Day Four: Parenting

The actual topic is my relationship with my parents, but my father has long passed away & my relationship with my mother is both complex & interesting & very hard to explain. Also, my mother regularly reads my blog (waves to my mother), so I’d rather not say anything good or bad, as I’d just rather not.

However, my relationship with my children is different. It’s a source of pride for me. As their only stable caregiver (as their dad has his own issues and anger management problems & is more concerned with other things than being a dad, which is why he doesn’t pay child support or like schedules or routines or anything constructive), it’s important to me to be the role model. I went through a period last year when I wasn’t the role model, so now it’s even more important to me to be the role model. I need to go to work every day & not miss a single day. I need to work hard. I need to think of my career & how continuing to work at building a portfolio helps me show them to work towards their goals. I have to be careful who I date, as that person will the be the person they build their standards around. This is something that comes up a lot with my tween and her penchant for liking bad boys on TV. She says love will fix them, sadly, it doesn’t.

Maybe I take this too seriously, but I feel like it’s my job to teach them the right way. It’s my job to teach them how to become strong young women & I need to live that example. So, each day I need to model myself as the type of woman I want them to grow up to be. That means live healthy, be healthy. Focus on being emotionally strong & confident in myself & that I’m setting the right example. This is important to me. This is my job as a mother.

Fortunately, I’ve been lucky to have been given three smart, beautiful & compassionate girls to raise. They care about others, they’re helpful & kind. They all get good grades in school & are talented musicians & love to read. They’re all growing into young women & I want them to become strong & proud women who reach for the stars, focus on their goals & know they can do everything. Society will try to pigeon-hole them into vapid morons who have to be barefoot & pregnant while also maintaining a bikini bod & live to serve their husband. The media will make them think they should want a career & a husband while maligning both. Other women will teach them to tear down other women. That’s why I need to live the example I want to set for them. If I want them to feel they can have a career & don’t need a man to complete them, then that’s how I must feel. If I want them to respect their bodies, then I mustn’t go out & have one night stands or whatever (no disrespect to moms who do. Everyone’s thoughts are different). If I want them to choose a partner that will cherish & respect them, then this is the partner I must choose. I must walk my walk every day so my good, wonderful girls do not turn towards influences that will only tear them down. So, yes, maybe I take it too seriously, but that’s okay. I’d rather be “too focused” on being a role model than not at all & when my children are struggling, wonder where it went wrong, knowing they emulated my poor choices & the example I set for them.