We always want our children to think the best of us — just as much as they want us to think the best of them. Have you ever sat down and thought about what exactly you want your kids to remember most about you when it's all said and done? The reality is this — so much of how we are can become how our children are. They absorb so much of us, from our behaviors and habits to our likes and dislikes, even when we don't realize they're watching and listening.
As a single mom raising an only child, I really feel the weight of all I do. Worrying about caring for her and having the entire financial burden on my shoulders sometimes makes me think I'm going to break, but I don't. I keep carrying on and doing my thing. And that's just one of the things I want her to remember about me: that I never give up, no matter how hard life gets. I take the punches like a big girl, and I dish it right back, fighting and appreciating the little things in life.
Here are the six big things I want my daughter to always remember about me.
- I work so hard to provide for her: When it comes down to it, I want my daughter to remember how hard I work to give her everything she needs, how much pride I take in my work, and how much pride I take in caring for us both. It's me and her against the world.
- I always weigh each decision out as best I can: She won't always agree with the choices I make or made, so I hope at the end of the day, she knows that I always try to do what's best for her. When it came time to tell her that her dad and I were getting a divorce, I knew I had thought out the decision and was making the best choice for everyone involved, including her, no matter how hard it was.
- I will always love her, even when she disappoints me: At some point in time, our kids will upset us and disappoint us. It's part of growing up. I hope that down the line, even when she does disappoint me, she remembers that she was and is always loved. I hope she knows that my love for her is unconditional and unwavering.
- I try to do the right thing: If you've ever gone through a divorce, you know how hard your values and strength are tested. The other day my daughter told me how she knows I always try to be respectful and kind to her other parent. I hope that as time goes on, she remembers that no matter what the case is, I always try to do the right thing.
- I respect her needs as an individual: Kids are individuals, not mini-mes. Sure, they may look and act like their parents, but they're their own little organisms. I hope my daughter always remembers how I respect her needs, strengths, and weaknesses, and do my best to support her individuality.
- I respect myself and treat others with kindness: We are the example our daughters need, right? I hope she remembers how I respect myself, take care of my own needs as a human, and treat others with kindness and respect. I hope she sees how I do my best to add joy, not sorrow, into others people's lives.