I will never tell you “You’re going to have to learn that life’s not fair!” This is not a lesson that you need to learn from your mother. I will strive to show you that the world is basically good, and on occasion, not fair, because this is truly what I believe. I will teach you that being kind and gentle is the most important thing; to other people, to animals and to the earth. The best way that I know to teach you this is to remember to be this way myself and to surround you with people who also behave this way. I will include you in our community of friends (who are really more like family). They are kind and gentle people who love you.
I will strive to make your home your safe haven where you can always be yourself. I will teach you that you are never, ever a “bad girl”, by calling you a “good girl” when you are docile and quiet, implying that when you are the opposite, loud and contradictory, that you are the opposite of good. You are never, ever “not good”, although I may not particularly like your behavior. I want to make sure that you believe this at the very core of your being.
I will always love you, no matter what path you choose in life, what friends you make, or what trouble you may get into along the way. I will strive to make sure that you never feel you have to keep any secrets from your parents because you feel ashamed. As your parents, we will face problems with warmth and guidance, not judgment and fear.
I will never hit you or pinch you or bite you. Putting these things down in words makes me see how ridiculous they really are. I made this promise the day you were born and I will not break it. I make this promise again and again when I am calm, so that I may remember it when I am angry. I may lose my temper and yell, but this is my mistake and I will strive to be rational next time.
I will never force you to eat things you do not want to eat. Nor force or coerce or suggest that you hug or kiss when you do not want to hug or kiss, even if it embarrasses me or hurts people’s feelings. Your body is your own and only you know when it is hungry and when it wants to give or receive affection.
I will try to resist the urge to shield you from pain when I know it will help you to grow. I will strive not to smother you, and to let go when I am sure it is best for you, even if it hurts me.
Since I wish for you not to interrupt people when they are talking, I will not interrupt you while you are talking, or ignore you when you are asking for me. I believe that children deserve this respect as much as adults.
As I care for you every day, I will remember that this is my job. I will give you my attention and my time. I will treat this as seriously as I treated my teaching jobs in the past. This is the most important work I will ever do and I will strive to remember that every day.
I will not expect you to act older than you are. When you are a toddler, as you are right now, I expect you to act like a toddler. When you are a teenager, I will expect you to act like a teenager.
I will strive not to confuse my desires and my to do list for what we “have” to do or where we “have” to go.
I will not remind you of how much money I have spent or how much time I have given. If I cannot give without doing so, I will not give. I will not play the martyr in order to gain while giving.
I'm Molly. I'm all in for parenting. I'm all in for good food. All in for big and small outdoor adventures. And really only partly in for homemaking. I want a Martha Stewart home and meal, but the truth is, we mamas just can't do it all. Not really. This shit is tricky!
This is a collection of musings and missives about parenting like you mean it. I mean really mean it. About how you can pull off a really mostly decent meal, keep your house kinda clean, do some of your laundry, and also even remember to usually feed your pets. But mostly about how being a mama is hard and we can totally rock it, but maybe that dream of perfection has got to give a little.