When Superheroes Ruled

wonder-woman-533663_12801Source: Pixabay.com

A group of 5 year old girls told me they can’t be doctors. They would have to be nurses instead if they wanted to work in a hospital. When I questioned this, they said there are jobs for boys and different ones for girls. Even after reminding them that my female friend is a doctor (they’ve met her); they still couldn’t grasp that those opportunities are there for them. Those children didn’t always think like this. A year or so before, they believed they could be anything they wanted to be. Why are our young children conditioned to think in this way? We’ve come a long way and fortunately many children follow the path they want without thinking it’s not their place. We’ve still a way to go.  Boys also have similar issues with gender inequality, however as it’s ‘International Day of the Girl’ I’ve written this poem:

When Superheroes Ruled

You were drawn to shades of blue

Loved the ocean and the sky.

Many plans for when you grew –

opportunities you would try.

 

Pink’s now your favourite shade,

not as bold as vibrant red.

Mums and princesses now played –

dreams of making home instead.

 

Superheroes ruled the roost,

battles fought and peace restored.

Fighting power’s now reduced –

Princess Anna’s now adored.

 

Forthright and full of spark,

always first to say your piece.

Now less keen to make your mark –

I watch your confidence decrease.

 

Brilliant doctor you would be,

boundless limits there for you.

You’ve lost ability to see

girls like you can do it too.

 

Superpower’s not so strong –

future vision’s lost its way.

Originality has now gone –

wish your doubts would fly away.

 

International Day of the Girl is an initiative started by the UN to promote the rights of girls across the globe. Statistics are sobering. Here a few:

  •  More females are aborted than males
  • Twice as many girls as boys will never start school
  • Millions of girls are at risk of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
  • One in three girls in developing countries, excluding China, is forced to marry before she turns 18.
  • One in seven girls are married before the age of 15.
  • In some countries, girls are forced to sleep outdoors during their period
  • As a girl, you’re at greater risk of HIV than boys
  • Worldwide, the biggest killer of girls aged 15-19 is suicide
  • Maternal death is the second biggest killer in girls aged 15-19
  • If a girl makes it through all of this and manages to start a career, she’s likely to earn less than her male colleagues
  • Currently it will take 100 years to end inequality between boys and girls. World leaders have promised an end to it by 2030.  That’s 14 years from now. We’ll see.

Sources: The Guardian and The Metro

Living in the UK, the majority of girls have an easier start in life, although female abortion, forced marriage and FGM sadly still take place.  The issues many young girls here face, may be classed as minuscule in comparison to those in other places in the world.  I still feel they are important and need to be addressed.

None of Your Business

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When you’ve had enough of people asking about your family planning!

 

Warning: There may be emotional triggers, related to fertility and loss

Well Meaning Questions

You don’t have a baby!

How can that be?

Surely you want one,

you’re a woman, you see.

 

You can give birth

and therefore you should.

You’ll feel incomplete,

without motherhood.

 

What’s that you say?

There’s reasons you can’t?

I was only asking –

there’s no need to rant!

 

Response

 You seem perplexed

at my reluctance to chat,

about personal issues,

fertility and that.

 

Because I’m a woman,

my fate is decided.

I must be a mother

If not, I’m misguided.

 

You people don’t think,

of the reasons behind

the absence of children;

but bear this in mind:

 

Some woman don’t want

a child in the nest.

They’re happy without one

and their decision is best.

Others have tried

again and again.

But a baby ain’t coming –

they’re feeling the strain.

Some have babies

who never were born.

Their heartache is deep

and they’re trying to mourn.

 

It’s not only the childless

constantly bombarded

with well-meaning comments;

no wonder we’re guarded:

 

“He’ll be spoilt and lonely,

If he’s not a big brother.

It’s not fair on him,

If you don’t have another.”

 

“You’ve got 3 the same gender,

that’s such a shame!

You’ll be hoping the next one

isn’t the same.”

 

“4 children you have!

They’re a handful  I see.

It’s clearly obvious

you never watched much tv!

 

So forgive us all

if we’re not always forthcoming.

There are many prejudices

we’re still overcoming.

 

Planning a Children’s Party – On a Budget

 

The dread sets in when the little voice tells you they want a party. Not only that, but a party at home. You’ve avoided it for so long and found the alternatives worked fine – the Soft-Play Party, Town Hall with bouncy castle; the Superhero entertainers; 10 Pin Bowling… anything really that didn’t involve hard work and messing up your home. They were all a success with varying degrees of fuss; all were pricey but then they have to be don’t they?  You never planned on cooking and baking and jazzing your home up for a party. The mess! The cost! The hassle!

Don’t fear, planning a children’s party doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.  Follow these 6 steps and you’ve no need to avoid the “I want a party in the house” conversation:

  1. I’ve created this handy PARTY PLANNING LIST  to help with your planning. You can ensure you don’t miss out the important details and you’ll blast the shopping in under an hour! I spent under £30 on a party for 6 – but had enough for 10 children.
  2. Get the children involved. We held a summer party last week and my little assistants (party attendees) helped make all the sweet treats and decorations, saving lots of time.  It’s a good week long project for them.  They will never run out of ideas for tat decorations on your walls!
  3. If children do help, change your expectations on what looks pretty and appropriate. The party might not be Pinterest worthy, but it’ll be fun. One little buddy insisted on making Christmas decorations for our summer party. He was delighted with them on the hall table. Another child made a terrifying grinning sunshine decoration. Again, she was over the moon with it. Why should I bother? It’s their party after all (and less work for me).
  4. Don’t have losers in games. First place always gets a medal and sweets in my house, but the losers get a treat too. I know it’s a good lesson to learn, we can’t win them all, it’s the taking part that counts… but it’s party. A happy time. Let them all win! The time taken to tend to a crying loser, is time you could be plating up an entire buffet. Trust me, I’ve been there.
  5. Don’t spend a fortune if you don’t want to. A good children’s party doesn’t need fancy food, decorations or games. Simple works best here, with the cake maybe being the exception. My Party Planning list has a breakdown of what I buy for parties and there is a column where you can detail your costs as you go along so you stick to budget.
  6. Would you rather relax when the kids have gone or tidy up toys? If you keep your childs’ toys around they could get broken or thrown around. Our play room got trashed during a party (not by my mindees). I just wanted to chill with some Cava. Consider hiding toys away before the party if you don’t want the tidy up exercise afterwards.

 

Also, see my post 20 Free (Or Cheap) Outdoor Things To Do With The Kids This Summer if you’re looking for summer holiday ideas.

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