I know what I want for them. I want them to grow up to be people who love learning things--whatever it is whether it's art, or crafting, or encyclopedic knowledge of pirates, or quantum physics, or music, or topography, or reading or writing or fashion design. I want them to be passionate about something and carry with them curious minds. I want them to be compassionate and honest people. I want them to be people who balance honoring themselves with honoring others. I wan them to be selfless and humble, but not weak doormats. I want them to be competent at household things like banking, laundry, cooking, home repairs, etc. I want them to be comfortable around all kinds of people and in all kinds of situations. I want them to be comfortable with who they are, and yet always trying to be the best them they can be.
It's harder for me to pinpoint what it is I want their perceptions of me to be when they are adults. I think mostly I hope they'll forgive me. I know that I am very far from being a perfect mom. Sometimes even very far from being a good mom. I don't even always try my best. But I hope they can look back and see that mostly I was trying, trying to always be a better person, a better mom. I hope they will think that I was a good friend to others, and ready to help when others were in need. I hope they will think that I was not hypocritical to my faith or to my ideals. I hope they will look back at my motherhood of their childhood years and see that it is possible to work through some serious defects of character. I think most of all I hope they will look back and feel that they were unconditionally loved.
In a lot of ways it is very helpful to concretely spell out my hopes for them. Yet at the same time, it leaves me seriously convicted, because I see so many ways in which I think I am falling short of leaving them with those thoughts. I am going to revisit this post from time to time and assess how I am doing and try to make some short term goals, and see if I've met those goals. I think my first set of goals will be:
1. to spend some one on one playtime this week with my middle child who is seriously getting on my nerves right now
2. to spend some family playtime together this week. We'll aim small for now- how about 2 hours of just play with all of the wees ( though I am around all the time, it's unusual for me to just set aside all chores and things to just play)
3. maybe three nights this week to involve all of the oldest kids in preparing dinner. They all love to do it, but I get annoyed because our time is so pressed. But I am going to try to just start earlier- when possible.