I’m raising my daughter to be strong and independent, and for that I thank my mom and the parenting values she instilled in me by example.
As a young, divorced mom of two kids, my mother did the best with what she had. And she did a pretty darn good job. Despite all the financial worries and anxiety-ridden fights, there are certain aspects of her parenting that I now proudly employ in raising my own daughter.
My mom married young, right out of high school, without any financial security she could call her own. When she and my father divorced, the pain of starting over most certainly influenced her parenting. She constantly reminded me and my brother to get an education, to make our own money, and to depend on no one but ourselves. Now she is a registered nurse and happily secure in her future. We often talk about those years, and she regrets having been so forceful with her messaging. But as an adult, and now a mom myself, I completely understand.
While I know my daughter will always have two committed parents to lean on, financially and emotionally, I keep some of my mom’s parenting values in mind. My daughter can be our princess, but she must also be the queen of her own kingdom. My daughter can lean on us for emotional guidance, but at some point she has to go out into the world and earn her stripes and winnings — of her own accord.
Even though my daughter is the tender age of three, I find myself parenting with many of the same values my divorced mom raised me with. As I focus on strength, independence, and maybe even a touch of feminism, I put high expectations on my daughter and her future.
My mom did the best she could with a tough situation. And while I wasn’t always happy about it at the time, I am glad she raised me with a value on independence.