Three years into mommy-hood and each day I am learning more about myself. My own childhood upbringing certainly influenced me early on in the way I parented my 10-year old daughter, adopted from foster care. The reality is her childhood experiences are very different from mine.
I had a solid family upbringing, raised as the eldest of three in a two parent family. My parents were supportive and encouraged me in all of my interests. Both working parents, my mom was the nurturer. My dad was the disciplinary one, my siblings and I all had a healthy fear especially when we got in trouble. We learned right from wrong, and knew our boundaries. I was as outgoing as a child as I am today, but I tended to keep my thoughts, my fears, my dreams inside, and I was overly sensitive, moody some might say. I never liked getting in trouble as a child, I followed the rules, well most of the time. As the older sibling, I had the typical pressure of being the responsible one. But when I did get in trouble it was big.
Here I am now, learning to raise my daughter not from the perspective of my own upbringing but through the lens of understanding and accepting of her early beginnings. I certainly did not get this revelation prior to us becoming a forever family. No, I had to learn this one through trial and error. This lesson was an eye opener for me, one that I appreciate. I use my childhood stories with my daughter as a way to share with her what I was like as a child, the good, the bad and the way my parents raised me with love.
I continue to help reset the boundaries she learned early on with support for her emotional and social development. At the same time create lasting traditions and memories for our family. All with the intent of helping her to begin to accept her beginnings and appreciate her new life. I am committed to being the loving mommy and family that she can learn to trust and emulate.
One of my favorite public service ads on the www.adoptuskids.org website, in partnership with U.S. Children’s Bureau and the Ad Council, says it the best http://adoptuskids.org/for-the-media/help-raise-public-awareness.
Thank goodness my imperfection doesn’t me I am not the perfect mommy for my daughter.
Until next time, join me again as I continue down this journey.
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