Parental Vows

by Cookie Klimt-mother and baby
Klimt-mother and baby

So I was thinking yesterday about promises.   We make a lot of them in our lives.  Contracts. Financial agreements.  Wedding vows.

Promises that get made and broken all the time.

But we don’t make any vows to our babies.  No vows written for our children.  I suppose there is baptism, but those promises seem like they are made to God.

Is it because we are afraid of failing our kids? 50% of all marriages end in divorce, yet we happily write and recite vows in front of our families, friends and God.  Maybe it’s because we know that the bond with our kids is a forever bond, and we don’t feel like we need to declare anything.  But I think we do.  I think we need to remind ourselves from time to time that we have taken on a great responsibility by having children.  The most important contract you will ever make is seeing those two pink lines on that test.

And so, as I jump into the third trimester I will write parental vows to my children.  Hopefully they will remind me of my love for them and my duty to them on those tough days.

My Parental Vows:

I promise to put you first from the second you are here.  And by here, I mean inside, heart beating, barf inducing, sleep depriving.

I promise to take care of myself so that I can be here for you.

I promise to try and show you the best path, and give you a good enough reason to follow me down it.

I promise to love you even when you hate me.

I promise to make you hate me from time to time in order to keep you safe.

I promise to teach you to stand your ground when needed,  and how to compromise in order to be fair.

I promise to teach you to attain things through hard work, not entitlement.

I promise to teach you to respect your elders.

I promise to teach you to be proud of your achievements, but humble enough to never stop learning.

I promise to let you make your own mistakes, but be here when you’re ready to solve them.

I promise to catch your heart when it breaks for the first time, the third time and the millionth time.

I promise to discipline out of hope of teaching consequence, not out of anger.

I promise to hold your head while you barf, wipe your nose when it runs and your eyes when you cry.

I promise to make sure you believe that you are everything I ever wanted.

I promise to make you know that I will always take you exactly as you are.

And I promise to realize that I will fail from time to time.  Probably on a daily basis.  But that I will never stop trying to honor these promises.  Because you, my children, are my greatest gift, my greatest accomplishment, and my greatest purpose.