My childhood wasn’t rainbows and butterflies and I wish many thing were different, but it wasn’t awful. With that said, I can share the things I want my boys to feel and know in life that I didn’t necessarily feel and know. My boys are only toddlers and yes, in true parent fashion I’ve already made some mistakes. Here’s what I want my boys to grow up knowing and the lessons I’m learning as I mother two boys. *All images by Laramine Photography
I’m trying my hardest every single day. This may not be fully understood until they have children, but I do believe my hard work is evident. Sure, as a 3 year old and 1 year old they don’t understand mom is trying her hardest every single day, but as they get older I do believe they will see all the effort put forth. I want them to have the best childhood ever, so I put in the work even when I just want to take a nap. I work a bit from home, I make sure they have magical days every day, I get on the floor to pretend fight and play dress up, I read 28 books a day, we run around outside, and so much more. I’m the best daycare teacher ever! Can I get high five, mom friends?
You can show off your personality in public. This may seem a bit odd to some, but it’s ridiculously important to me. If my boys enjoy singing, dancing, telling jokes, dressing a specific way, or a fandom, I want them to never ever feel embarrassed to share. I come from a quiet reserved household and as a teenager I played that role as well. Truth is I love Disney, Harry Potter, Twilight, singing loudly, dancing, and talking in general. It took me a few years to own my confidence in public. While it won’t come easy as the boys get older I will continue to show my boys they can be whoever they want to be, especially in public. I can already see my 3 year old shying away from doing things and I just continue to encourage encourage encourage!
I will always have your back. I recall being worried what family members would think of me or specific incidents so I didn’t share. I want my boys growing up knowing I have their back! I am well aware there will be things they don’t share with me… the embarrassing and the bad. Knowing they do have the option come to me with no judgement and with me fully supporting them is what I want them to know. I want to be the person they call when they’ve done something awful so I can start finding ways to blame someone else; KIDDING! I have their back and support in whatever they want even if I find that it might not be the best of ideas…. as long as they are safe
Affection and all the love. Not everyone says I love you multiple times a day, but this mama does. Even when they eye roll me or don’t want to hear it I will make sure they hear it and see it every single day. When they’re 16 and do NOT want to hear me say I love you or hug I’m still totally going to do it. They hear it, they see it, and they will replicate it when they become husbands and fathers. I know sharing loads of affection is what a huge part of my job is for the rest of my life. I wish I had more of it in my life prior to marriage and parenthood.
You WILL be heard and seen. Do you recall that gosh awful phrase children are to be seen and not heard? That phrase is garbage. Like many children from my generation I heard this growing up and I did know my place around adults was to not speak. My children will not follow this. I witnessed a child trying to get attention from a parent and the parent ignoring until the child went to the bathroom standing there. If that parent would have stopped for a moment they could have listened to the child ask for help going potty. My passion level for this is off the scales. I will never ever ignore my kids. This is not accepted by everyone and even my friends/family don’t fully understand, but it’s important to me and that’s what matter. Let’s just say this is the one thing I feel “traumatized” by. My boys will grown up knowing they can interrupt when it’s important and that they have the right to be seen and heard.
I’m a flawed wife and mother (aka I will make mistakes). Everyone makes mistakes, but what I want my boys to know is that I will ALWAYS apologize and acknowledge when I’m wrong or messed up. While I prefer each day to be magical truth is some days I yell to loudly or get upset of things that are too small to stress over. At any age I will proudly say “I’m sorry” or “I shouldn’t have” without feeling less than. It feels better to own up to mistakes or judgement errors than it does to pretend like it didn’t happen.
Experiences outside of our home mold us into who we are. I’m not a homebody (no surprise here) and I put emphasis on travel and experiences over things daily. This doesn’t mean I don’t put emphasis on having a loving home, it just means a lot of my focus on building character doesn’t all happen inside those 4 walls. What I want my boys to know as they grow is that no item or fancy room can give them the experience that nature and travel can. I regret not traveling more before having children and wish we had more of it as children. One thing I’ve learned as an adult is that you can do the thing you love if you make adjustments in other areas.
What I Want My Boys To Grow Up Knowing
- The dance parties on the street in Disney are helping to show off personality in public.
- The time I spend giving attention and affection will spread to others because my boys will replicate what I teach.
- It’s ok to make mistakes and it takes a sweet loving person to give acknowledgement to it.
- Every trip and fun outing we experience brings a new life lesson to help us grow.
Those 4 sentences sum up a major part of parenting for me. Yes, there’s like 20 more things I want them to grow up knowing but these hold so much value. Growing up with loads of love, attention, encouragement to be true to yourself, life experiences outside of your safety net, and acknowledging a mistake to grow from it are powerful tools. These “lessons” are to be implemented at every age and every season of life.
Out of my 7 things I want my boys to grow up knowing which do you feel the most connected with?