Being pregnant has brought up so much for me. Mostly, my childhood. Yeesh. I could spend hours thinking about the great multitude of things that I had to experience that my child absolutely will not. I learned many things growing up but most of them fall within two categories: what to do and what not to do.
I will always put this little girl first.
I will never invalidate her feelings.
I will always show her respect, regardless of her age.
I will never put her in a position to betray her own conscience, beliefs, or heart.
I will create an environment where honesty is acceptable.
I will never punish her for not reading my mind or for telling the truth.
I will always protect her to the best of my ability. Completely and fiercely.
I will never choose a man over her.
I will teach her how a woman deserves to be treated.
I will raise her to be worthy of other’s respect.
I will teach her to be strong without being a bitch, how to be compassionate without being naive, how to be giving without becoming a doormat.
I will explain to her all the things that were never explained to me. I won’t leave her just barely treading water in a sea of new experiences and questions. She’ll be taught about periods and boys (or girls) and sex. She’ll know what’s okay and what’s not. I will be someone she can always talk to (even if she refuses to.) She’ll be taught to follow her gut, because it will guide her long after she buries me.
I will pass along the words of my mommy, my grandma, my friends. I will do my best to pass along my years of hard earned wisdom, to help her learn from my mistakes… and to take a step back and let her learn from her own.
I will do her the favor of not always breaking her fall, for she has to hit her knees if she’s to learn how to get back up. But I will also be there to catch her when she needs it.
I will not abandon her.
I will never give her reason to question my love for her. I will challenge her to question her motives though, and the motives of those around her.
I will protect her innocence.
But I won’t let her walk into the world blind and unprepared.
I will teach her that “No is a complete sentence”. It requires no explanations, no qualifiers, no fuss. I will teach her how to use this word to protect and defend herself.
I will balance as much of her life and upbringing as I can.
I promise her, and myself, that I will do all these things; but I’ll do them without being a control freak (most of the time).
I will show her (and remind her) how deeply loved, immensely adored, and uniquely special she is.
I won’t take her shit. I won’t turn a blind eye. I will be her mother, not her friend (at least until she’s an adult anyway, at which point I’ll still be “mommy” whenever she needs).
I will give her fair rules and the consequences will always be the same; not changing by the day leaving her not knowing what to expect.
I will be loving, consistent, kind, patient, and understanding.
I will always accept her truth.
I will never make her feel like she has to hide herself from me.
I will teach her how to love herself.
Raise her to have a strong backbone.
I will show her how to define herself; so that she never allows the world, a man, an experience, to define her.
I will raise her to believe in herself, enough so that she challenges even me when she believes in something.
I will be her mother, her confidante, her shoulder to cry on, the ear that listens to her, connected to a heart that will never judge her.
I will give her everything I can that I never got, or got so late. I will live up to the mother that my mommy has been.
I will raise her to be a good woman and a good person.
I will give her the best of me that exists within the deepest pits of my bare soul.
I will treat her as my daughter, the love of my life, my flesh and blood, the greatest gift I’ve ever been blessed with.
by Ashley Hebner
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