Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Momma Dreams


I woke last night from another one of my nightmares.  I screamed so loudly that I woke my spouse and toddler daughter, who had once again made her way into our bed. My husband gently rubbed my back and reassured me I was safe.
 

My daughter then brought her tiny hand to my cheek and softly embraced me, stating, “It okay, Momma.  I had sweet dreams of kitties and puppies.”

 
As she regularly reports having such sweet dreams, her father asked, “Can you send Momma some of your sweet dreams?  Can she dream of kitties and puppies instead of the bad things?”

 
“No,” my daughter adamantly shook her head, “She no dream of kitties and puppies.  She has to have Momma dreams.”

 
“Momma dreams?” her father asked, “What do Mommas dream about?”
 
 
“Mommas need to dream about cooking and cleaning,” she merrily replied.  

 
While there was amusement in my daughter’s naïve response, those words also brought forth anger. This anger was not directed at my adorable, comforting child, but at our culture and my own role in our skewed society.  At only three years old, has my daughter already become conditioned to believe that women’s roles are as mothers only, to raise the children, cook the meals, and clean the home?  Does she believe she must spend the remainder of her life subservient and smiling?  Does she believe that she can be defined only in relation to a man?

 
If so, those are not my dreams for her.  In addition to those delightful dreams of soft, cuddly puppies that she currently reports, I have far superior, more significant dreams for my daughter.  I dream that my daughter may never find herself in so many of the unfortunate positions I have discovered myself in.
 

I dream that my daughter may never work in an environment where sexism is so commonplace that a complaint is scoffed at.  May she never sit in an employee lounge where copies of FHM and Maxim are spread across the tabletops, with the images of barely clad women smeared with greasy fingerprints.

 
I dream that my daughter will never be in an occupation where she works more skillfully and competently than her male coworker, yet earns $2.00 an hour less despite his lack of experience. 

 
I dream that my daughter will never date a man who requests she step on a scale to verify his belief that she isn’t trying hard enough to stay pretty for him.  I don’t want her to doubt her self-worth so greatly that she would remain in this relationship.  

 
I dream that my daughter may never believe that intelligence is shameful in women.  I never want to hear her say, “I didn’t want to do well on the test because my friends would just call me a geek for being too smart.”
 

My greatest aspiration for my daughter, though, is that she pursue her own dreams – whatever those may be, with disregard to common gender roles. Should she achieve her goals, I aspire to a world where she is respected and rewarded consistent to her male counterpart. I want her to know that some mommas may cook and clean, but they also do, build, think, teach, inspire, plan, shape, and lead.  My dream is that she believes in herself enough to recognize she can do any or all of these things. 

 
I know that my nighttime terrors may not vanish should these dreams be achieved.  However, such dreams would make growing up a girl less frightening for all young females.  So, have sweet dreams and big dreams, my bright, growing young woman.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

31 comments:

  1. You also taught her a valuable lesson of compassion. How many kids her age have such a tender spirit for others. Keep on writing!!!

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    1. Thanks! I have surely considering abandoning this blog in the past week, so your last three words made a big difference.

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  2. Here here!! and i wish you sweet dreams tonight.

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  3. So well written. I dream the same thing for your daughter and for mine.

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    1. Thank you. Indeed, this dream is for every young girl in the world.

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  4. Such a better response than my sardonic "yeah right" when my kids say stuff like that. Of course, in my house, they think mommies order in just as often as they cook. : /

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    1. I've just managed to be a much better mommy now that I only work part-time. Mommy before only graded essays while she was home and looked stressed out.

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  5. We want so much for our children. The word that always pops in my mind is "better". And oh to be a child again and dreaming of puppies and kittens! :-)

    Deanna
    Http://mymutedvoice.com

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    1. Yes, I want to dream of puppies and kitties too. She did have her own nightmare one night though and told me it was because Darcy (our little daschund) was wearing a hat and that scared her. :)

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  6. Our culture will get there–eventually.

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    1. It has certainly gotten better, but I think we're in a down swing now too. Women are being valued for beauty again far more than I felt in the 90s. I could be wrong, but I feel a backslide right now.

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  7. Strong moms raise strong daughters, so she has a head start in that way.

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    1. Thank you! I love this comment; it made my heart happy.

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  8. I'm sorry about the night terrors, but I'm glad to see you back on the yeah write grid with this post. Well done.

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    1. Thanks. I always enjoy being on yeah write so much. My depression plays such a role in how active I am online. Always know that I still love your writing and appreciate your comments.

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  9. Those are very great dreams, and just having them is halfway to realizing them!

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  10. I love how you tie in nighttime dreams with general dreams for your daughter.
    And I dream those things for her, too.

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    1. Thank you. I also would like to say that I LOVED your post this week!

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  11. Blessed dreams for the young. Glad you can pass on these words to her when the time is right. That's what I love about blogging. That we can literally show our children these pieces of our mind and heart when they are old enough to understand.

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    1. Yes, very true. My children, as it is clear yours are, are very dear to me.

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  12. Do not abandon the blog. I repeat: do not abandon the blog. I love this piece and how you showed your daughter something valuable about yourself.

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  13. Yes and yes. I'm raising a glass to you and to this post. Let's raise all the daughters to be strong and awesome and to know with butter certainty that that can do whatever they want to do.

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    1. I will raise a glass to that in return! Thanks!

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  14. Momma Dreams are about hopes and fears and flying and falling, about the vastness of the world and the twisting corridors life draws us down, sometimes about dirty dishes and sometimes about kittens and sometimes about kisses and monsters, just like any other human. Share your dreams with you her in ways she can understand and she'll see a whole new side of Momma Dreams. (dropping by from Tipsy Lit)

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