Monique is a sixteen year old girl living in Louisiana. She is a writer, dancer, and actress who enjoys playing video games and learning about others. Her favorite subjects are English, History, and Science; she plans to attend college and get a PhD in a related field.
From the time they are born, little girls are unknowingly raised to become mothers. From young ages we are given human-like baby dolls with bottles, diapers, and pretend baby food (some dolls actually wet their diapers!). We are taught the basics of being mothers before we even go into kindergarten. However, as we grow older the choice becomes very clear to us whether or not we actually want to care for a child. As my Spanish teacher said, “People don’t just become parents. They are born parents. Some have dreamed of having children since they were children themselves. No, they don’t dream of making kids. They dream of raising them.” I am one of those people. I may not know everything about myself and my life just yet. I may not know what I want to pursue as a career, or where I want to live, or even where I want to go to college. However, ever since I could remember I have wanted to be a mother when I became a rightful age.
Many other young girls want the same as I do, but one thing baby dolls don’t teach you is how to care for and nurture an actual human being. We drill into young girls how to be a mother but never teach them what it means to be a mother. In my high school years I have taken that into consideration and have realized that my gift of a maternal instinct will only get me so far. Over the years I have developed in my head what kind of mother I want to be in hopes that when I actually do become a mother I will give my child physically, mentally, and emotionally what I never had.
The most important part of what kind of mother I plan to be is that I will be a mother who listens. My parents are the most difficult people in the world to talk to. I can’t even ask them to go to the movies without choking up. I love them dearly, however, I feel as if I don’t have anyone to talk to some time. I want to tell my mom and dad everything going on in my life, but I feel as if I can’t without them being upset or not caring. I want my children to know that I’m always going to care. I want them to feel like they can trust me enough to come up and talk to me about school, their friends, relationships, sex, anything. I want them to know that I’m going to listen and communicate with them like human beings and not as my inferior. There will be nothing off limits with me and my children. I would do anything to help them avoid the mistakes I made in middle and high school. I think a lot of it could have been avoided if I was comfortable enough to tell my parents what was happening in my life. Now, I know they’re not going to want to talk to me sometimes. I will understand and respect that. I just want to be someone who my children can confide in without feeling like they’re about to be scolded.
With listening I feel as if accepting must come next. I will accept my child for whoever he or she is. My own parents never judged me on how I dressed, acted, believed, dated, or hung out with and I plan to be the same for my children. Parent or not we have no right to judge another human being on who they are. In my eyes, there is no right or wrong way to live. There is simply just what society and we personally think is right and wrong. I may not agree with what my child chooses to do with their lives, however, as long as it has no negative effect to their wellbeing or others I will accept who they are. I have no right to deny them their right of expression.
My parents always say that what is wrong with parents today is that they try to be their child’s friend when they should be their child’s parent. I do agree that parenting comes first, but I don’t see anything wrong with being a friend too. I will be my child’s friend in the sense that I will accept, love and listen to them as if we are best friends at school. However, I will be a parent in providing the right discipline for them and also expectations for them to meet. If you want the truth my parents never really punished me when they should of. I never had chores and never had to work for allowance or anything. I turned out alright and I know other kids are saying, “Lucky!” But, I don’t think that was right of my parents. I wish they made me work a little harder in life. I wish they made more consequences for me. My parents aren’t easy on me and can be really harsh but there’s never any real punishment. Only yelling and guilt. When I become a parent I will punish my children fairly for what they do wrong and then, very importantly, I will move on. I never want them to feel the looming guilt I feel when my parents are upset with me. As another form of discipline, I will set up chores and allowance for my children. I want my children to learn responsibility and the value of work from an early age. However, Most importantly I will have expectations for them. Those expectations will quite simply be whatever they show me they are capable of they must do to their full ability. The main reason for this is that I want my children to be the utmost best they can be whether it be in school, sports, or arts. I’m not going to take anything less than what I know they can do. I think discipline in the form of punishment, hard work, and expectations are what my children will need to be successful.
As a mother I am going to make it a point to tell my child two things every day. Firstly, that I love them. I will tell them each day that I love them unconditionally and that nothing in this world will change that. I think these are three words that most parents forget about. I cannot tell you how much it means to me when I walk out the door and hear my mom say, “I love you.” It’s a reassurance that I’m not alone. I plan to make sure they know, until the day I die, that I love them with every fiber of my being. Secondly, I will tell them how talented, beautiful, and wonderful they are. A big thing parents today forget is about how teenagers view themselves. My low self-esteem has lead to many issues in my life and has chained me to demons that I’m never going to fully escape. I never want to see my child feel the same worthlessness I felt growing up. I never want them to think they aren’t talented or beautiful. With these words I will teach my child to not care what society thinks of them. I want to provide the most support I possibly can for them emotionally. Most of all I want to see the confidence I never had shine through my children. I want them to be happy.
My child’s happiness and wellbeing will be my utmost priority. I want to see them happier than I ever was growing up. Only a mother could comprehend the love I feel for my children that aren’t even born yet and how much I want to be good to them. I may not know all the responsibilities and emotions that come along with motherhood; however, I do have a tiny sense of the love parents feel. I want to be a mother that my children will look to when they become older and be proud to say that I raised them. The only way I feel I can accomplish this is to create the correct balance of listening, disciplining, accepting, and loving. I could go on about how I want to raise my children for hours. I’ve been planning since I was very young. However, as I’ve grown older I’ve come to the realization that when I see my first baby’s eyes gazing at the world around him or her for the first time ever…the answer of, ”what kind of mother I will be?” is going to come to me naturally.
Photo credit: windsordi
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