As a Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill had her fair share of adventures, but these days she faces tougher challenges - juggling full-time motherhood with a TV career. From Daybreak to day’s end, Katy and husband Trey have their hands full with a six-year-old daughter, Kaya, and almost-three-year-old son, Akira. And there’s not a nanny in sight. This could get messy…
Once upon a time - our girls were inspired!
Once upon a time there was a King and Queen who lived happily in their palace with Princess Kaya and Prince Akira. The Queen used to love bedtime – not because it punctuated an end to the madness of her day and the start of her adult evening (honest!) but because she loved cosying up with her children and reading bedtime stories.
But one evening Princess Kaya wanted the story of Snow White. They’d read the story many times but this time was different. As the Queen read she was acutely aware of how Princess Kaya was soaking up her every word BUT even more aware that those weren’t the words she WANTED the Princess soaking up - AT ALL!
Yup, this week I was suddenly burdened with the weight of responsibility we have as parents to inspire – especially our girls. I look back at these pictures from when Kaya was a baby and I can’t believe where my little lady went and how quickly things change. How did she go from this... to this?
The years do truly feel as if they’re flying and I want to fully equip her for her future. I want her to be excited by life, to dream big dreams, to feel empowered and to be confident in who she is. I’m aware that, to do this, I have to choose the books I read her carefully. Princesses – if included at all – need to be THE RIGHT Princesses!
In the past friends have announced to me in a somewhat superior fashion that they weren’t ‘doing the princess thing’! I resisted the temptation to a) snigger, since their daughter wasn’t even born yet and b) blurt out ‘Good luck with that one! This princess thing is everywhere – it’s very hard to go against the tide!’
But I can kind of see where they were coming from. What message ARE we trying to pass on to our daughters? Is it that their only calling in life is to wait until some prince comes and saves them? That their value is in looking pretty and wearing nice clothes?
With my heritage on Blue Peter and a reputation for embracing every challenge thrown my way – jumping out of planes/launching down bobsleigh runs/wakeboarding – ‘helpless girl’ is not the vibe I’m trying to pass on. Yet I became suddenly aware through certain book choices, indirectly, I was.
I wanted to discover some AMAZING books for Kaya to truly inspire – books to get her thinking – books to encourage her and help shape her into the best that she can be. Books with the right message! Step forward the lovely ladies at Britmums whos 4,500+ members lead online conversations by blogging/pinning/tweeting. I tweeted a message through them asking for suggestions and BOOM! LOADS of amazing book suggestions for girls!
Thanks to everyone who responded. You ladies rock! I’m slowly working my way through this list and will be reviewing the books so please don’t take this list as a personal recommendation – more a work in progress as recommended by other mums. But I wanted to share the list as soon as possible so you can inspire your girls too! So here’s the list – thanks if you contributed:
In my research www.jumpmag.co.uk pointed me towards THE COOLEST site for inspiring girls. www.amightygirl.com AMAZING! They search out the best T-shirts, toys, books etc. for girls and they sent me this link if you’re looking for princess books with a difference – the kind of princesses we WANT our girls to aspire to be! Happy days!
Finally – I LOVE this picture of Kaya from when she was three. And this week it became all the more poignant. Snow White yes – but looking through binoculars (made from toilet rolls! Hmm... wonder who HER mummy is?) I love that, though she’s dressed as a ‘princess’ her eyes focused on distant horizons, ready to explore the world!
Mummy’s going to ensure THAT desire continues! ;-) x
This week I’m loving:
Talking inspirational girls – Check out what some of my favourite mummy bloggers (www.mammasaurus.co.uk;www.aresidence.co.uk; www.mummybarrow.com) got up to this week in Ghana for Comic Relief. Amazing!
This is a postcard they sent me of a girl at the Virtuous Woman’s bakery in Accra where there’s a nursery which allows women to work while their children play and learn just a few metres away. Comic Relief has been changing the lives of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa for 25 years this year.
Find out how you can help at rednoseday.com