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Baby Cristiano could, in theory, show up any day now. We probably have a bit of time — I’m due October 23 — but who knows.
One thing I do know is that, obviously, I want to be a really good mom. To me, that means making sure our daughter is safe, healthy, and taken care of, but also that I’m doing my best to instill good, strong values in her early on.
Brian and I have talked about this a lot since we found out I was pregnant in February. These are the things I keep coming back to, and that I want to teach and show our daughter.
I want her to be open-minded.
I grew up in Contoocook, New Hampshire. I think it may qualify, or at least it did then, as one of the least diverse places on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, the people in the town and the ones I grew up with were wonderful, lovely people! But I knew nothing about diversity growing up. I wasn’t exposed to a lot of different cultures, different types of people, or even different foods. I want our daughter to see, experience, and try everything. And I want her to understand the importance of trying, experiencing, seeing, and questioning things before judging them, whether it’s mayonnaise or religion. I want her to be wide-eyed and excited to ask questions and eager to learn. Which brings me to…
I want her to be curious.
I know this is a bit of an inherent quality, but I never want our daughter to be afraid to ask questions. “Stupid questions,” controversial questions, questions she knows the person on the receiving end may not want to answer. I want her to be a sponge. And if this is an inherent trait, this little one should be good to go: Both Brian and I are obsessively curious, and that manifests in different ways for each of us, which is pretty cool. I love asking tons of questions and learning as much as I can about people. (Clearly.) Brian loves spending hours going down Google rabbit holes and learning about how and why things work, and stuff like that. Collectively, we are constantly questioning things, asking why or why not, and assessing how we can use whatever knowledge we’ve gathered to better ourselves, our jobs, our lives, and our family. (So baby will either inherit these qualities, or think we are super annoying.)
I want her to love and appreciate her body and everything she can do physically.
Whether she loves dancing, soccer, gymnastics, or running, I always want our daughter to see her body for all the amazing things it and she can do. I hated my body very early in life. I remember being in elementary school and thinking I was “fat.” (I wasn’t. My god, I wasn’t. And this makes me so sad.) I don’t know where that came from for me or why I started hating my body so early and kept hating it for so long. But I worked long and hard to move on from that sour relationship and to learn to love and appreciate my body, even with its pesky chronic illness and history of not always doing what I wanted or asked of it. I was in a good place with this before getting pregnant, but pregnancy made me love my body even more.
I want her to be adventurous.
Fun fact: I never used to be adventurous. I hated adventure. I liked plans, and I liked sticking to them. But over the past few years, I have craved adventure and excitement and not always playing it safe. It took me a long time to get there. I wasn’t an adventurous kid, either. I liked to organize my toys more than I liked to play with them. One of my favorite hobbies as a kid was to make lists of things. Lists of songs to include in a fantasy dance recital, lists of the boys I liked, lists of the names of my Barbies. Lists. But more recently, I’m all about adventure, whether it’s travel-related, unplanned, or just more time spent outside. I hope our daughter loves being outside as much as we do. (Though I still like my lists.)
I want her to be kind, but not too nice.
This is a big one. I want our daughter to be kind. I want her to see the good in people. I want her to help and root for the underdog. But I don’t want her to be “too nice.” I don’t want her to get taken advantage of. I don’t want her to let people walk all over her. I don’t want her to be so confrontation-avoidant that she lets people she cares about get away with treating her unfairly. Signed, her confrontation-avoidant mother.
I want her to be confident.
I don’t know how to teach this yet, but this is the number-one quality I want to instill in our daughter. I firmly believe that with enough confidence, you can do anything. Being smart is great, being kind is wonderful, and having a strong work ethic will take her far. But confidence is key, and I will do whatever I can to make sure she’s confident and courageous without being afraid of failure. Signed, her confident-but-still-kinda-afraid-of-failure mother.
I want her to be courageously ambitious.
Trademark Katie Burke. I love this, and it’s something I want for myself and for my little buddy.
Can’t wait to meet you, baby! We’re going to have so much fun together!