7 Promises to My Daughter and What I Must Learn

I have a pretty amazing little girl. Yeah yeah she can’t walk or talk yet, but she doesn’t need to do either of those things for me to know how amazing she is. When I found out I was having a girl I was flooded with a range of emotion consisting mostly of fear and anxiety. The worse part being I could not talk to my husband about my concerns because he wanted the gender to be kept a secret. Yes, I actually kept it a secret the entire time. That is really big for me since I’m so impatient.

Anyway, you might be wondering why I was so scared. I have always wanted boys, which is the precise reason why I had a girl I’m sure. I was a tom boy growing up. Sort of an anti-girly girl if you will. I always had boys for friends. I never could keep a girlfriend for long. I don’t know how to relate to them. I’ve never fully trusted one to be myself. Knowing all of this how am I suppose to be a mother to a girl?

The other side of my fear is knowing all of the difficulties and struggles she will face being a woman. I really don’t want to re-live my experiences through her own. Everything happens for a reason though. She was given to me for a reason. To teach me what I have yet to learn. In return I have these promises to make her.

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1. I will NEVER tell you no (unless it will prevent you from: catching on or starting a fire, getting run over, hit, or crushed by a large inanimate object, causing harm to another human being or animal, drowning or freezing to death, result in any broken/fractured bones, and so on). Okay I will tell you no a lot, but I will never tell you no as intent to break your spirit, charm, imagination, or individuality.

What I must learn: To let go of my control freak ways. If you want to make a mess because you’re feeling creative (deep breath) it can be cleaned. If you want to leave the house dressed as a super hero or a pretty pretty princess by all means go ahead. If you want to eat a dead animal to see what you’re “missing” knock yourself out.

2. I will NEVER lie to you. Go ahead ask me anything. I may hold off on the whole truth until I think you’re old enough to understand, but I will never lie. Even if the topic is Santa Claus. Who am I to try to fool a smart kid like you? Even if you figure it all out it will not stop the magic of Christmas from happening.

What I must learn: Not much. I hate lying already. Someday I will share the story with you about my last lie. However, I do expect you to lie to me, but I hope that phase will be short.

3. I will NEVER tell you that thing that all moms say to their daughters. You know, the worst advice that has ever been given. The start of all dating problems. That which takes decades to realize how wrong it is. “He’s only mean to you because he likes you.” Yeah, that old saying. Instead I will say, “He’s only mean to you because he’s a jerk. Find yourself a nice boy and appreciate him.” That way the nice guys will have a chance (like your father) and it will save you from a lot of heartache.

What I must learn: To accept that you probably won’t listen to me. Everyone must learn from their own mistakes and not their mother’s. I will try not to interfere as much as possible. Just know that I have been there, I understand, and I am here ready to listen.

4. I will NEVER spank you… ever. Or hurt you in any way out of anger. Although, I’m sure I will want to on more than one occasion. The act of spanking is for parents not willing to take the time to explain the wrong-doing that has occurred. There are other more effective ways for you to learn a lesson. I will keep trying until I find what works for you.

What I must learn: Patience. Lots and lots of patience. This is something I’ve needed to learn all my life. In the end I will thank you for that.

5. No matter how hard it will be I will NEVER refer to myself as fat or ugly. I know first hand how damaging that can be to your own self-esteem. I will bite my tongue whenever the urge persists. I want nothing more than for you to be a confident  young lady. I know for that to happen I must lead by example. I also want you to understand that looks aren’t everything. Whenever someone tells you how pretty you are I want you to respond by saying, “And I’m smart too!” Because you are both beautiful (inside and out) and intelligent.

What I must learn: To love and accept myself. This will be the hardest lesson for me to learn but a necessary one. I will never truly be happy until I can look in the mirror without an overwhelming feeling of disgust. You deserve to have a mother to show you what self-respect is.

6. I will ALWAYS tell you I love you. I’m not very good in the expressing-my-emotions department. Your father can back up that fact. I don’t want you to ever doubt that there is a special place in my heart just for you. Therefore, even through times of frustration I will make sure you know you are loved.

What I must learn: To let go of my fears about others seeing me as vulnerable. That it is perfectly acceptable to share not only my thoughts but my feelings.

7. Most importantly I will NEVER be a perfect mom. As much as I would love to be, perfection is an unattainable goal that will only stress me out trying to reach it. If you think your best friend’s mom is the best mom ever know that she too has her faults so don’t try to use that in an argument.

What I must learn: Everything. I will make mistakes. Hopefully those mistakes will not affect our relationship but make it stronger. I want nothing but the best for you so know that my intentions are pure.

We are in this together. Even if you give up on me I will NEVER give up on you.

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