When I think about the kind of mother that I strive to be, I can’t quite say what exactly that is. I am an ever changing and ever evolving person, and I think that this is true when it comes to parenthood as well. Instead of reaching for the stars with some unattainable expectations of myself, I think more about the kinds of things that are important to me that my son know. I think of the messages that I want to pass on to him, and the lessons and examples that I want him to see.
I want my son to know that he has been loved since the second that I knew about him, and that I would, and will do anything to protect him and keep him safe. I also want him to always know that I am his safe place to land, and that although I may not always agree with the choices he makes, I will be there to help him pick up the pieces if things go wrong.
I want to allow him to make his own choices. My parents did this for me, and for that I will be forever grateful to them. Someday, it may mean letting him go when I don’t feel ready, but I need to trust that he has learned from us along the way, and believe that he will make good decisions.
I want to allow him to be his own person. Even at 4, he has such a big personality, and I never want to squash that. I want to encourage him, and foster his love of life, and music, and learning. I want him to find the things that he loves, and is passionate about, and throw himself into them with abandon. I want him to dance, and to sing, and to dream. I won’t make all of the decisions for him. If he want to have his hair long, then so be it. It’s his hair, and if that is the style that he likes, then I’m ok with it. He knows that we all make our choices, and that I might not like something that he does, and that’s ok. I want him to understand and know that it is ok to be different and that you don’t have to be the same as everyone else, and that it is good to be who you are.
I want him to be fit, and healthy, and active. I try to instill this through my own fitness. He knows that I work out, and what I do when I work out, and where I go. He knows the days that I go and the classes that I take. He knows how important exercise is to me, and how important it is in everyday life. I want him to grow up with a love of being active, of playing sports and moving his body.
I want him to know competition, and that sometimes you can try your hardest, but still not win. I want him to know that it is ok not to win, as long as you tried your hardest, and gave it your all. I also want him to know that it is ok to want to win, and to make that your goal. Competition is not a bad thing, and in a world where everyone gets a prize for participation, I want him to want to strive for more.
I want him to love, freely and deeply. I want him to know what it is like to love someone more than you ever thought possible. I want him to love his friends, and someday choose a partner who loves him like he is the most precious thing in the entire universe. I want to show him that love does exist, and even though it may look easy, it takes work. I want to teach him that you need to appreciate your friends and not to be afraid to tell them how much they mean to you. I want him to understand that sometimes people may only be in your life for a short time, but that they were always there for a reason.
I want to teach him the importance of fun. Sometimes you need to put on music in the kitchen and dance. Sometimes a wrestling match on the bed first thing in the morning is ok. It’s good to be silly, and as adults we forget that a lot. No wonder we have such high stress levels!
I want him to know that even when things are tough, they will get better, and to never give up.
I also don’t choose what, and who he plays with. I’m not really cool with “genderizing” toys, and having things that are “girl toys” and “boy toys”. I think that we need to stop putting these expectations on our kids, and allow them to like what they like. There will be enough time later for them to be judged on the things they like, why start so early?
I want him to live without regrets. Take the choices that you’ve made, and the things that you have done, and own them. Yes, they may not have been the best things, but look at the lessons that you gained from them and move forward. Life is too short to harbour regrets, and bad feelings.
I want him to trust. Himself and others. I want to instill in him that he can always trust me, and that I will always be there to listen, no matter what. I want him to know that even though I may not agree and I may not like what he has to say, I will not judge. I want him to know that I trust him, and I want to continue to earn his trust every day.
I want to be patient, and forgiving, and teach him to do the same. I want him to understand that these are things that are important, and that even though we all might make mistakes and screw up from time to time, that the words “I’m sorry” and “It’s ok” mean something.
Most of all, I want to allow him to be free. Free to make mistakes, and free to fall down. Free to find the things that make him happy and make his heart sing.
I want to be strong when I need to be, but let him know that I am human as well, and that I’m not perfect. I want him to grow up with memories of the times spent with me, and be able to look back at his childhood in 30 years and think of how great it was, and how much he was loved by his mummy.
This is part of a series that I am doing with a number of other amazing bloggers. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts here:
Tuesday, Jan 22 – Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama
Wednesday, Jan 23 – Melissa from The Thirties Grind
Thursday, Jan 24 – Amy from The Connections we Share
Friday, Jan 25 – Julie from JulieNowell.com
Monday, Jan 28 – Eschelle from Mumfection
Tuesday, Jan 29 – Taslim from Let ME out!!
Wednesday, Jan 30 – Katie from World by Smith
Thursday, Jan 31 – Lori from The Write Mama
Friday, Feb 1 – Kristina from Swank Mama
Tuesday, Feb 5 – Jessica from North Shore Mama
What kind of parent do you strive to be? Are there lessons that are especially important that you pass on to your children or that you want for them?