There’s no doubt about it, becoming a mummy is completely and utterly life-changing. Suddenly this helpless little person depends on you for everything, every minute of the day. I found it ridiculously overwhelming at first to suddenly have that level of dependence, but now I can barely remember what life was like before Rosalie. Of course as the months rolled on Rosalie’s needs changed and she became less dependent on me, particularly when I stopped breastfeeding, but that doesn’t really mean she needs me, her mummy, any less.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a mummy, and the role models we are for our daughters.
I have given up a lot for Rosalie, but I never want her to feel that she in any way owes me. It was my choice to give up working and stay at home with her, it was our choice to attempt survival on one salary and therefore forego holidays and luxuries. She doesn’t owe us for that. I am just so grateful that I am able to be at home with her full time. But it does come with responsibility and I am acutely aware that I am the person she learns most of her behaviours from.
“Your children will become what you are, so be what you want them to be”
There are definitely times when I have to check myself because I know children learn by watching, and I must be the example for Rosalie to follow. I lose my temper easily, but I try very hard to be patient with Rosalie because I want her to learn to be calm when things don’t go her way. I am not a very confident person, but I do my best to act with confidence when out and about for Rosalie’s sake. I know it’s unlikely that she will follow my advice, but she will, hopefully, follow my example.
I worry that by being a stay-at-home mum I am not giving her a strong role model for working and having a career, but then if I was out working I wouldn’t be such a strong role model for other aspects of her life, so it’s swings and roundabouts I guess. Perhaps that’s one to fret about more when she’s older.
I realised how much she looks up to me when last week she found my spare glasses and was trying to put them on. When I asked her what she was up to she said “trying mummy’s glasses on. When I’m a big girl I can wear glasses.” She hopes that one day she will be able to wear glasses like me, because if mummy (and daddy) wear glasses it must be the thing to want, it’s so sweet!
I like to think that generally I am a pretty good role model for Rosalie, but I know there are still ways I could be better.
As parents, we have such an important role to play, we should never underestimate what our children are picking up from our actions and reactions.