Never Hurt Your Child’s Spirit

As I approach the last few weeks of my second pregnancy, I’m in full on nesting mode. Things are getting cleaned that didn’t even know they wanted to be cleaned. Emails are getting responded to in record time. I’ve even stopped wearing a bra so that my nipples can toughen up for breastfeeding. Last Confession: I’ve already ordered a monogrammed tote bag from LL Bean with my unborn child’s name on it. (Let’s hope he looks like a ____. HA I’m not telling yet!)
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is how I’m doing as a mother and what it will be like when I have two kids. Will there be double the love? Or will each child only get half? I’ve been asking my mom, Donna, a lot of questions about how she handled two babies. She was widowed when she was pregnant with me, so I kind of consider her Super Woman when it comes to parenting.
At 65, Donna is full of advice and wisdom. When I’m having a hard day with Daisy, I often hear her voice remind me that, “If you don’t like what your child is doing, don’t worry – it will change. However, if you do like something they’re doing, don’t get used to it – it will change.” (This gives me hope for when Daisy is slapping me across the face with my iPhone, but makes me sad when she stopped saying, “neigh” in a super adorable Australian accent.)
Perhaps the most important thing Donna has ever said to me about parenting is that she never wanted to hurt my spirit. She wanted to set me up to win as much as possible. She wanted me to feel confident, deserving and capable. By allowing me to state what I was passionate about (buying the extra toy from the McDonald’s Drive-Thru), she made me feel like I mattered and that my five-year-old voice deserved to be heard. But seriously – when I wanted to skip Second Grade, Donna supported my need to challenge myself. She told me that I had her blessing, but that I would need to speak to the school principal and get permission. At 7, I walked right into the office and stated my case that Second Grade wasn’t challenging enough and I needed to be a Third Grader. They moved me up the next week. This type of parenting gave me a confidence that I am forever grateful for. I love that I’ve always felt like I could go anywhere in the world, have any job (except surgeon, let’s be honest…), and felt like I have every right to be on this planet. Thank you, Donna.
Now it’s my turn to pay it forward. Even though I’m terrified about having two kids under two, I just need to remember that all I have to do is feed them, love them and never hurt their spirits. As a blonde American named Summer, I don’t think I will have any problem being my kids’ most enthusiastic cheerleader.

 

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