"You're raising her to leave..."
According to Mosherclan lore, that was statement my Grandma made to Mom the day she brought me home from the hospital. It is one my mom has often repeated to us children, and reflects a great deal about her perspective and choices in raising children. It is a perspective and mindset that I have become more grateful for with each passing year.
I recently realized that this statement is saying much the same thing as another philosophy of mom's: to consider every choice made in training my children with an eye toward the end result, and remember that they are God's, not mine. In a nutshell, remember that I am raising adults.
This mentality means I am not raising children for my own enjoyment, or to make me look good, not to satisfy my own dreams, that it's not actually about ME at all!
It means the investment I am making in these children should be out of love for God, and to prepare them to follow Him fully - even if that means pain for me.
It means that what I teach to Peter or Timothy should not be based on what is easiest or most enjoyable for me, but should be made with an eye toward what kind of an adult he should be.
It means that even as babies and toddlers I treat my children with respect, as another human being that I have been blessed with the privilege of training and teaching.
It means I should be embracing and encouraging new learning rather than trying to avoid teaching things that can make life more challenging for me, embrace those things as new opportunities to prepare my children for adulthood.
So, I am excited when they learn to walk, when Peter says "n-n-n-n0" and wants to do "___" himself, when Timothy rolls over, when Peter wants to walk by himself (although I still love it when he decides he wants to hold my hand after a period of walking by himself).
Ultimately, my goal is to cherish the moments when they need me, remembering that these will last for such a short time, but then delight when they have learned another skill - whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual - that prepares them to function as an adult independent of me.
Because I am raising adults. :-)
As a side note, writing this article helped me clarify mentally why I don't like to speak baby talk to my children, so I thought I'd add that on here...
I choose not to speak baby talk, because I don't want my children to have to re-learn the English language. Because children learn so much by imitation those first few years especially, I want to model for them clear communication right from day one, not changing my teaching when their baby speech is impeding our communication. (*disclaimer: while I personally don't like to speak or have baby talk spoken to my children, I have absolutely no issue with others doing so with their children, I just put this here as an explanation of why I have personally made this choice... ;-))