Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Three Wishes For My Girls

As a parent, it's natural to want more for your kids. You want them to have the best education and opportunities. You want them to be smart and capable and successful. You want them to do more, see more, be more than you are.

I've been looking at my girls lately, imagining the adults they'll grow up to be and wondering what sort of lives they'll lead. Here are three wishes on their behalf.

Wish No. 1: They'll be brave. When I was growing up, I was focused on doing well and not making mistakes. But I'm turning 40 this year, and I find myself looking back at my decisions so far and wondering, Why did I waste so much time and energy on worrying rather than doing? 

There are times I've held my tongue when I should have spoken up. There are risks I didn't take that I wish I'd taken. I want my kids to grow up feeling they can take those risks, as long as they understand the nature of the risks they're taking. I want them to know it's okay to make mistakes—even big ones—as long as you can learn from them and use that information moving forward.

Wish No. 2: They won't have to worry about work/life balance. I know a lot of smart, amazing women—and men—who still struggle to balance the competing demands of work and family. And there's been a ton of dialogue on the issue: how to find balance, how there is no work/life balance; how to have it all, how it's impossible to have it all....

By the time my girls enter the workforce, I hope we'll be done talking about it—because it won't even be an issue. They won't be concerned about leaving work early to pick up their kids from daycare or feel guilty about being at work instead of at home. Because, really, why should they?

Wish No. 3: They'll learn how to advocate—and negotiate—for themselves. In our current work environment, where there's still a gender pay gap and fewer female CEOs, these are important skills for women to have. But the fact is, everybody needs to learn how to do this. It's an important part of building a professional career.

I hope my girls will grow up with the intelligence and confidence to know and communicate their worth—and not settle for any less than they deserve.

What do you wish for your kids?

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