Raising My Daughter in a Time’s Up World

times up

On January 1st, 2018, I woke up to Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram postTime’s Up. I’ve followed Reese’s career since watching The Man in the Moon on VHS in the early 90s. So much a fan, my daughter’s middle name is Reese. I was moved by her speech at Glamour’s Women of the Year in 2015, but nothing made me fangirl more than seeing her lead a charge (with many others) in Hollywood to say Time’s Up.

Time’s up on silence.
Time’s up on waiting.
Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment, and abuse.

I’m a sister, a daughter, a mom to a little girl, a woman in tech, a woman, and most importantly a human, so to say I support Time’s Up is an understatement.

I often think about the hard conversations I still have ahead of me with my daughter. For now, I focus on respecting her preferences and space. She loves playing with trains, so we play with trains. She doesn’t want to hug someone? Fine. It’s her body. If someone tries to make us feel bad, even this conflict-avoiding momma steps in to shake those haters off. I want her to know she doesn’t owe anyone anything. She can say no and if someone violates her wishes it’s okay to scream.

And when she’s screaming or preferably talking, I listen and I believe her. The other day, my husband asked her if she took a nap at school, and she said no. He was skeptical, but we chose to believe her. Lo and behold, it was true. I’m sure she won’t always be truthful but we start from a place of trust.

We also take shame out of the equation. She has both had and caused accidents. I’m now the proud owner of a shattered vintage plate. In the moment, she cried, a lot. I let her feel all the feelings and threw (mostly my) embarrassment out the window, because accidents happen. So we sat on the floor of an antique shop, picking up the pieces together. I spent a long time convincing her it was okay. There’s nothing her and I can’t figure out together.

2017 Women’s March

I want to be someone she trusts because I respect her. To be someone she admires because I stand up for myself, her, and others. I want to be someone she respects because I trust her. To be someone she comes to because I’ve always been there for her judgment-free.

So what’s different since Time’s Up?

As a fellow #metoo survivor, a champion for women in the workplace, and proverbial girl’s girl, raising my daughter in a world that may be unkind to her and other women was already on my plate of things to help her navigate. The thing that’s different is hope.

I have hope.

Hope that time is up on silence. That my daughter will know not only can she speak her truth, but she should. Whether in defense of herself or others, that she’ll be compelled to stand up and use her voice.

Hope that we’re done waiting for our moment, the right moment, because it’s here. As survivor Kyle Stephens said in her impact statement, “Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.” This generation’s moms are those little girls.

And lastly, I have hope in my spirit and my husband’s to help our daughter combat hate, intolerance, discrimination, harassment, and abuse.

While the Time’s Up movement hasn’t changed the values I try to instill in my daughter, I now I have faith I’m not alone.

What does Time’s Up mean to you?

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