[Inspired by Feminist First.]

When I first started to think about how I would write this post, I was struck by what I felt was a dearth of female influence in my life.

I have pretty much always rejected the conventional standard for femininity, but without knowing that what I should reject was the standard, rather than the women who felt compelled to comply with it. So I concluded that I didn’t like women much, and on the whole I avoided having much to do with them – at least until the shared experience of motherhood gave me the chance to learn that I was wrong, and I came to know and respect so many new sisters.

But the more I came to think about it, the more I realise that despite my youthful rejection of womankind, women have still been my friends and supporters and a few very special women have made my life a joy.

Thank you to all of you!

Thank you to my mother, who has supported me and wanted me and loved me from the moment I was conceived, and who continues to do so today. Thank you for watching out for me, for putting up with the bad stuff and appreciating the good stuff. Thank you for everything you gave up so you could be with me and give me what I wanted and needed.

Thank you to the girls who were friends with me at school, even when other people were mean to me. Thank you to the young women who exposed me to such a range of life options during my college and post-graduate years. Thank you especially to the woman who I lived next door to as a fresher, who came across the Atlantic to make that year so fabulous.

Thank you to the midwife who looked into my eyes and took me through every contraction until the birth of my wonderful daughter. Thank you to my health visitor, who has supported me in my parenting decisions, looked out for me when I was down, and never interfered. Thank you to the cyber-women I have come to know in the last couple of years, especially the ones who have posted in the internet support groups I have frequented, and the ones whose blogs I read!

Thank you to all the women at BIBS, my local breastfeeding support group, who have been there for me throughout my journey into motherhood, for your support and inspiration, and for giving me role models. Thank you for helping me to trust my instincts, and to find my way without fear.

And, finally, since I am self-supporting, I’d just like to take a moment to love myself.

Thank you ME!