Raising children is no easy feat. Sure, it’s been done for generations … but when you think about how this little human is going to learn how to be a good human from you (and their loved ones), it can send you into a flurry of self-reflection. At least, it has for me.
Since having my daughter, I’ve found myself faithfully evaluating my own behavior and reflecting on what I want her to learn from me. There’s a Macklemore song that really spoke to me during my pregnancy and one of the lines that sticks with me is…
Who am I if I’m the person you become?
It completely resonates with me as I navigate parenthood; it demands that I work on bettering myself continuously.
Now don’t get me wrong, my daughter is not my mini me, and I don’t want her to be; but as her mother, I know that my example will impact the woman she becomes. My thoughts, feelings, and behavior will undoubtedly mold the person she grows up to be. And from the moment she entered the world beyond my womb, I’ve been on this perpetual teeter totter; wondering how to balance everything I want her to learn to be a strong, wise, and independent woman.
How do I teach her to be kind and forgiving without allowing people to walk all over her?
How do I teach her to be a strong woman without coming off as abrasive?
How do I teach her to act selflessly and without judgement while still exercising caution with strangers?
How do I teach her confidence while avoiding an ego?
How do I teach her to speak up for herself when it counts while knowing that not every moment needs a response?
How do I teach her self-love without placing too much importance on physical attributes?
How do I teach her to protect her heart without closing herself off to others?
The truth is, I can’t treat each of these things as some sort of delicate balance to be upheld because that in itself is a problem. The truth is, if I talk to her about this “balance,” I’m indirectly teaching her that women have to walk on eggshells instead of simply being themselves. The truth is, my daughter is going to learn how to be a strong, wise, independent woman from watching other strong, wise, independent women.
All of the things I want her to learn will occur naturally if I work to embody them myself… because, as they say, actions speak louder than words.