I have always known that raising a child is an incredibly important job, but only recently have I started fully understanding the pressure that comes with being a parent. A child’s entire life rests on their parents’ shoulders. And not just for basic survival like food and shelter, but also their confidence, their temperament, and their ability to succeed in life as an adult. While this deeper realization is probably one of the reasons I have been hesitant to start that next chapter, I know that eventually we will because we do want kids. As we approach this next chapter I’ve thought a lot about the kind of mom I want to be and the lessons I want to teach my little ones. Below are what I consider the most important lessons for Rob and I to pass on.
~Don’t be a jerk to anyone, ever. -- You can be the smartest, richest, most successful person in the room, but if you put other people down, make them feel like less of a person, or try to deny them their happiness, then none of that other stuff matters. If you are ever in doubt, first ask yourself “What would Grandma Mitzi do?” and then listen to Tim Mcgraw's song Humble and Kind.
~Someone coming into your personal space is a privilege not a right. -- And the same goes when you want to be in someone else’s personal space. No one, including family, can decide for you who gets that privilege. If you don’t want a hug from great aunt Wilma, you don’t have to hug her. If you don’t want to hold mine or daddy’s hand, you don’t have to (unless we are crossing a street or walking in a parking lot). If you don’t want someone to kiss you, touch you etc, you can tell them no and stand by that decision no matter what they say. And also know, that privilege can be revoked at any time for any reason. It is your personal space to decide who is allowed in it and who is not.
~Family is number one. -- We are all brought up in a unique situation with unique people and that creates a bond that is equal to none. They are on your team and you are on their team no matter what game life is throwing your way. This includes cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents too. There is a very special feeling that comes with spending time with family. It is safe, comfortable and home.
Even after I make the mistakes that I will undoubtedly make, I will feel I have succeeded as a parent if my kids master these three lessons and take them with them into adulthood.