My husband and I had been together for nearly 11 years when we had Lucas and inevitably we had discussed having children and how we would want to bring them up. One of the things that I worried the most about before Lucas was born was being a good mother, not only being kind and loving but also being aware of the responsibility of raising another human being! I wouldn’t want my child to grow up rude or disrespectful; I wouldn’t like for him to be insecure or afraid and my greatest hope for the future is that he will always be able to talk to me.
Luckily me and James had always agreed with parenting because we in turn were both raised very similarly. I would never call my parents strict but they expected certain things of me and my brother; that we would say please and thank you, that we would eat our meals at the table as a family, that we would tell them the truth (even when they didn’t like it) and that we would be respectful to our family. Other than those expectations they did little things that I think are important for us to do with Lucas; they always, always read a bedtime story, baked and cooked with us, let us put up a tent in the living room; there were carpet picnics, board games and outdoor dens. We had a lot of family time and most of our birthdays and special occasions were spent with Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles; we loved it all. Our friends were always welcome too and right up until I was in sixth form the house could be full of kids. My Mum was always happier that we were in the house up to mischief than out wandering streets.
I have always confided in my Mum; all the way through my childhood she has been there as a shoulder to cry on with some motherly wisdom to impart. Of course I told her silly lies and I will never forget her catching me on my first day of high school and telling me off for rolling my skirt up. I swore blind to her that I hadn’t as a sneakily unrolled the top of my skirt so it fell back to my knees! However, with the important things she knew everything, I was never afraid to talk to her and even now she knows when something is bothering me. I know it will possibly be different with a boy but I hope he will always come to either me or his Dad if he is worried. I hope I can hold back my motherly fear and help to comfort and advise him.
It’s only now that I am a parent I am so much more appreciative of all these little things they did, how they expected me to behave and how my Mum was always there to talk to me. I always try to remember that I should behave how I would want Lucas to behave, he should see kindness, respect and good manners in us but we also want him to be imaginative and silly. So we will carry on telling him ‘no’ when he is doing something wrong (even if the tantrum shakes the house), we will fit in our family meals when we can, we will ask him to say please and thank you but we will also make bedtime his time and read a story together, we will go outside and get mucky whatever the weather, we will have film nights and cook pizza, we will play games together and spend time as a family. Then hopefully one day he will look back at his childhood and think that maybe we got something right.