"Baby mammals learn from their mothers. Most of the mothers don’t really try to teach their babies, but the babies watch their mother and do the things they see her do. Through copying their mothers, baby mammals learn everything they need to survive."
That quote alone is enough to make me feel so inadequate to embark on this thing called motherhood. We have so much responsibility as mothers and such an impact on how our child turns out. I have really started to watch and notice the things people do and I started to realize just how much a person's family impacts who they become. Obviously it's not always the same for everyone so I may not be right about all of this, but the main person I've noticed that was completely shaped by her family is..ME. And that fact brings me enough confidence to think there's a little truth to these thoughts I've had. A lot of times…families DO pass down many things to their children that they don't even think about.
If a family hunts, they usually pass that down and the boys can't wait to make it to the tree stand. If a family has ventured out to try to camp once like mine and it was an ultimate fail, the kids usually don't yearn for the outdoors. If a family had a dog and it was a positive experience, that person usually wants a dog. If a family is into exercising, the child usually is as well. I rarely find a person that is running everyday that comes from a family who never did. Granted, in our new granola culture there may be more people, but I feel like the ones that truly pull it off have seen it done before. If a family like mine says dessert is a great thing, we never fear it…but if your family has always made it the bad guy, maybe the cake chewing doesn't go down so easily.
Everyone talks about how friendly my family is, but we were taught to be that way. My mom was super friendly and instilled in us that being rude to another person was not an option even if we felt like it. And by "instilled" I mean we got a little visit from Mr. Wooden Spoon every time we thought we could get away with doing whatever we 'felt like'. Suddenly we had smiles everywhere we went! I love bright colors in my house because it's what my mom always had and makes me feel at home. I expected to be a stay at home mom, because that's the culture of my extended family and was a priority to them all. Lots of women whose moms worked, expect to continue to work when their babies are born because that was how their family did things. Both my parents and Brian's parents never drank…and we never did, either. We followed in their footsteps and mimicked what they did. We learn by what we see!
Church and God were always major priorities in my family and it was passed down to be a major priority to me. Granted, my own relationship with Christ had to come out of it when I was a little older, but I had a very easy ramp up to find Jesus. There's never been a day that I doubted there is a Creator…because the people I trusted the most never doubted. I am so thankful that I have known since I was very young that I AM saved and there IS hope. I have never held a hopeless thought.
Private school was a big part of my parent's life growing up and then it was a big part of mine. I will keep that torch going and send my children to a private school as well and I don't think that's just out of left field…I think that was instilled. I haven't even had a second thought about anything different and I know it has to do with how I was raised and all the positive memories and experiences I hold close. I absolutely LOVED my schools.
My family says "I'm sorry" and so do I. Being taught that I'm not always right and to apologize and forgive is one of the greatest gifts I've received. Families that stay truly close use the word "I'm sorry" very easily. My parents have always been open and honest and talk about everything and therefore I can be the same way with Brian. My parents play and laugh together, and it was important for me to find someone that was the same way with me.
I like to dance because my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother all love to dance. I choose to do jazzercise because that's what my family does together and it holds so many good memories for me. I like to read because I saw my mom read. I've never even considered buying a bikini or wearing a low cut dress because my mom never did (and I was never given an even close opportunity) haha. I like to eat…because my family likes to eat. I have just recently found out that a salad is actually a MEAL to some people and am still a little dumbfounded, haha. I always have this WANT to be a super skinny girl, but then I realize just how much I like to eat and kind of give that up by lunch time.
I guess I just feel this huge responsibility come over me when I realize the things I don't even think about are going to really effect the way my child turns out. I am starting to try to think about what I want our priorities to be and what will be instilled in our baby without us even thinking about it. I'm trying to think about what I don't want to pass down like my fear of the highway or thinking there's a tragic event coming down my path any day now…I don't want my child to jump at every eighteen wheeler like I do. It's scary to think that a life will be watching ME to help shape who they are and how they see the world. I want to be a good mother so bad but I know that I am imperfect and will fail many times.
My greatest prayer right now is that I will be able to make the decisions my baby needs and at least be a mother that my kids always want to come back to, no matter how many mistakes I make along the way.