Maya Angelou. Susan B. Anthony. Frida Kahlo. Rosa Parks. Sandra Day O’Conner. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
Women. Leaders. Revolutionaries.
Each of these women’s actions have impacted our lives in various ways. They have shaped America’s history through artistic expression, by leading women’s suffrage, by joining civil rights efforts, and by holding respected government offices once belonging only to men. Our lives and our families’ lives are better because of their courage.
On International Women’s Day and during National Women’s History Month, it’s especially important to remind women how valuable they are to this world. Every woman has qualities to become a great leader and should take inspiration from the aforementioned history makers and other women to impact their families and communities. How can you tap into those qualities to make a difference?
Respect Yourself and Your Family
You can’t change others’ lives until you take care of your own. Take stock of your commitments and ensure you’re only doing what you can and what you want. You need to schedule time for rest and relaxation, both for you as an individual and for your family.
You’re at your best when you are rested, without stress, and inspired. Take inspiration from your family, from your hobbies, or the causes that you care most about.
Set Goals and Plan for Them
Take a few moments to write down what you want for your life and for your family. How can you obtain those goals? Set small, incremental goals that contribute to larger goals.
For example, do you want to improve the arts offerings at your child’s school? Sit down and think about the big picture needs: staff, funding, materials, and the school board’s buy-in.
Then, set the small goals. By the end of the month, you will research how much the staff and materials will cost for the program and determine the final funding costs.
The next month, you can focus on a proposal for the school board. These are small goals you can set that will help you achieve your ultimate goal.
Take a Leadership Role in Your Child’s School
The best way to make a difference in your child’s education is to be involved. While you are your child’s only teacher in the first few years of his or her life, you remain your child’s first teacher for the rest of his or her life.
Join the PTA, volunteer as a parent leader, or volunteer as a classroom aide if you have a flexible schedule. Ask your child’s teacher what opportunities are available to be more involved at school, like chaperoning a field trip. Those efforts demonstrate to your child that you care about his or her life at school.
Celebrate Others’ Successes
It truly takes a village to raise a child and make positive changes. When you see another woman taking steps to better her family and community, congratulate her. Thank her for her work, her strength, and her efforts. Ask how you can help her.
Every woman who makes a difference starts as an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. Little steps lead to big changes. By respecting your needs and setting goals for you and your family, who knows what you can accomplish? Maybe we’ll see your name in the history books 100 years from now.