family you create and hold on to them as tightly as you possibly can. Nurture the relationships that bring you the greatest sense of joy and cut off the ones that do nothing but drain you.
And lest you think I have given up on finding that elusive sisterhood, think again.