Monday, March 28, 2011

If I Teach You Nothing Else...

It's fairly safe to assume that my children will forever after have access to spell check, a calculator and the wold wide web for research. Academically, I have no doubt that they will surpass my knowledge. But there are things that only I, as their mother, am responsible for teaching them before they head off into the "real world".

If I teach them these things, I will consider myself a success in the mothering department:

What you need is vastly different then what you WANT
As your parent I will ALWAYS provide the things you need - you will have a home, food, clothing, education, discipline and boundless, limitless, unconditional love. Your home may not have a pool or be in the neighborhood you'd like to live in, your clothes may not be the latest "HAVE to have" brand name, you will not always like the meals I make and it's a sure bet you won't like the consequences enforced when you make poor choices. And you will LIVE through not having everything everything you want! Regardless of all else, when you go to bed at night, you will have no doubt that you are loved simply because you are my child.

You don't have to like me, but you WILL always treat me with respect
I am more than ok with you not liking me - I didn't always like my Mom either! But you will ALWAYS talk to me and treat me with respect - I have earned that. Learn it, live it, love it because you will need this every day of your adult life. You cannot go to work and your call your boss or co-workers names, talk to them with a snotty attitude and slam your office door because you're angry. Do those things and you'll be jobless.

I am not your best friend, and you aren't mine
I will forever be your loudest cheerleader, your fiercest advocate, the door that is always open, the hug that's a little too tight and too long, the shoulder to cry on and ear that will listen to problems and challenges you face. I'm your Mom. Being your Mom isn't a popularity contest and I won't make decisions based on how much you like me because of what I've decided. There are parts of my life that are adult only topics - I have friends to discuss those things with and frankly, some things are just none of your business.

Do it the best you can the FIRST time
Half-assed just isn't going to cut it - not here during your childhood and not in your adult life. You will not ever hear me give you grief because you did the best job you are capable of doing. However, putting forth little to no effort in a job or assignment you are expected to complete is unacceptable. I can guarantee you will spend far less time doing whatever it is to your best ability than you will spend listening to me lecture and serving the consequence of blatant laziness.

Stand up for what is right, even if you're standing alone
Your Dad and I have spent every day of your life teaching you right from wrong. Don't let a group of peers steer you away from the things you've been taught throughout your life! The fastest way to see yourself in an ugly light is to abandon your core beliefs. Integrity is a character trait that takes years to prove to the world (and yourself!) and mere minutes to destroy. Do what you know is right - your true friends will still be around when you do.

And lastly....

Girlfriends, Boyfriends and Friends will come and go - Family is FOREVER
You will have so many people during your life that come for a period of time and then are gone - lost friendships, broken romances, friends who move away. But no matter what, you have a family that loves you and will always be there when you need them. You are going to fight with your siblings 1000's of times during your childhood but when push comes to shove you KNOW that there's a group of people in your corner that love you and will be there whenever you need them. No friend in the world will ever love, support and go to the wall for you the way your brothers and sister will!

If you learn and believe these things, I will have succeeded in the most important role of my life.

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