A few months before Hazel was born, someone suggested that I write down the kind of mother I wanted to be so I would have something to reference as I raised her. This was all good in theory but never felt right [or real] until I was actually face to face with her.
Hazel, you are not responsible for my happiness.
Let me elaborate. I’m not saying that my little girl doesn’t make me happy, but it’s not her job to create happiness in my life. That is something I must find within myself. I won’t burden her with the task of making me happy. Because that’s just selfish and unnecessary.
Hazel, I will not guilt trip you into doing what I want.
Hazel, I will give you the freedom to express yourself in a safe and loving environment.
There’s nothing more stifling than to feel like you can’t be yourself.. or to feel like you should be like someone you’re not because of someone else. This is not ok with me. She will be allowed to be who she is as long as it isn’t harmful. If she wants purple hair, fine. If she wants to wear all back, cool. There are bigger things to concern myself with, like if her everything is well with her heart.
Hazel, I will be more concerned with the areas you excel in rather than the areas you are weak in.
Its a waste of time, energy and confidence to focus on the weak areas more than you need to. I want to build her up in the areas she’s strong in and what excites and motivates her. That’s where she’ll discover her passions.
Hazel, I will respect your independence.
I never want her to feel guilty for valuing independence. It’s a great thing to grow up and be on your own and to start a new life separate from me. I want her to know it’s ok to keep moving forward without me, and that I’ll always be in her wake if she needs me.
Hazel, my love for you is not conditional.
I will love her no matter what. She won’t have to perform a certain way to receive my love. I may not agree with all of her decision or life choices, but that won’t change my love for her.
Hazel, I will not make all the right parenting decisions, and I’ll be honest when I’m wrong.
There’s no shame in admitting I made a wrong choice, and if (and when) I do, I will let you know that I was wrong and that I am sorry. I want her to know that even adults make the wrong choices and in that, show her the right way to make amends.
Hazel, I have hopes and desires for your life, but not expectations.
Expectations are a recipe for disappointment. I will do my best not to set her up for failure by having them.
Hazel, it’s ok to be different.
I will cherish her individuality. It’s ok to be weird, quirky, average, girly, smart, below average, artistic, quiet, loud, etc. She will be unique. Everyone is different. And I can’t wait to discover every inch of her personality.
Hazel, no is an o.k. answer.
I want her to know that it’s ok to say “No”. Being a people pleaser can be damaging.. potentially putting your self-worth in the hands of someone else. I want to teach Hazel that it’s ok to say no, as long as you have a valid explanation of why.
Hazel, I will do my best to model Christ’s love in your life.
I’m not perfect, nor do I pretend to me, and I’m the first to admit I’m not.. but I will do my best.
Hazel, you are God’s child and my gift.
We have been entrusted with Hazel. She is first and for most the Lord’s. I thank God for the privilege of having her in our lives and I’m so blessed to get to raise her for His glory. (sounds very sunday school, but it’s a very important perspective to have)