This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca’s support of the Dove® Celebrate Mom Contest. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.
You can nominate inspiring mom’s here: www.CelebrateMom.ca.
When I was asked who I would nominate for the Dove Celebrate Mom Contest I knew it had to be someone who was an amazing role model for girls and women. It had to be someone who has inspired and empowered me and generations of young women throughout her lifetime and still to this day. Most of all, this woman needed to represent all that Dove believed in when they established The Dove Self-Esteem Fund to help free the next generation of women from self-limiting beauty stereo-types and inspire them to reach their full potential.
This person is my grandmother.
Born and raised on the family farm on Manitoulin Island my grandmother was the eldest of five children and the only girl. Back then, on the farm, that meant caring for her brothers and helping her mother run a household.
When my grandmother was sent to “town” off the Island for high school she met my grandfather – a returned soldier who worked the railroad. I grew up to stories of how he fell head over heels for my grandmother and he was certain from the moment he laid eyes on her that they would marry and they did.
After having four boys of her own my grandmother knew that she wanted a different life for her children – one that would allow them to have options outside of the mines and the paper mill and the steel plant of Northern Ontario. She knew that she wanted them to have options that only an education would give them and she also knew that my grandfather’s wages would never be sufficient to afford post-secondary education for their boys.
I often marvel at how progressive my grandfather was – a man of his generation “allowing” my grandmother to do what was to come next. If we think the working mom vs. stay at home mom debate still runs rampant imagine what my grandmother had to deal with when she asked her parents to care for the boys while she went to a city hours away to pursue her teaching diploma (and later when her boys were older her education degree). How brave and determined and empowered my grandmother must have been.
Because of her strength my grandmother changed the face of our family with sheer will and determination. Every single one of her sons and all of the grandchildren (who are of age to do so) have pursued post-secondary education. We have options that only education can give because my grandmother believed she could make a difference. Not only in shaping the lives of her children but also the multitude of children that she would teach.
Ironically, after having four sons, the first three grandchildren (of which I am #3) in the family were girls. To say my grandmother was not a typical grandma would be an understatement. She took to loving, supporting and encouraging her grandchildren unlike any grandmother I have ever seen because she knew first hand that if we knew where we came from and we knew we were loved we could do anything.
“Because I’m a girl” was never a valid excuse around my grandmother. Being beautiful meant being a good person, believing in yourself and knowing that limitations were something you set for yourself. My grandmother may have been determined to change the lives of her sons but she has had the same life-changing impact on my life, the lives of my siblings and cousins and now on my children – her great-grandchildren. Not to mention the generations of girls she taught with the same message she raised her granddaughters with – you can do anything. My grandmother is proof of that.
My grandmother mothered and grandmother-ed me when I needed it the most. She encouraged me the way no other person could. Her love gives me strength to be the mother, the wife, the professional and the woman I want to be especially on the days when I feel like I’m failing at all of it.
My grandmother is the epitome of what it means to inspire and empower women. I am so very lucky to have her in my life. Every girl deserves a role model like Grandma and I am honoured to nominate her for the Dove Celebrate Mom Contest.
PS: Want to know more about the Dove Self-Esteem Fund? Every time you buy Dove you help raise a girl’s self-esteem. The Dove Self-Esteem Fund was developed to help free the next generation from self-limiting beauty stereotypes. The Fund develops and distributes free resources that enable and empower women and girls to embrace a broad definition of beauty.
Visit www.CelebrateMom.ca by September 4th to nominate a mom who’s an inspiring role model to women and girls in the Dove® Celebrate Mom Contest. Four inspiring women will win $2,500 for herself and $2,500 to be donated to the charity of choice.
And check out more stories on YummyMummyClub.ca about amazing role model moms: www.yummymummyclub.ca/family/mummy/celebrate-a-mom-in-your-life