So with a mere few weeks before our mini-HelgaHume is due to arrive, I've been mulling over various theories of parenting, etc. The conclusion so far is this: I have no idea what I'm doing, nor can I (really) know anything before actually arriving there.
But I do know this: I am smart, full of love, and firmly believe in the value of holding onto one's sense of humour through adversity and struggle. While these qualities will not ensure flawless parenting, I'm reasonably confident they'll be useful as I try to figure this whole thing out.
In this interim, instead of anticipating details, I prefer to establish a philosophy and overarching modus operandi for how I'd like this parenting thing to go. So, here is the pledge I make to you, my unborn child:
I may not always be a "good mum", whatever that means. Instead, I will strive to be "good enough". As a good-enough mum, I will do my non-omniscient, non-omnipotent best to keep you safe, warm, fed, and emotionally and intellectually nourished.
I won't always be right, but I will try hard to always be fair. Unfortunately, fairness doesn't always mean a happy resolution for all, but at least consistency and fairness will teach you about compromise and justice.
I will avoid judgement of other parenting practises. Parenting is just too damned hard, and involves too many variables, to be able to hold others to a standardized set of rules.
While I will always be mindful of you, I will retain my own interests, dreams, and goals in life. By nurturing my separate self, I can be a better mother to you. I hope it also shows you the importance of independence, and that of recognizing and working to fulfill your own needs. In the end, only you are responsible for your own happiness.
I will try to really listen to you. It is important that you feel heard, and that you develop confidence that what you think or feel does, in fact, matter. This will take time, energy, and effort, and may sometimes translate to other things getting overlooked. Sometimes, feeling heard is more important than going to school with brushed hair or a clean shirt. ;-)
Also, since marriages have a much higher mortality rate than kids do, I warn you that there will be times that I put Dave and my marriage before you. This will not be a pleasant lesson, but it will demonstrate a strong and loving partnership of equals, which I deeply hope you will one day achieve.
As you reveal to me who you are, I will try my best to not let my personal biases and prejudices interfere with supporting you. No doubt you will challenge me to expand the horizons of what I currently appreciate, and for that, I thank you in advance (because I likely won't be feeling so thankful at the time). ;-)
All that being said, my bottom line is this: You must have A dream (which is up to you to develop, and can change and grow as you do), and you must vote. Everything else, we'll work out when the time comes.
I love you, little squid, and am very much looking forward to getting to know you.