How many times have you observed your child doing and/or saying something, and asked either aloud or to yourself, “Where did you get that from?” Perhaps, too many times to count. I probably ask myself that three or more times a week. Ironically, a little voice in my head started to answer the question, saying, ‘She got it from you!’
Children make the best mimics, as every parent soon learns. It’s hard to admit, but the fact remains, kids get most of their habits and behaviors from what they see in their environment. And lets not forget our three-letterfriend… D.N.A. That stuff is amazing. I catch my daughter doing things EXACTLY like me, its like looking in a mirror. Something as simple as her sleeping position; I sleep on my side with the palm of my hand touching my cheek, and my knees bent towards my chest, (mad specific right J) well, she sleeps in the exact same position, literally.
From the moment I found out I was having a daughter; I felt a weight. Accountability. One of the many reasons I was hoping for a boy is to avoid the responsibility of raising a LADY. My plan to let my husband do the hard part of disciplining and teaching a man to be a man, completely failed, as soon as I heard the words “It’s a girl!”
Nurturing a daughter in the environment that is 2018,(that’s a whole other topic, we’ll have to discuss in another blog post) is without a doubt difficult. I remember very clearly being a teenage girl and a young adult… I just knew I had life figured out; and this was before Nicki got Minaj became a prototype, and ‘influencer’ became a job title, and I still managed to give my mother a run for her money. It wasn’t until I had a kid at twenty-six, that I started to realize how selfish and inexperienced about life I truly was. Which brings me to the point of this post… “Check yourself, before you wreck yourself!”
Having a daughter was the biggest, most significant, and monumental self-revelation I could have ever experienced. She makes me look at my insides… the parts that matter most. I quickly realized that whatever I want her to be, I must first be a reflection of that myself. As much as we would like for our kids to do as we say, and not as we do, it just doesn’t work that way. Figuring out that my baby really just wants to be like her mom was the biggest wake up call of my life. I had to check myself, and I mean quickly… I encourage all parents, Moms AND yes Dads too, to be the first reference for your child. They learn most of what they know from you, and although having a human shadow can be exhausting and downright difficult… think of how rewarding it will be to watch your child become the best parts of you.
Now, don’t get it twisted for one second, by no means have I become a perfect person for the sake of being a parent. I still curse too much, scroll Instagraminstead of reading a book, and have to tell my baby, “No, you can’t have what’s in Mommy’s cup, its adult juice!” probably much too often; however the awareness that someone is always watching me, that I’m her personal superhero… has changed my life. I’m a better wife, a better friend, and a better daughter. I give more, take less; talk less, listen more; eat more spinach, and less ice cream;smile more and complain less… all because of my sweet baby girl. Since I’ve already given you sound advice from the icon Ice Cube, I’ll leave you with the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” J
Peace and Love