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For My Baby Girl on Women's Day

Though I didn't get the best night of sleep last night, I am feeling quite energized today.  Perhaps it is from all of the coffee I drank.  Or could it be because it's International Women's Day and I've been reading uplifting quotes all morning!  For me, today is not going to be about going to any events or doing anything extravagant.  That's not really where I'm at in my life.  In all honestly, I'm still in my PJs and glasses sitting with my kiddos, my coffee and my laptop.  The view from here is pretty darn good though.  For me today will be about celebrating the women around me and taking a look in the mirror to determine what I can be doing better to demonstrate my own strength for the little girl watching me.
This morning I've been thinking about my grandmothers, my mother, my mother-in-law, my sisters, my sister-in-laws, aunts, cousins and girlfriends.  I have truly been surrounded by amazing women that have set wonderful examples for me and continue to lift me up.  This year I was blessed to give birth to a baby girl and now the torch has been passed to me.  Since the moment I found out that my baby was a girl, I've been feeling a whole new level of responsibility.  As her same gender parent she will likely be watching and learning from me in a slightly different way than my boys do and I take this role in her life very seriously.
First and foremost I want her to be HAPPY.  I want her to know that being happy can mean something completely different for everyone and I'm excited to see what path brings her happiness.  She was blessed to be born into a family with two brothers that will hopefully give her a view and experiences she may not have had without them.  She can be a princess, a superhero or anything in between.  The sky is her limit and I am here to root her on throughout her journey.
I want her to recognize that happiness and success are not tied to material things though it's easy to lose sight of this at times.  I want to encourage her to have the strength to stand out rather than just fit in.  I want her to realize that even in this very brand centric world we live in, wearing or driving or displaying specific brands should not help to define who she is.  This may seem odd since I'm a marketer but perhaps it's because I'm a marketer that I feel strongly that using brands to influence the perception of who we are is ridiculous.  If I can get one message across to her it is that I hope she will know that WHO she is on the INSIDE is what will truly define her and should matter most to the important people in her life.  I hope I can make this clear through my own actions.
I want her to feel CONFIDENT in her own skin.  I've been calling my daughter "beauty" as a nickname since she was born.  Of course I think she is the cutest baby girl I've ever seen but the nickname is much deeper than that.  It's what I see when I look in her eyes.  It's her spirit, her innocence and her laughter that make her my beauty and I will make sure she knows that.   Like most women, I've had my share of moments in my life where I didn't feel good about myself on the outside whether it be my weight or my hair color, shape of my legs, etc..  But over time I've learned to accept all of those things and I truly believe that self-confidence, kindness and happiness are what make women beautiful and those are the things we need to focus on.  I vow to never use the four-letter-word "diet" in our household as I do not believe in diets and the focus they put on weight and restrictions.  My hope and my goal is to only demonstrate a focus on being healthy through exercise and eating right with the purpose to feel good and fuel my body.
I want her to be KIND & EMPATHETIC.  I hate to admit it but I worry for her even more than my boys because I think relationships with girls can often be a little more challenging than those between boys.  Navigating through relationships with girlfriends in the school years and even as adults is not always easy but I know she can do it and I will be there to help coach her through the inevitable ups and downs.  I pray that she will learn to be the one that lifts those around her up and I know that this begins with my example and how I treat others.
And lastly I want her to be INDEPENDENT.  I have a strong personal belief that as women we choose the best relationships (friends, boyfriends, a spouse, etc) for ourselves when we aren't necessarily dependant on those relationships to make us happy or to survive financially.   Instead I want her to choose people who enrich her already satisfying life and lift her up even higher.
And so I've got my work cut out for me!  With all that is going on in the world today, this may seem small but I do believe that raising our children to be good people is actually an important part of the grand picture.  I'm excited and I feel empowered by this new role as mom of a daughter.  Happy Women's Day!
"Here's to strong women.  May we know them.  May we be them.  May we raise them"

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