Livi, as your mommy, I promise to try to always assume your motivations are not malicious. I promise to love you all the time, without question, just because you are you, not because of what you have or haven’t done. I promise to protect you and keep you safe. I promise to respect who you are and who you become. I promise to nurse you until you and I are both ready to stop. I promise to nourish you the best I can. I promise that I will make mistakes, but that I will try to learn from them. I promise that if you make mistakes, my love for you will not waiver. I promise to do my best to make you FEEL loved, so that you KNOW you are loved, no matter what you do or don’t do. I promise to try to listen to and understand you, even when you are a baby. I promise to try to look at your behaviors and understand the reasons behind them, rather than focus only on stopping or starting the behavior itself. You are a whole person, not a robot or a pet. You have thoughts, feelings and emotions. You have fears, frustrations and struggles. I promise to do my best to take into consideration all of these things and to shower you with love, unconditionally. I promise to raise you the best I can so that you may become a compassionate, respectful, independent, loving woman.
PS, I'm reading 4 books about parenting this summer. I've already finished one:
Beyond the Sling by Mayin Bailik. I wish I would have highlighted or underlined certain pages that stood out to me so I could reiterate them here. She is truly amazing, regardless of if you agree with her parenting techniques. I resonated with a lot of what she had to say, and then a lot of it made me shake my head and/or roll my eyes. However the way she and her husband raise their kids is completely their choice and I am down with that :)
The 2nd book I'm reading is Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. I'm on page 40 or so and I'm blown away by his ideas. Once again, I've already learned so much that I am totally all about, yet I haven't taken note of those things to share here. I guess that's OK since I'm not trying to teach you all anything about how to parent, I just find it to intriguing and helpful! Maybe I'll post a few of the things as I go along. We'll see how motivated I am ;)