Recently, we celebrated my daughter's tenth birthday. And I realised, like every mother, kids grow so fast! It is already a decade. On and off I keep thinking about the things I want to tell my grown-up daughter, but of course, she is still too young for a lot of things, and human memory is too short. So I thought why not write all I want to tell her here, and maybe one day in future, she will read this :) Probably I will be voicing all the other mothers of girls and helping them out too! Let's begin the letter.
"While there are tons of things I want to tell you (be organised, clean your cupboard, plan things beforehand - the usual nagging :D) - these are things common to boys as well. So I will try to stay away from those for now.
Periods. Of course, that is the first thing I want to tell you about! Periods are normal - it is a way for your body to prepare for a baby in the future. There is no taboo in it - and we have traditions around it just so we get some rest! Otherwise, I do not think there is much to bother about unless you have cramps and pains. Which I hope you never get. Take a break, get some rest, know your patterns, eat healthy food, and you should be good to go!
Independent. I want you to be independent. How? Learn all the basic skills. Cook your food, wash your clothes, clean the place you live in, and organise your stuff. Do not be dependent on anyone for these things unless you are bedridden. Go get your own glass of water. Don't be a couch potato. In the long run, you will never regret it. And you will not miss anyone anywhere if you know how to look after yourself.
Earn and learn to manage money. Decades ago, this was not important. Back in the day, I had some exposure where I grew up and it was not the conventional way, so I can earn if I wish and make my money decisions. Now it is indispensable. You simply must earn on your own. It does not matter how much - it should be sufficient for your survival. Learn to survive on what you earn. Learn how to manage your money. Do It Yourself. I cannot stress enough on this. This is the most important DIY you need to learn, girl! Earn your money, file your taxes, save your money, invest it, have spending goals and keep up with them. You must manage your money to make the best use of it. This is mostly ignored, but I want you to know it is very important, especially for girls.
Travel. Make travel goals. Travel solo, or in a group, however you wish, but travel. I don't mean multiple countries and fancy destinations. I mean go for camps, treks, explore different cultures, mountains, beaches, hills, forests. The adrenaline rush that this will give you, nothing else can! Nature can thrill you like NO amusement or waterparks, rides, malls, shopping or destinations can. It will stay with you forever. It will cleanse your soul and get you closer to real life. Don't miss this for anything in the world. Yes, go abroad and explore other places too, but don't ever think that is the only way to enjoy a holiday.
Love. This is a deep concept and maybe I will write a book on it someday, but for now, remember to never be blind in love. When you are a teenager and adolescent, you will have crushes on guys, you will dream of a life with them, and you might want them to be more than friends, but this is all part of life and a phase. The time and people will all be left behind. Don't be guilty of dreaming, girl. Dream all you want. But think seriously of love only once you're at least 20 and independent. Serious love is serious - not just butterflies in the stomach - but also practical. Just looks will not take you far. What matters is what is deep inside. Take your time to know someone before you jump into the wagon. Your values and thoughts need to match for you to decide to make someone your life partner. Time is a big factor - take at least a year or two to know a person before you decide to get hitched. It is difficult for anyone to pretend for that long - so you'll know! Even if you have different interests and goals, it does not matter as long as the person is loving, caring, understanding and most importantly, tolerant, and genuinely believes you should do what you want, no matter what people say or what he thinks. That is true love and respect in any relationship. Accepting people as they are is important. The same will apply to you as well!
Sex. Yes, there is something called sex. No, god does not drop babies randomly from the sky. It is the way of reproducing. We need a man and a woman for it (at least to reproduce). Be careful - it is a big bad world out there. Not everyone can be trusted. Your body is sacred and be very vigilant as to whom you engage with. There is nothing called 'no strings attached.' There are always strings attached because your mind and body are not isolated - they are bound to each other. So think ten times before you jump into anything. I know there will be an age, a phase, and hormones - but there is a good time and place for everything - and you will not regret it if you take a wise decision. Read about it - don't jump onto the internet. Understand how your body works, and what are scientifically correct facts. Do not believe in any hearsay.
Contraception. Yes, you need to know about it, and it is not too early. It is extremely important to be safe from unwanted pregnancies. It does not matter even if you are married. And a man who does not bother about your protection is not worth having you. Ditch him right away. The best way is if the man uses condoms - any other way involves playing around with your body and hormones and I will not suggest it. But of course, it is your choice. Again - read about it and never believe in hearsay!
Don't fear. Don't ever be afraid. If you have not done anything wrong, fight it out. Be bold. We have your back while we are alive, but ultimately you have to take a stand for yourself. Where there is a will, there is a way. Do not settle for anything that breaks you or your heart doesn't agree with. You have to fight for yourself. Decide what you want and get it. And if you feel something does not align with your values, do not let it stay in your life. Be clear. Nothing can stop you if you are determined. Do not live in toxicity. Never feel inferior to anyone. Don't compare yourself to anyone because we are all different. Know that you are special in your own way. Love yourself.
Be humble and compassionate. The last, but equally important value, is this. No matter what you achieve and where you are - stay on the ground. Always know that you can never get anything without the people around you - whether it is your teachers, family, friends, or house help. Be grateful for what you have and to those who help you. Big brands do not make you big - a big heart does. Respect everyone and never think you are superior. Help others as much as you can. Never be too proud about your achievements or any good that you do. Humble people are always loved.
This was a lot, but it is quite important. I hope you imbibe these qualities and ideas in your life while remembering that we are always learning and not to beat yourself up for lagging in anything :) Lots of love to you!"
I hope you all enjoyed reading this, and if you want me to write up a letter to my son as well, answer here!