Your legacy as a mother is probably the most important thing in your life. Unless of course you aren’t a mother yet (or have chosen a life without children), then your legacy as a human being is the most important. But, if you choose to bring children into this world, raising them with thoughtful care is more important than anything else you will do.
Why do I say this?
Because a child needs their mother. When a child grows up without their mother, it is a loss they can’t completely grasp, but affects each and every part of their soul. When a child doesn’t have the presence of their mother (and father for that matter), their life is left with an empty hole that cannot be filled.
I speak from personal experience.
I used to carry a locket around with the image of my mother on her wedding day to my father. Until I was nine, I didn’t even know what she looked like until I met her in person again. Later I would come across the picture I put into my locket and carry it with me, desperate for a mother-daughter connection that never materialized. It was funny seeing her for the first time since I was two, it was an aha moment because I had been dreaming about her throughout my entire life. Repeatedly. Not knowing if it was really her, but having this feeling it was.
Through the course of getting to know her again, it became clear through actions, words and lost of trust that we couldn’t have a relationship. I don’t take this lightly, but I chose it for the best of my children and myself. But, the gaping hole is so present.
This is why I take my role as mother so seriously. This is why I am so internally harsh on myself when I make a mistake. This is why I push myself so hard to accomplish goals while simultaneously attempting to raise them and ‘do it all’.
It can be exhausting. And sometimes, I just don’t know what I want my legacy as a mother to be. I think it boils down to love, commitment to their hearts and well being, building them up instead of holding them back or crushing their spirits. I don’t think they truly care if I have a career or save the world, but I do want them to see me pursuing dreams because I want them to be empowered to always pursue theirs. I also want to model failure in a way that allows them to embrace the lessons learned within those experiences.
I think my legacy as a mother will look different than yours. I think we are all on our own journeys as mothers but the core of being a good mom is very, very simple.
LOVE. TRUST. COMMITMENT
If your children know, without a doubt that you love them, support them and are there for them, your legacy is in tact and they have the best chance at making it in the world because they have you in the wings.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t hold them accountable, make them work hard, or have boundaries. I always tell my children when they’ve done something wrong, especially if they remark that they are ‘a bad person’ or something of that nature: “You’re not a bad person, you simply made a bad choice and you need to reflect and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again. But you are not a bad person.” I also say, “I don’t like the choice you made, but I ALWAYS love you” – I think of all the messages I can offer my girls – these are very important. It allows them to make mistakes, feel as if they can come to me when they have made those mistakes, and hopefully help them through it.
I’ll let you know how that goes in the teen and college years. Lord help me.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co. The opinions and text are all mine.