Being a mom as fun and great as it is truly is a huge job. Not only do you have this cute little mini to play with and ogle over but you have the responsibility to raise them to be a strong upstanding citizen in the future as well. That is huge. So much of what your mother teaches you sticks with you for ever. I find myself time and time again saying and hearing from others "Well when I was little my mamma..." or "My Mamma didn't raise me to..."
When L first came along there where times when I would sit and really think about the responsibility I had and how big a task I have before me. It can be overwhelming at times really. Thankfully I have a great God to guide me and a strong support system to back me up. The saying "It takes a village to raise a child" is a true one in the sense that no, the village should not be raising your child but they are a crucial piece of your support system.
There are a few key things that come to mind as far as my goals in being a mother to these boys...and any future children we have.
One thing that is most important to me is to raise a son who turns is a strong christian man who is honorable, selfless, and has a tender heart for others. This is huge and not something I can do on my own as a mother. I pray every day that God will guide me in raising this kind of son. We live in a society where if you don't have strong beliefs and values you will fall for anything and I hope to instill in him from an early age a good set of values and beliefs. So much of what we are as an adult is not taught to us but embedded in us over time during our formative years.
There have been several days while at the park a parent has asked me if L has siblings because he shares so openly or commented to me how sweet he is with younger children. I love this and while I know he has his moments where he doesn't want to share I have witnessed his gentleness time and again with babies and other children where he openly offers the toy he is playing with and is just so sweet to others. This is something I hope never changes and I know when this new baby comes he will have a period of adjustment and attention seeking behavior I hope he is just as gentle and kind and open with his brother as he is to the others he is around.
Another thing that is so so important to me is to raise a child with manners. I read a post recently that was oh so so true and I want to print it and highlight it and hang it on the fridge from Kim at The Nurtured Home about children and their manners these days. We have from before L has started talking and eating much other than soft baby food taught him please and thank you and that what is offered to you is what you eat and if you don't like it then you will eat more at your next meal. This is how I was raised and this is how my children will be raised too. You need to respect others and be grateful for what they do for you. You say yes ma'am and sir to your elders unless they give you permission to call them otherwise. We also behave in public and if meltdowns are had then we leave. There is nothing I need so bad at a store or restaurant that my child can act a fool and think its ok. we have changed our food to take out and left stores before because of this. It irks me more than anything to see rude children, rude children turn into rude adults and Ain't nobody got time for that!!
I was at a playgroup once a while ago and everyone had kind of brought along their own food for themselves and their children and I sat down with L on the floor and we were eating our food and this little girl who I had never met kept wanting a bite of my chicken burrito. Her mother kept saying no and next thing I know this child has her mouth on MY burrito taking a bite!! I was seriously blown away, this child was old enough and I couldn't believe she helped her mouth to my food... a child I don't even know! I'm all about sharing, but come on!
I could go on and on with things i.e. goals I want for my children but I think the third and final big one is that I want my children to feel loved and well cared for. This one is an easier one to accomplish as I think it comes down to motherly instinct. I will say though it saddens me when I see parents yell at their children all the time and get ugly at them yes, children can get on our nerves but I feel if you communicate with your child as you would with an adult maybe they wont say "mom" twenty times before you answer them or ask you the same question twenty times. We aren't there yet in our development, but, I do know that going back to infancy I took on a pretty laid back approach to mothering L. When he was hungry I fed him even if it was every 45 minutes during a growth spurt or rough day and if he wanted to be held I held him. Thank God for the Moby because there were days I couldn't put him down. Even now, there are days I have nearly been late for work or things just didn't get done because L just wants me to sit and hold him. I will, I feel like we all have rough days and as a toddler if you wake up grumpy and mommy holding you makes you happy then thats what he needs at that time. So dinner didn't get made before I left for work or the kitchen didn't get cleaned those can wait, one day he won't want me to hold him. I think feeling secure is more important than dishes or dinner.
This goal often puts my own needs and desires on the back burner for a moment and the selflessness of motherhood comes to the front but I would do it time and again if it means raising a well adjusted child who feels secure and loved. I also feel like I have to say there is a fine line between this and being a helicopter parent which I am not. I feel in order for a child to be adventurous and well adjusted outside the home they need to feel secure and cared for when their needs arise.