As a mother, you want the best for your child. You want to give them everything that you had growing up as well as all of the things that you didn’t have but wish you had. Our goal as parents is to set our kids up to have a better life than we did. Having my daughter, Sydney, makes me constantly think about the life that I want to provide for her and while I know that the things I want to teach her will evolve constantly, these are some lessons that I’m determined to instill.
I want to teach my daughter to stand out from the crowd rather than blend in. We live in a world where someone cool does something trendy and everyone jumps on the bandwagon. If my daughter ends up jumping on any bandwagon, I want her to do so because she actually likes the trend and not just because everyone else is doing it. Better yet, I want her to be the person that starts the trend! I want her to be the type of person that calls someone out if they’re doing something wrong, even if it’s not to her advantage. I obviously, don’t want her to do anything dangerous, but if she sees a kid being picked on, I want her to want to help the kid being picked on rather than ignoring the activity for fear that she’ll be bullied too. I want her to teach her to be a leader instead of a follower.
I want my daughter to know that it’s okay to fail. When we’re afraid to fail, we never try and fall into the comfort of complacency and what’s known. I don’t want her to feel ashamed about those failures but rather learn from them and understand that everyone fails at something at some point in life and that failure is a part of life and often it takes many failures to get to our successes.
I want to teach my daughter that she can do anything but not everything. I want her to be independent but to know that it’s okay to ask for help and that asking for help doesn’t make you weak or needy. I want her to try to figure things out on her own but to also know that asking for help can often shorten your learning curve and give you access to resources or knowledge that you would never have had without the help. Or at a very minimum, keep you from unnecessarily burning yourself out.
I want to teach her to be happy in her own skin and content with her own life. Comparison is definitely the thief of joy and humans tend to compare themselves to others quite often. I know that because she’s human, she’ll always compare herself to others, but I want her to understand that for everything she envies that someone else has, they probably envy something that she has. I want her to appreciate what she does have more than mourn what she doesn’t.
I want her to be comfortable going outside of her comfort zone. If she’s unhappy doing something in her life, whether it’s a job, a relationship or anything. I want her to be the person that doesn’t stay in an unhealthy or unhappy situation just because it's familiar or because she’s afraid of the unknown or of what people will think.
There’s a common theme here. I don’t want Sydney's life to be ruled by fear. Fear causes us to make bad decisions or sometimes no decision at all. Fear causes us to be anxious and unsure and it causes us to doubt ourselves and feel insecure. I want her to always endeavor to find her happiness and to never settle for less. I know that it's unrealistic to think that she’ll always be happy but I want her to always try to be! I know that there will many things that she fears in her life, but I want to raise her to embrace those fears rather than run from them.