Growing up in Miami, my mom sheltered me from a lot of things. I was so naive that she made me believe that girls who used tampons were having sex. She told me this when I just entered high school as a Sophomore. Of course, I didn’t know any better and believed it until a few years after graduating. So, I apologize to my friends at the time for thinking they were some fast-hoochie-mama-whores for using a tampon.
Remembering how I was raised and sheltered reminds me what NOT to do with my daughter. Ever since she was in my tummy, I spoke to her like an adult. I didn’t allow anyone to speak to her with that baby-talk or Ga-Ga-Goo-Goo mess. I was fearful that she would follow my footsteps when it came to my speech development. It wasn’t until I was almost 7-years-old that one of my older sisters told me that my superhero Wonder Woman’s name wasn’t Wah-na-na. If you’re wondering Dear Reader, yes, I do suffer from paranoia. I think all parents have some form of paranoia when they have kids. We become “crazy” in some ways and they probably think we are “crazy” like we thought of our own parents.
A former co-worker told me when my daughter was very young to never underestimate a child’s mind. She said kids are smarter than we think. It become apparent to me awhile back.
We were returning home from the grocery store and as we were unloading the bags from the car she asked me when was I going to start dating. I paused. I told her that I wasn’t ready to date anyone. She said so eloquently, “Mommy, you need to go on a date because you’re always with me!” I don’t know why but I tried to persuade my child to believe that her mommy wasn’t ready for a relationship. “Mommy, daddy has been gone for a longtime. It’s time for you to find a man.” I couldn’t lie, the girl was right. I learned deeper into our discussion that she saw that I was much happier. I knew she was comparing my current happiness with the past and my unhappy relationship with her father. There she was wanting her mommy to get her “groove back.”
Slowly, I’ve tested the waters in the dating pool. It’s been very challenging because I don’t trust anyone especially when it comes to introducing my daughter to someone other than her father. Finding love again is going to have its challenges. Believing that you can find Love again is one of them. How am I going to balance dating and “trying” to have a decent relationship with her father? I don’t want to bring any emotional baggage left from my past relationships into any new relationship whether it was from her father or friends and family members I no longer speak to. I understand that I need to be open to new relationships. At this point, I can only try.
I never would have thought that my daughter would teach me a valuable lesson about life. It’s wonderful to see what Life has to offer through a child’s eyes even better when they are your own.
So far writing for this Blog has made me become aware of how much I’ve underestimated my self-worth and now my daughter. I hope through this journey YOU will learn your self-worth and how it’s important to be in tune with your child. Talk with your child more often so that you can develop a closer relationship with them. You don’t want to wait until they are long gone to try to build a strong bond with them when you can do that now.
Don’t let your child underestimate how much You love them!!
Written By: Max-Laine