We all make rules to live by, and most of us eventually break them. I was SURE that I would only date a certain kind of guy, that I would only want a certain kind of marriage, that I would only be happy going to work in specific places. Basically, all those decisions I made as a teenager or in my early twenties have now totally disappeared, and I’m sure in many ways, the same will be true for motherhood. I’m trying to be pretty relaxed about the whole thing, and I’m not making anything set in stone but mostly built around whatever turns out to be best for Harley when she’s born. If she wants to suck her fingers, cool. If she prefers a dummy, that’s fine, too. I’m not too stressed about those things.
There are some things that I think I know for sure, though, and I reserve the right to unabashedly change my opinion many more times on the subject matter. I have strong ideas about stimulating her as a baby, about how to raise her to be a good person, about how to raise her to know about the world around her. I want to teach her how to read at an absurdly young age the way I was, so that she can find her love of reading early on. I want to be a good role model for her as a woman, and make it clear to her that she can do anything she wants, that her gender doesn’t play into it. I have all sorts of cool plans for things I want to do, but I also have plans for things that I never, ever want to do.
I never want to use my child as a pawn when fighting with someone else. I never want to make Harley feel to blame for something she didn’t do/cause. I never want to take value away from her life, but only to add. I never want to undermine her sense of self worth. I never want to impose my emotions about something on her decisions. I never want to make her second guess herself because of my insecurities. I never want to impose my fears onto her.
I know, all parents mess up their kids. It’s kind of part of the process. And I’m sure that I will make mistakes, lots of them. But I want to give her the best possible shot at a life filled with knowledge, kindness, generosity, joy and ton of laughter. I will probably also cause her a bunch of tears, as will her father, but I’m just hoping that we can get her through her childhood. Not just to survive her childhood, but to thrive as a result of it. And I just hope that as she grows into adulthood, she and I continue to find new ways to relate and be close, that we aren’t just bonded when she’s a tiny baby with no other choice, but that we continue to bond as she grows into her own person, too.