As we celebrate Women’s History Month in Cleveland and honor the accomplishments of women this month, I find myself reflecting on my own, the greatest of which for me is motherhood. As a #girlmom, I feel an extra responsibility during Women’s History Month, especially now that my daughter is five. She’s inquisitive, opinionated and impressionable. Each day I catch more glimpses of the young lady she is becoming, and I want to use this special time to expose her to strong female examples and values to help shape the woman she will become.
Here are four ideas I came up with to do that:
- Share empowering stories. Marian Wright Edelman said, “you can’t be what you can’t see.” I set an example for my daughter (and son) every day. I’m a role model, but not a trailblazer. So, in addition to telling her about the work I do in the big building downtown, I look for books with inspirational messages, leadership lessons and women doing amazing things. Borrow from the library or add to your permanent collection. My current favorites include Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Dear Girl, Little Feminist board books, She Persisted, Rosie Revere Engineer and Ada Twist Scientist.
- Expand her horizons. Try something new. My daughter loves art and dance classes, so naturally I signed her up for a weeklong STEM program this summer. The National Inventors Hall of Fame’s Camp Invention sparks innovation in kids K-6 and offers dozens of Cleveland area locations.
- Give your next museum visit a female focus. Hunt for these 22 artifacts from women in the Rock Hall or look for women artists at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Visit the International Women’s Air & Space Museumat Burke Lakefront Airport or the Western Reserve Historical Society. The Cleveland History Center’s Wow Factor: 150 Years of Collecting Bold Clothes exhibit runs through April 2018 and features fashion by designers from Cleveland and around the world, including women like Carolina Herrera.\
- Spread the love.Support local girl bosses. Shop at a woman-owned boutique. Dine with your daughter at a female-owned eatery. Stock up on Girl Scout cookies from your local troop. Search Your Local Girl Gang Cleveland guide for ideas and add establishments to the list.
Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. ~Unknown
How do you celebrate Women’s History Month?