As usual, my last post got me thinking a lot on a certain topic. In this case, it was on all of the things I want to do as a step mom...that are opposite of what my father did. I've been lucky...I learned about parenting in a unique way. I had an amazing role model in my mom...and then a terrible one in my father. I want to be everything she was, and everything he wasn't. There are certain things that I never want munchkin to worry about, things I never want her to question.
1. I never want her to wonder if we will be there for her. There were days that I would do something wrong...and I would honestly wonder whether or not my father would continue to love me afterwards. I wondered if he would back me up, or if I would be left to fend for myself. It was the worst feeling knowing that someone who was supposed to love you may or not be there for you to go to.
2. I want her to be brave...all the time. Something my mother always taught me was that you shouldn't be ashamed of being yourself. And not just in the way of showing your personality...but also when it comes to talking about things. She's a huge reason behind this blog. Learning to communicate about the things that bother you, and having the bravery to do it is so important for young girls.
3. I always want her to have a safe place...and a feeling that she can tell us anything. Along with number 1, I never want her to doubt that our home is a safe place for her. A place where she can express herself, learn, and always feel supported.
4. I want her to try things...to take chances...and to learn about everything she possibly can. Encouraging kids to do new things, and not be afraid of the world is huge in my book. My mom taught me to be cautious but not scared...and I'm so thankful I've been able to jump out of the box throughout my life. There are a million life experiences I wouldn't have had if I'd been too afraid to try.
5. I will strive to always provide a good role model for her. Not only in my day to day actions, but mostly in providing a healthy body image. My father used to encourage me to diet as a kid...and looking back I realize how twisted that was. Not only was I an insanely muscular and athletic girl...it gave me a horrible body image for the rest of my life. It has taken a long time for me to love myself again because the man in my life who was supposed to set an example...made me feel ugly and uncomfortable. Being "skinny" isn't what makes someone pretty or ugly...it's whether or not you are healthy. It's whether or not you love yourself. I hope she always knows that we believe she is beautiful, and that only she has control over her opinion of herself. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
6. I pray she is always a kid. I hope she makes mistakes, and doesn't always learn from them the first time (yes you read that right). I hope she doesn't have to feel the need to be an adult, or to be the strong one. She should feel protected, be happy, and enjoy her young life.
I want her to have everything I didn't, and all of the good that I did.