My dearest daughter,
The day you were born, my life changed. I never knew a love so fierce as the love I felt for you the moment you were placed on my chest. I heard there is nothing like a mother’s love, but I never understood what it meant until that moment.
In that moment I knew that I wanted to protect you from the evils of the world and teach you how to be a strong independent woman.
The world we live in is not always kind to women. I am fortunate to be raising you in a country where freedom is encouraged and respected and yet even here, in the United States, women are not yet equal.
As you get older, I will worry about your safety as you discover the freedom of having a driver’s license and attending parties where alcohol will be flowing and inhibitions will be lowered.
As a girl, you have to be on the lookout for boys who will not respect you. For boys who think that you owe them something because you flirted with them.
As a woman, you will be judged for many decisions you make about your career path, if you do or don’t want children, and how you raise those children. You will most likely come to find out that you are paid 20 percent less than your male counterparts, even though you have more education than they do.
We’ve never seen a time before where a woman could aspire for so much in life. I’ve seen moms stand up and demand equality in the workforce. I’ve seen women fight for equal pay. I hope you continue to do the same and stand up for what is right.
You have been born into a generation that has the world at your fingertips. Never before have people been able to instantaneously connect with each other and share their ideas in real time.
You have the ability to stand up and speak out about the social injustices that surround you. When you see a wrong, stand up and fight to make it right. The internet has granted you access to find a community that will stand and fight with you.
If a man tells you that you can’t, you turn around and do it anyway. If you get looked over for a promotion because you are a new mom, go start your own business and make your own rules on how much you get paid.
If nothing else, please remember these 3 things:
- Being opinionated is not a bad quality to possess. I already see your opinions shining through and I encourage them. I do not allow adults to quiet your opinions. Opinions help you grow and learn new skills. Your opinions will not always be right, and when they are wrong, learn to humbly admit it and move on.
- Find a mentor that will inspire you. Life is too short to be hanging around people who keep you down.
- Be confident and speak up. Remember this: What you have to say and offer this world matters. Being a woman is not a deterrent to you, it is a blessing. Without women, there would be no men.
You are an inquisitive, gentle, kind, and generous little lady. Don’t let the world rob you of that. When you see something wrong, do something about it. Stand up for what you believe in. Challenge the status quo. Don’t accept an inferior status for yourself or those around you.
My aspiration for you is that you walk your journey in life with humility and a strong sense of right and wrong. Pursue your dreams with gusto and always know that even in your weakest moments, I am proud to be your Momma.
With all my love,
Monica Froese is a working mom who lives in Buffalo, New York, with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. She earned her MBA in 2010 and is currently a marketing director. She blogs at Redefining Mom, where she focuses on empowering other women who go back to work after having kids. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram where she shares interesting facts about being a working mom and on Facebook and Pinterest where she shares all her best resources for managing the working-mom life.