Letters to my Daughter: Be the Queen of your Kingdom. Not the Wife of your King!

Zeffirra-HuseinZeffirra Husein works with a private equity firm, is married to a workaholic surgeon and is a mother to a beautiful girl. Her days are crazy, juggling between work, home, her darling daughter, family and friends. Zeffirra believes in not dwelling on the past and not worrying about the future. Instead, she focuses on her present which is truly a ‘present’ from above. Zeffirra created an email ID for her daughter on the latter’s birth and has been writing regularly to her about their lives and about the things she wants her daughter to know about. In her blogs for ParentEdge, Zeffirra will share her ‘present’ in the form of her letters to her daughter. Zeffirra’s personal blog can be accessed at http://iheartmypresent.blogspot.in/

When I was in my early teens I knew this beautiful lady who was once happily married, had a loving husband, two beautiful kids, house of her own, etc. etc. She had a life that most women ‘then’ would envy. (I say ‘then’ as the mindsets of most women have changed in the past decade and half.). Then one day I heard that her husband passed away at 32 years of age of a heart attack. It came as a shock to me and I can only imagine what she and her family would have gone through. After a few years I bumped into her and just by looking at her I could tell that her life was not so enviable any more. She was remarried but this time it was not to seek love but to help her support herself and her kids financially. This chance meeting with her and her changed appearance will stay forever in my mind. That experience I had many years ago has led me to believe that every woman should be self-reliant and hence this letter to Zayb. I have published this letter on my personal blog earlier this month as well.

Zayb,

I once read this quote by Lara Turner, ‘ A successful man is one who makes a lot of money, and a successful woman is one who can find such a man’.  Though very funny (and I am sure she was just trying to be funny when she said this) I thought of this as absolute ‘bovine manure’. Your ambition and identity should be based on who you are and what you want to be. Not on what your partner is or can be. Be the Queen of your Kingdom not the wife of your King. You don’t want to be at the mercy of another for your own identity. The wife of the King remains Queen till he wants her to be. She enjoys her status and luxuries as Queen till he allows her to enjoy it. Or till he is able to provide it.

I heard Naanijaan once tell someone  that Nanajaan doesn’t want his daughters to be at the mercy of a man. He wants them to be independent and self-sufficient. Nanajaan always encouraged Maasima and me to study, explore, express, be whoever we wanted to be and have an ambition.  Masima was the first person in our social circle to work in the media and advertising industry. I was the first girl in the family to live and work in the west. Nanajaan and Nanijaan always encouraged us towards progress and empowerment.

While independence, identity, ambition are very valuable, love, respect and companionship are equally so. Being ambitious and independent doesn’t mean that you disregard the needs of your family and friends. It doesn’t mean that you forget to offer respect and courtesy. Be respectful to your partner. If you are the Queen he has his own space as King. He is not the husband of a Queen. Yes! My sweet child always be respectful no matter what you achieve…but at the same time remember to be respectable. Remember that you deserve to be with someone who deserves your respect and will respect you in return.  Be the best partner you can be. Be the best companion you can be. You and your partner are meant to share your lives, share your successes, share your sorrows and not piggy back on each other. Sooner or later every piggyback ride becomes uncomfortable for the rider and tiring for the carrier.

Love to my Princess,

From the reigning Queen 

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children. This blog was written by Zeffirra Husein

Zeffirra works with a private equity firm, is married to a workaholic surgeon and is a mother to a beautiful girl. Her days are crazy, juggling between work, home, her darling daughter, family and friends. Zeffirra believes in not dwelling on the past and not worrying about the future. Instead, she focuses on the present which is truly a ‘present’ from above.