I don’t think I am alone in wanting my children to grow up in a world where they feel safe, confident, and equal to those around them. Similarly, I feel like parenthood has caused me to reflect on my past in hopes of learning from it and providing my kids with thoughtful insight as they make their way through their lives.
Ahead of International Women’s Day, I thought I would write a letter to my daughter. While today she is a young and innocent three-year-old, my hope is that she comes to realize and celebrate her position as a strong and smart female. So here it goes…
To my daughter,
Firstly, I want you to know you are loved beyond what words can express. You are cherished for your unique personality and for being a great addition to our family. I am so grateful to have been able to watch you grow up into the sensitive and inquisitive human being you are today and am excited to see what your future holds. While the path ahead may not always be easy, please consider the following.
Always work towards exceeding the expectations set by others by showcasing your best self and working hard. There will be times when this may not be recognized with positive feedback or monetary value. Be proud of your accomplishments and know your self-worth. Be confident in your decisions, and if need be, build outside the box. Don’t feel pressured to do something because society expects it–do what ultimately makes you happy and content.
Stand up for what you believe in, even if your values and ideas differ from those around you. You will come to find that not everyone sees things through the same lens, and that is okay. Understand that everyone has a story and be open to welcoming others’ opinions and choices, for you can learn a lot from these interactions. A life of kindness and giving back can be extremely fulfilling.
May you always feel confident about your inner and outer self. Be proud of your body and know that healthy thoughts and actions go a long way. Know that you have a choice for what you do with your body, and don’t feel pressured to think otherwise. Furthermore, be proud of your mind, as it will continue to be your closest ally.
Search out friendships that are encouraging and engaging. Together, women can be a powerful force, and it is important to build each other up and support one another through the various stages of life. You will find these relationships will be some of the richest you will experience.
May you look for a love in another person that fills you up and allows you to be your authentic self. Finding this kind of love may take time and will require you to not settle. However, while you are searching for it, continue to better yourself and know the love of another isn’t necessary for you to be complete.
So, while I wish I could say the road ahead will be straightforward, it will in fact be the opposite. Nevertheless, each experience and opportunity presented will make you stronger and bring you along the path you are supposed to travel. Once again, know you are supported, you are important, and you are loved.
With love and admiration,