Being a parent is not an easy job. I can't speak for all moms, only myself, but there are times when I feel like I have failed at the whole parenting thing. You know, there are always times where I think I handled something wrong or said something wrong. I'm not perfect, so it happens. All any of us can do really is just keep trying our best and keep moving forward.
However, there are a few things that I can do to be a better mom. Just things in my daily routine that my son will notice. I feel that leading by example is the best method of teaching, so I want my example to be a good one. I decided to make a list of things that I want my son to see me doing everyday.
1. Reading my Bible and/or praying. We have strong spirituality in our household. It is a major part of our lives. In our beliefs, we owe everything to God and we are grateful for everything he does for us. So, with that being said, it is important for me that my son sees me reading the Bible to learn and keep my faith strong. And also to pray and show gratitude to our heavenly father. We pray together before dinner and at bedtime. I also remind him that he can pray anytime and anywhere. I tell him that he can pray himself when ever he wants to. It is important to me that he knows we need to take time out of our busy day to take care of our spiritual needs.
2. Being kind to others. I want my son to see me being kind to others everyday. Whether it is holding the door for someone, giving a compliment, saying please and thank you, what ever the case may be. Having compassion and empathy towards everyone you encounter. If everyone could show that to others, it would be a much better world. Being kind to others is so important and this is definitely an area I want to lead by example on!
3. Putting him first. I want to show him every day that he is my #1 priority. I never want him to feel like I put more importance on other things...friends, work, chores, hobbies, etc. One nice thing about being a "one and done" mom is that I can devote all my attention to just him. No, I'm not saying I want to make him a spoiled brat. I am just saying that because my time is not divided between two, three, four kids...I can concentrate on him alone. I love being able to do that. That being said, let me also say, I have a ton of respect for moms with more than one child. Frankly, I'm not sure I could do it lol.
4. Being a good co-parent with his father, even though we are divorced. His father and I were high school sweethearts, together well over ten years and married for eight. There is a lot of history there. And we brought a child into this world together. Just because we are no longer married, I never want our son to think that we can't be civil and co-parent. It is important that he see us working together and caring for his needs together. Thankfully, we have done pretty well in doing this.
5. Being helpful. I want my son to see me being helpful to others. If you need help, you want someone there willing to help YOU, right? I want my son to know that when possible, help someone out. It can be a small thing or a big thing. That doesn't really matter. Just having that willing attitude is what counts.
6. Being a good friend. The key to having good friends is being a good friend. It is pretty simple. Hopefully he learns how to treat and interact with others in a way that makes people want to be his friend. So far, he seems to have no problems in this area; other than typical 6 year old stuff..."Susie was mean to me on the bus" and "I told the teacher Timmy called me a butthead" - that sort of thing.
7. Enjoying life. Life is not always easy. There are hardships; health problems, financial problems, family issues and countless other things that can pop up at any time. But I want my son to see that no matter the problems, there can still be some enjoyment and some happiness. We always joke around, act silly, and laugh. I can be in a ton of pain (from my back injury), but I can still crack a joke or enjoy a special moment with him. Being able to see the positive things in life can make all the difference in the world.
8. Admitting when I'm wrong. I do not find it hard to say "I'm sorry" when I know I am in the wrong. I'm never too proud to say, "ya know what, I messed up". I think it is important that he know mommy is not perfect. I can (and will) make mistakes. I want him to see me take responsibility for those times. This is especially true when I have hurt someone's feelings. If someone says or does something that hurts you emotionally, how much better do you feel when they sincerely apologize? I expect him to do it, so why wouldn't I?
9. Working. Whether it is work cleaning around the house or blogging, I want him to see that life involves work. Those toys will not put themselves away. The laundry will not wash and fold itself, and the dishes do not magically get washed. And my lovely blog posts that y'all love so much? Well, those do not get created with the snap of a finger! They all take work. Effort. Right now his only real "work" is school, but someday he will have a job, and a house, and maybe a family. I want him to learn good work ethics.
10. Taking time for myself. Sometimes, not all that often, but there are times that I will take time for myself. Now, one nice thing about my son spending time with his dad, is that those are times I can take "me time" with zero guilt. Most of the time when I plan to do something, I plan it around the times he goes with his dad. But either way, I want my son to acknowledge that mommy needs a break too. And that there is nothing wrong with a little "me" time. Nothing is worse than a mom that is so tired and stressed out that she can't even function, or she lashes out from frazzled nerves. So, even if this is just me having a cup of coffee in the morning to gather my thoughts and get my motivation going, it is important that he realize I need a moment here and there, without hearing, "mom, mom, mom, mom!"
I hope you have enjoyed my list of what I want my son to see me doing everyday! I am not some parenting expert by any means, but maybe you took something beneficial from my words.