Recently, I found out that my sister-in-law is going to have a baby. Since her mom passed away a little over 5 years ago, she asked me to guide and help her. For the rest of the evening, I spouted random bits of knowledge that I’d learned from having my own three kids. (This drove my husband crazy, but I didn’t want to forget anything.) Long after she and her hubs left, I wondered what would her mother say? What bit of inspiration would she want her daughter to know? And if she had the chance, what would her final words be about being a mother?
I loved and admired my MIL. Besides raising four children, she was a female anesthesiologist and a black woman. She was the first black woman to go through her medical program and she heard a lot of negative comments regarding her gender and her race. One of her professors told her she’d never make it. She proved him and all the other naysayers wrong. As a working mother and a woman of color she experienced things I didn’t. Things that made her parent the way she did. I don’t have those things to pass onto her daughter.
However, I’ve been fortunate enough to watch my siblings and my in-laws parent. We all have our own styles, rules that can’t be broken without immediate consequences, and varying degrees of strictness. None of us raise our children exactly the same way.
So far, the children are okay. (Only one is married so it’s too soon to tell if one parenting style is wrong.)
Based on my limited experience, here’s my advice; Follow your gut, give your child boundaries, be present, and love the heck out of them. Everything else will fall into place.
What would your advice be?