Raising Men.

Recently, I've read a few blog posts about teaching your daughters to be women who love themselves and respect themselves and who don't set unreal expectations for themselves. I love everything about that and I LOVE that thoughts like that are going viral and reaching so many women. But I don't have a daughter who will watch me and imitate me and develop her sense of self from me. Maybe one day I will have a little girl, but for now I have two sons who will one day fall in love with someone's baby girl and I've realized that their idea of a woman's beauty and worth will come from me. This has caused me to think about what kind of mother and woman I'm going to be and what kind of example I'm going to set for my boys. Right now,  they only have eyes for me and the perception of women that they develop as children will be the lens in which they view women in the future. So this is my "momclaration" for my boys.

I will dress in  a way that shows class and modesty because I want my sons to know that a woman who respects her body is worth finding and that self confidence has nothing to do with the amount of skin showing.

I will fix my hair and put on makeup and wear nice clothes, but I will not spend an excessive amount of time or money on my appearance because I want my sons to appreciate and love the natural beauty of women. And because they need to know that the way a woman appears has no direct reflection on her beauty or her heart. Instead of prioritizing my looks, I will prioritize my family and give them more than I give myself.

I will try as hard as I can to refrain from making negative comments about my appearance in front of them because I don't want them to see those qualities in other women and think that those qualities make women ugly. I want to be an example of self confidence regardless of how my body changes over the years because I want them to find someone whose confidence doesn't exist in their weight or height or cup size.

When people say negative things about me, I will not let those things take root in my heart because I don't want my boys to think a woman's worth is defined by the opinions of their peers.

When their daddy calls me "beautiful", I will not roll my eyes, tell him he's wrong or make a negative comment about myself in response because I don't want my sons to ever be afraid to compliment a woman.

I will not starve myself or deny myself in order to lose weight because I don't ever want them to buy into the lie that being thin is the ideal. I will eat healthy and live healthy and love and respect my body during every stage of my life.

I will treat everyone with respect and love my enemies.

I  will teach them to appreciate art and music of all kinds because I want them to explore their own creativity.

I will ask them questions and let them speak their mind because I don't want them to ever let another person tell them how to think.

I will treat their father with love and respect always, so that they will know that they should be treated the same.

I will always let them be exactly themselves, no matter what, because I don't want them to feel like they have to change who they are for anyone. EVER.

I will let my sons see me struggle and cry and get angry and be hurt because I want them to see me apologize and heal and forgive. I want them to see that women can handle negative emotions with mercy and humility.

I will allow myself to experience the roller coaster of emotions because God made women emotional and we were created in his image. I want my sons to see that it's ok to experience those things. I don't want them to ever be afraid of or annoyed at or to ever run away when a woman is emotional. I will handle the crazed estrogen with humor and maturity and hope that one day, when their wives are pregnant and crying for no reason that they'll know to put their emotional tool box away and just offer a tissue and a shoulder.

I will admit when I'm wrong and apologize when I've made a mistake because I want them to learn to accept apologies and value humility.

I will fight for them, defend them, protect them, and sacrifice for them because I want them to know that though women can be fragile, we are fierce.

I will make decisions every day that will show my boys that women are to be cared for, valued, respected, trusted, and loved selflessly.

I will be the kind of woman that shows them that as men, they are to be cared for, valued, respected, trusted, and loved selflessly.

I will be the kind of mother that they can always talk to without fear.

I will be the  kind of mother that they will be proud of.

I will love them selflessly, imperfectly, and graciously until the day I die because I want them to always know, and never question, that they are deserving of nothing less.