God First, Daddy Second, Kids Third
I want my children to be raised in a home with a strong connection to Christ, and a loving marriage. My husband has to come before my kids. I'm sure many of you reading this might disagree, and that's okay. Both Nick and I come from divorced parents and we are trying to do this right and in our eyes this is most important. How many of us grew up in a home with divorced parents, and how many of us wish our parents were still together? Some of the cause for divorce is the parents getting distant and becoming more like co parents than husband and wife. I never want Nick to forget that he is my #1. No matter how amazing our kids will be ( which I'm anticipating some great kids) I still want to put Nick first. I don't want our kids to think that marriage is a joke. We believe it's our responsibility to be the example for our kids of what love and marriage really is. I want them to watch their parents work really hard on their marriage, love each other and fight for each other. It won't always be perfect, we are human and will have peaks and valleys, but I trust that as long as we put God first and each other second, everything else will work out the way it needs to. I will strive to be a wife that is always respectful and loving, because I want my son to have those as his standards for when he is looking for a wife one day. I want my son, who I am currently pregnant with, to view marriage as a sacred thing that is worth pursuing.
Having a healthy child is such a blessing, one that I don't ever want to take for granted. I want to keep my eyes on how blessed we are to have a healthy baby instead of how difficult it might get. I also want to stay grateful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. That is something I've always dreamed of but didn't always know I'd have the chance to do. Being a stay at home mom is such a privilege and a blessing to women who want that, and although I know it's one of the toughest jobs, I want to always stay grateful that I get the chance to live that.
Happy mommy = happy baby. From past experience I know that I am so much happier when I stay active. When the baby comes in June I want to walk with him a ton, I think it'll be important for my mental and physical health to stay outside, get lots of fresh air and keep my body moving. I want to maintain that lifestyle for my own happiness, but also to be a good example for my child. I want them to see why staying active is important and then hopefully implement that into their own life down the road.
This is something I'm super excited for. I love the idea of having a little buddy to do a ton of stuff with like the zoo, museums, butterfly pavilion, the aquarium, taking hikes, exploring new towns in our area, and so much more. As a family I want us to create as many fun memories as possible. I don't want my baby or older kid to see and do the same thing everyday. My sister is amazing at this, her and her three kiddos always have something fun planned. They are always outside, attending local events, doing planned activities, etc. and they have such a good time together. At this point my nephews are at that teen age where they take that for granted and groan sometimes when my sister plans fun things for them, but I'm sure when they are older they will appreciate all the fun adventures they all took together.
Raise A Bilingual Child
This one is quite intimating and I must admit we don't 100% know what we're doing. But you know what, if there is a will there is a way and this mama is determined to figure out the way. Nick and I are huge Italy lovers, we have family there, have visited Italy several times and plan to go back a ton in our lifetime with our kids. In fact, my blog has an entire section of posts that are just about Italy, that's how much I love it. Nick has gotten so great at speaking Italian. He is a big part of why it's so easy for us to get around Italy with minimal problems. I know a little Italian, it's not that great. Nick's Dad knows Italian pretty well and is amazing at understanding it. As a family though we really committed to all learning it and being fluent one day. We have registered on Amazon for baby books that are Italian/English. That'll be a start. We hear that if you want to raise a bilingual kid you need to have one parent speak one language and the other parent speak the other language. We want to have Nick speak a lot of Italian, but not 100% of the time. It'll be a great way for me to improve and also help teach our child. We will probably end up hiring someone down the road to help us teach our children Italian. I think it'll be such a blessing for them to grow up learning another language. I wish I had, it seems so difficult to learn one as an adult. Wish us luck haha!
Please don't think I'm judging you if you yell a ton at your kids, but understand it's just not something I admire when it comes to parenting. I know that I'm not always going to be perfect, I am simply a flawed human and I'm sure I'll lose my patience sometimes, but my intention and my goal is to be a mother that only yells when necessary. If my kid is about to walk in front of a moving truck, obviously I will raise my voice to get his attention so he doesn't get hurt, but when it comes to the small things in life I really don't see the point to be screaming all the time. I don't want my kids to be so numb to my yelling voice that when I use it in an emergency to get my child's attention, it is useless because they just think "oh typical mommy yelling about something again". This is also not me saying I don't want to discipline my kids. Obviously that wouldn't be helpful, but I don't think that discipline and yelling have to be hand in hand.
Raise A Confident Child
I truly believe that my words as a mother will impact our son in a massive way. If I am always being encouraging, motivating and showing a strong belief in my son then I am confident that he will then be a more confident kid and adult. My husband and I both want our son to believe he can do anything he has a passion for. We want him to be confident, brave and strong in knowing that the Lord puts desires in our hearts not to tease us but because he knows with him anything is possible. To a healthy degree, we want to instill a winning mentality into our child's mind. Through words of affirmation we hope to raise a confident young man.
Give Myself Grace
I hear "mommy guilt" is a real thing and quite the struggle. I could see myself struggling with this, and that is why I've set a goal to keep it in check. There is so much pressure to be a perfect mother, especially as a stay at home mom. With all of the hefty goals I have for myself as a mom, it could be easy for me to beat myself up if I don't meet those goals all the time. So, that is why I've implemented this goal of giving myself grace and trying to keep the mommy guilt at bay. I will do my best, but I'll also try to remember that perfection doesn't exist and I am simply human. And after a long day that maybe didn't go as planned or maybe didn't win me the mommy of the year award, I will grab a glass of wine, relax and remember that tomorrow is a new day and I will do the best that I can do.
Make Time For Me
I can really see how it's easy to lose focus on yourself as a wife and mother, when there are so many responsibilities that need taken care of, but I don't want to lose my identity or self in it all. I am committed to being selfless as a mother, and I know I'll do my best for my kids, but I also want to make sure my cup is full. I'm not just talking about taking time for pampering myself (although that is probably important to some degree too), but I am really talking about things like making time for my blog, still reading, doing personal development, growing as a woman of Christ, etc. I believe that if my cup is full then I am able to give more. If I am fulfilled as a woman, I can then offer more to my family.
World School Our Kids
This one has been a dream of ours for years now. I want to travel the world with my children as we raise them. We have a strong desire to raise kids who are aware of the world, not just our bubble here in the U.S. When our children are learning about the Roman Empire, we want to show them Rome. When they are learning about the Mayans, we'd like to show them Mayan ruins. When they learn about the pyramids in Egypt, we'd like to hop on an airplane and show them. Not only will it be extremely educational for them, but as a family we will create so many memories together that will be priceless. We already have our first trip planned and our son will have his first passport stamp at the age of 3 months! We can't wait!
Allow Him To Be Him
I really want our kids to have freedom to pursue whatever THEY choose. Sometimes it'll be difficult for Nick and I not to pressure them to do what we want them to do, but at the end of the day we want them to be happy. For example, Nick and I would love for our son to play football. Nick played football, I was a cheerleader on the sidelines at all of his games, and we just have such a strong desire for our little one to play. But we will do our best not to pressure him in any way, and we will let him choose whatever his true passions are. Who knows, he might not like any sports. He might love theater, or the debate team, or something else. Regardless, we will cheer him on and encourage him in whatever he loves.