I have a lot of hopes for you, sweet girl. I hope that you will find success in things you choose to pursue. I hope that you will be healthy – mentally, physically, and spiritually. I hope that you will be authentic, brave, and passionate.
Today, above all else, I hope you will find a partner who does not need you to be their mother, housekeeper, cook, and nanny.
I hope you find a partner who walks into the house after work, sees that the dishes need to be done, and just does them. I hope you find a partner who starts dinner without being asked, just because it’s dinner time. I hope you find a partner who stops by the store when they are out, because they know you’re out of milk, even if you didn’t ask them to do it.
I hope you find a partner who folds their own laundry, who doesn’t wait for a to-do list, who doesn’t let you do all the housework while they play games or watch tv.
I hope you find a partner who, should you choose to have children, parents them with the same level of responsibility and zeal that you will. I hope you find a partner who knows the names and office addresses of your childrens’ dentists. I hope you find a partner who interacts with your childrens’ teachers, who knows the date of your childrens’ last vaccinations, who takes your kids back to school shopping without needing their hand to be held in the process.
I hope you find a partner who recognizes that the hard work of maintaining a home and a family doesn’t stop when the workday ends.
Because you will do all those things. If you are anything like your mother, your grandmother, your great grandmother, and countless women in this world, you will end your workday knowing that the hard work of housekeeping has only begun. You will walk into your house after kicking ass in your career, and start the laundry, wash the dishes, make the dinner, check the homework, make the appointments, and update the grocery list.
You will do this without even thinking about it. You will have been taught, by your parents and by society, that this is what adults do.
You will, as countless other girls do, naturally maintain your space, naturally maintain yourself, naturally care for others. Because you will have learned that the stakes for a woman who does not keep a clean house, who does not cook good food, who does not maintain a fit and beautiful appearance, are just too high.
So I hope, my amazing girl, that you find a partner who is passionate and proactive about rowing with you. A partner who will take just as much pride in maintaining their space and themselves as you do. A partner who will not expect cookies and stickers and the title of “superhero” for doing what you do every single day.
I hope you find a partner who recognizes you as an equal, and, just as importantly, recognizes their own obligations in life as being equal to yours.
I hope you don’t settle.