I was thrilled to find out recently that I’ve been chosen to be part of the new “Barbie: I Can Be” campaign, to help promote a new website that will help Moms with the task of raising their daughters so that they are smarter, stronger, happier, and more fulfilled. You can find this great new site at http://www.bethevoice.ca/.

Computer Engineer Barbie

Leading Canadian Parenting Coach, Terry Carson (http://www.theparentingcoach.ca/) will provide perspectives, wisdom, and experiences with visitors who, like all of us, want to become better at parenting. Each month, she’ll be sharing new themes and parenting tips and ideas.

(In case you think I’m ignoring the elephant in the room, I’d like to point out that on the website, one reader already commented on the whole “Barbie’s-unrealistic-body” issue! You’ll have to surf over to find out more.)

I’m sure we all second-guess ourselves in terms of how we’re raising our daughters (or sons). I was lucky enough to have a fantastic mother to look up to, and I certainly followed in her footsteps. I’ve written before about how she inspired me and made me believe I could “have it all”: a fulfilling career and a family.

I also had the example and support of two wonderful grandmothers and several special aunts. My mom’s sister is only eight years older than me, and was more like my own sister than an aunt. I could count on her for hand-me-downs (I especially loved the magazines: Teen, YM and Seventeen) as well as advice. And of course I am very well aware of the impact that teachers can have on their students, and Mrs. Clancy (who taught me in Grades 3 and 4) definitely left a lasting impression with me. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I loved Mrs. Clancy so much that it made my own mother a little jealous!

I think the whole idea of the “I Can Be” theme is great, and when I look back on my childhood, I can recall exactly what my ambitions were: wife, mother (preferably of girls), teacher, homeowner and writer. (Yes, I was that boring. Although “movie star” made a fleeting appearance on the list.) What can you do when all of your dreams come true other than get down on your knees and thank God? I have to admit though that gratitude is unfortunately elusive sometimes, considering that each of those roles comes with strings (of varying thicknesses, lengths and entanglements) attached.

Although I often feel guilty (I’ve mentioned I’m Catholic, right?) for not being an in-house entertainment director or constant playmate for my girls, some of the important values that I want to instill in them (see website for more on values) are strength, independence, creativity and curiosity. I feel confident that they are on track with those, despite (or because of) my aversion to hovering.

I must be doing something right (or making things look too easy!) since my five-year old tells me regularly she wants to be a mommy, teacher and writer like me. She also insists that she will do all this while still living with me. We have time to negotiate that part.

Be sure to check out the new Barbie I Can Be website at http://www.bethevoice.ca/.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Barbie I Can Be campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Mattel Canada. I will receive compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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