How do you want your children to perceive you? What kind of an example do you want to set? As I’ve become a mom and applied myself to these questions, here are five things I want my children to know me for.
Motherhood. It’s just the beginning for me, and I know that in these early days I can set the tone for many years to come.
That excites me, but I also feel the press of responsibility. I know I can use my influence to help my family flourish (or do the opposite, and flounder). Lately I’ve been asking myself: What kind of mama do I want my children to know me as, from their earliest memories into adulthood?
Yes, they will know me for the way I treat them and the way I actively train and parent them. But how will they see me, as an individual?
As I’ve thought about it, here are 5 main things I want my children to know me for…
1. My relationship with Jesus Christ
I want my children to know Jesus personally. Because I’ll spend so much time with them each day, many of their impressions of what a relationship with Jesus looks like will be through watching me. I want Little Dude and any future children I have to see me reading my Bible–not just aloud to them, but on my own. Christianity isn’t in our home just for the sake of our children, to make them moral. I have my own personal devotions because I need this time with Jesus! I want my children to see me praying, to watch me trust God in uncertain times, to hear me thank him.
2. My love for their dad, and the fact that he’s my best friend
I have been in a few communities where showing affection to your spouse was met with disapproval. This isn’t us! I want my children to see what a loving married relationship looks like, and I’ll hold Eric’s hand in public–even kiss!–all I please. I also want my kids to know that while I value relationships with girl friends, nothing can replace my friendship with their dad.
3. My cheerful attitude
Not complaining is one of the things that made my 26 Things I Need to Nail Down list. We have so many opportunities to complain everyday, and it’s really hard not to. But I don’t want to raise chronic complainers, and I don’t want to be one. I want my children to see me cheerful–joyful, actually–even when the day doesn’t go my way. I want to be fun to be around, and to inspire others to enjoy abundance, rather than spout a negative commentary about everything that rubs me the wrong way.
4. My thirst for adventure
I want to lead my children into many adventures, whether we travel far and wide or sit at home under blankets and a rain-pattered roof to read tales of heroes, heroines, and villains. I want to convey to them the excitement of a fresh spring morning, or the wistfulness of a darkening evening in a dying summer. Instead of watching from the sidelines, you’d better believe I’ll be hitting the trails with them and jumping off the dock into deep water. I want to revel in every possibility to enjoy this world we’re given, and show them how to do so as well.
5. My approach to self care
One of the reasons I won’t complain as much is because I intend to take breaks for myself! I will serve my family with sacrificial love, but that doesn’t mean I won’t take time to read a magazine and eat a doughnut. I’m not going to apologize for “me” time, or complain about how I never get it…because I’ll make sure I do! (And thank goodness for an awesome husband who helps facilitate that.) I’ll spend time on my appearance, too. I’ll keep my make up light and my wardrobe simple, but I’ll take pleasure in each and enjoy looking beautiful and feminine every day.
The people you share a home with see you nearly every day. They know you deeply, and the way you believe and act will rub off on them…and influence them for good or ill!