If You Have a Daughter, You Need to Read This Mom's Message About 'Apologizing'

toni hammer
Toni Hammer/Facebook

Many women don't realize how many times each day they apologize for something. Whether it be for giving their opinion, what they wear, how much they eat, or expressing what they honestly want to do, these statements are often unintentionally packaged in a "softer" delivery to keep from coming across as "b*tchy." The habit starts at a young age, which is why one mom is trying to break the cycle by teaching her little girl, Lily, to be proud instead of ashamed of her opinions and to ditch the meek delivery when she does speak her mind.

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When Toni Hammer's daughter started kindergarten this year, it brought back a bunch of painful memories of being bullied during childhood. "It really spiked my anxiety because I was picked on a lot as a kid and I hate the idea of her going through what I did," Toni tells CafeMom. "I know it won't be long before someone tries to make her feel 'less than' and I want her to face it with more confidence than I had at that age."

mom writes open letter to daughter
Toni Hammer/Facebook

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To teach Lily the importance of embracing herself and never downplaying or changing who she is, this mom of two wrote an important list of "don'ts" that every young girl should hear. "To my daughter, don't apologize when someone else bumps into you. Don't say 'sorry to be such a pain.' You're not a pain. You're a person with thoughts and feelings who deserves respect," she wrote on Facebook. "Don't make up reasons as to why you can't go out with a guy you don't wanna go out with. You don't owe anyone an explanation. A simple 'no thanks' should be acceptable."

Even though Lily is only 5 years old, Toni wants her to know as she gets older that she never has to keep her hair long to make someone else happy, wear a dress if she isn't in the mood to, or smile because someone else told her to. "Don't overthink what you eat in front of people. If you're hungry, eat, and eat what you want. If you want pizza, don't get a salad just because other people are around. Order the damn pizza," she wrote. "Don't stay home because you don't have anyone to go out with. Take yourself out. Have experiences by yourself and for yourself."

Toni doesn't want her girl growing up thinking girls should be afraid to laugh at their own jokes or let their feelings be known. "Don't hide your opinions. Speak up and speak loudly. You should be heard," she wrote. "Don't hold back your tears. Crying means you're feeling something that needs to get out. It's not a weakness. It's being human." 

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Instead of saying "yes" every time out of fear of being impolite, Toni hopes Lily develops the confidence to say "no" because she realizes that this is her life to live and nobody else's. "Don't apologize for being who you are," she wrote. "Be brave and bold and beautiful. Be unapologetically you."

Toni hopes that parents share this message with their own girls and work to raise daughters that are both seen and heard for who they are. "My mission in life is to encourage and empower women, and I thought that maybe my words to my daughter would inspire other women as well," she tells CafeMom. "I don't want my daughter growing up to believe she has to change who she is to be likable, to be loved."

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