As you may or may not know, I am a first-time mom. I remember thinking when do you graduate from being a “new mom?”. A year and a bit into this and I can honestly say that I don’t think it ever happens. There is always a new challenge or situation that arises that you could not have predicted and have no idea how to handle.
Lessons for my child
With all the new challenges and requirements motherhood has brought it has also brought a new understanding of what is important to me, and more importantly, what I want for my son. So, here is my list of lessons I will intentionally be teaching my son as we continue to grow together.
Respond don’t react
As an adult it has been an important thing for me to determine what it looks like to be someone who is in control of their emotions and takes full responsibility for them also. This search has led me to the idea of responding rather than reacting.
I want to be the type of person who takes time to formulate their next word, or action rather than acting on the emotion of the moment and I want to be able to teach my son that too.
Take time daily to love yourself
I am not talking about taking a bath and drinking wine. I’m talking about doing the things that will help you live the life you dream of. It doesn’t have to be glamorous or fun, but it should move the needle on making you and your life more meaningful.
Be clear about who you are so that no one can tell you who you are
I feel like this is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. Knowing who you are, flaws and all is so important to maintaining self-worth. My goal is for my self-awareness to be at a level that allows me to deflect others’ opinions when necessary. I hope that my son learns this at an early age so that he doesn’t have to make the mistakes I made.
Go all the way into what you’re doing
Don’t do things just to do them. Do them with strategy, with enthusiasm and with pride. Give it everything you’ve got!
Be yourself no matter what
Code-switching is what they’re calling it, and women, especially women of colour, are masters of it. It’s not always a bad thing, but it is exhausting and does require a lot of energy. And while sometimes it’s necessary, it’s also extremely important to maintain yourself despite the situation.
Be kind not nice
Kindness is about telling your truth gently and with others in mind. Being nice focuses too heavily on pleasing others. Kindness is the goal.
My hope is that I can teach my son the lessons that took me over twenty years to learn. I hope that this list makes you ask yourself questions that will bring growth for you and your family.
With love and gratitude,