It recently dawned on me that while I was away with my dad, Kaliana was spending time with her dad. And this relationship, the Daddy Daughter relationship, is not one that gets a lot of attention but feels so important.
So I thought I would write about it, to acknowledge the challenges associated and what we as mamas can do to support them.
My dad and I are a lot alike. Growing up with him in high school we would get into arguments, hang up the phone on each other and also stay up late in deep philosophical conversations about life and being present on earth. I often struggled to understand his decision making processes, the way he would smile when often it felt like things were falling apart and his intimate way of communicating with a perfect stranger. As a young woman these behaviors would often make me want to pull my hair out.
Fast forward now...several years later...I get it. We look up to our fathers even when we don’t realize it and the foundation of those interactions influence our relations with men later in life. The power of the protector, the provider. When we feel safe we can flourish.
But what I am also realizing is that it isn’t just up to the dad to facilitate this feeling of support and surround. Mamas...we are essential in building this relationship. We need to let our girls know that dad is safe and although their energy is different than our own that dad is love too. Perhaps this comes in the form of words but from my recent experience of being away for a few weeks from Kaliana, I believe the real power is through encouraging time together.
And yes, it may mean their hair goes unbrushed, and they lose a piece of clothing or two, maybe they even eat more sugary treats than ideal...but the power of the bond that is being formed trumps all.
While I was away healing my past and spending valuable time with my dad I was also allowing for a new level connection to develop with James and Kali. It wasn’t always easy not being there and knowing I might do things differently but it didn’t matter. She was safe, James was challenged and empowered, and I could focus on what was in front of me feeling good about the next cycle of our family adventures together.
Mamas, we can’t do this alone.
We need our partners in life and business and our men are here to help. When we allow them to play a role in the lives of our daughters, I believe we are helping to shift the future of gender equality. We are not built the same but through the understanding of our individual strengths we can all flourish and in my utopian lense create a more harmonious world.