A letter to my daughter on International Women's Day 2016

Dear Hattie - as you approach 12 weeks old, your future as a modern woman lies ahead of you.

You are amazing, you are my only daughter and you are cherished. 

In this troubled world, I pray that you grow up to know peace and live in security and harmony. 

I hope you grow up to adore yourself - to love your body and to be comfortable in your own skin. I pray that you realise beauty radiates from inside and external beauty is not a measure of success. 

I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy an enriching education, one where you can empower yourself through knowledge and learning. One where you aren't afraid to be creative. 

I hope you choose a career you love - if you don't find it first time round, keep striving. Remember, it's ok to change your mind and you must trust in your instincts if you are unhappy. 

I pray you support other women - you help to build them up and celebrate their achievements. They in turn will do the same for you because when women support their sisters, mothers, girlfriends - incredible things happen. 

I trust you have the strength to choose a life partner who loves you for who you are, who treats you with the respect you deserve and who sees you as an equal. 

I hope you live a life without regrets but realise that we all make mistakes. Follow your heart, take time to acknowledge slip ups and then move on. That shows strength of character and proves you are a fierce woman! 

Be kind and gracious - that is what makes you a beautiful person. Don't expect all other people to be kindhearted towards you, the truth is they may not be. Learn to accept this but find the compassion to forgive and move forwards. Instead, choose friends wisely. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and most importantly, believe in yourself. 

CONVERSATION

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