My babies started school last week. I guess that's really an oxymoron of a statement, since they are obviously no longer babies if they are in school. My oldest, Jaxen, is five and started kindergarten, while my daughter, Jalyn, age 4, started pre-k. Every morning I have taken them to school and guided them thru the cafeteria maze so that they can start their day with a full belly. I know it seems self-explanatory, but I believe that having your child well-rested and well-fed is the best way to make sure they enjoy their school day, especially when they are so young. Heck, I wilt halfway throughout the morning. I can't imagine how it is for a four year old.
Well, now that I'm off that tangent.... watching my children around this madhouse of kids has really put my brain into gear about parenting and what exactly my purpose is as a parent in specific. After much thought, I have come the following conclusions about my parenting goals:
1. I believe that it is my responsibility (and goal) to raise my children to be intelligent, hard-working, functioning members of society.
2. Even more importantly, I believe it is my duty to teach my children to be compassionate, loving people with a big heart. I want my children to love ALL people, regardless of their differences in religion, sexuality, etc. etc..
3. I also believe that it is my job as a parent to provide my children with a positive example of a family life. One of my favorite sayings states that the greatest gift a father can give his children is loving their mother. I agree with this one hundred percent (and vice versa of course) and want my children to grow in a loving home with a srong family base.
As I review what I've written, I'm aware that all of these things seem to be fairly obvious. But let me tell you, it's harder than it looks. Many a time have I called my best friend Heather in a moment of frustration, anger, or even extreme pride, and said, "I am SOOO not cut out for this!!". And I believe her response usually is, "Well, Jess, it's a little too late now. Can't really put 'em back in!". How true that is.
I've composed this blog though so that in those moments, I can look back at this entry and remind myself of what's important. Not the constant spills. Not the endless bedtime routines. Not the projectile vomit. Not the talking back. All that matters is love. Setting a good example. Hugging. Kissing. Listening. Guiding my offspring to the best of my ability to be the best person that I know how to teach them to be. And pray that it's enough in the grand scheme of things.