My Parenting Mantra

A long time ago, I heard a story about some siblings at their mom's funeral finding out that she told all of them they were her favorite. And they each believed it. I heard that before I even had kids. I didn't really have any preconceived notions about motherhood, but one thing I knew I wanted was that I wanted each of my children to truly believe they were my favorite. Sure there are different seasons where different children require more or less time/attention/money/etc. But I always want each of my children to truly feel like they are my favorite. 

Another thing I think about are the teen years. Those years scare me. Probably because of how I was. How much I found myself searching for an identity and screwing up along the way. I can remember being so fearful of how my parents would react when I screwed up. I can remember testing the boundaries and even asking about their love for me. As a parent, I now get the depth of their love. As a child, I did not. 

I know my children will also search for who they are. I know they will make mistakes, both intentional and unintentional. Mistakes that come with natural consequences and ones without. But one thing I want to make sure they know is that we are in this together. I also know that this type of relationship between parent and child doesn't just start in the teen years. It is something that is built and grows over the years. 

For the past while now, I have a saying that I say to the kids from time to time...

Nothing you do or say will make me stop loving you. 

It's one I say when they are having good days. But also one I say to them when they are struggling. I may whisper it in their ear, or say it out loud to the car load of them. It's one I mean and I hope they grow to understand that I truly mean it. I want them to know I am a safe spot in this chaotic world. No, this doesn't mean that they never get in trouble from me for things they have or will do. What it means is, my love is NOT based on their actions. My love is NOT based on their mood. My love is NOT based on how well they are doing in school. My love is always there. NO. MATTER. WHAT. And no matter what happens, they do not need to fear me or fear loosing my love. We are in this together and will figure it out. 

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