It truly is amazing what you are willing to change when you are going to have a child. You want her to grow up making the right choices, and for her to make those right choices, you have to be the example.
Many things come into my head for this. Language, Attitude, Dress, Behavior, they pick up on all of it, right away even. Even the smallest of infants can pick up on negative and positive vibes, including language.
I have been thinking a lot lately of things I really need to change for little miss Lydia. The first thing I that comes to mind is some of the inside jokes I have with people. If people didn't know it was an inside joke, they would find them highly offensive.
For example, I love my sisters to death. I really do. But, we also have a couple inside jokes that I NEVER want my daughter to pick up on. One of the jokes, which has slowly died down is calling each other "fat kid." We really don't think of each other as fat. But, I really don't want my daughter growing up hearing me or my sister's calling each other that. Also, we tell each other when we ask each other how we look we say "well if you had a bag over your face, you would look fine." Again, we are just joking. And all three of us say it to each other. Well, today, a comment was made towards my unborn daughter about having to wear a bag over her face. I understand it is just a joke, but there is such a stigma now with weight and self image with girls anyway, that isn't going to make it any easier for her. She does not need to grow up hearing that, joking or not and I REALLY don't want her growing up thinking those things about herself. Also, little children don't always know what they are saying. There is always the instance of the child swearing and finding it funny when they are two years old or something. I can only imagine her going up to another child calling her a "fat kid" or saying "they need to wear a bag over their face" and not knowing the severity of what she just said. So, I just know I need to stop that kind of language all together. Even if we find it as "just a joke."
The other thing I think about a lot is modesty. Not so much because of what is taught in the church about modesty, but from talking to Marcus about what teenage boys actually think when they see a girl in clothing that isn't modest. Also, I feel that modesty teaches self respect.
It really bothers me when I see small girls running around in thin strapped shirts and their "mammies" showing. They don't understand how that is bad. Also, people have told me I should get a bikini for my little baby. I would say no way and they wouldn't understand. They would say "Karin, she is a baby. It's is not like she is showing anything." Yes, that may be true to some extent. But, if it is inappropriate for grown women to wear things like that, why would I put something like on a baby? Plus, how are you supposed to teach modesty if you don't start it at an early age. If you are always modest from the beginning, you don't have to think about it when you are older. You know what the proper standard is. If I teach my daughter about how she is a divine daughter of our Heavenly Father from the very beginning, and to treat her body as a temple and respect it, I know it won't be as big as a worry about what she is wearing out when she is a teenager.
Attitude is another huge thing that small children pick up on. Children are very keen into picking up emotions. If I am really stressed, the baby is likely to be stressed. If Marcus and I have a negative relationship and argue and fight all the time, and disrespect each other, she is going to pick up on that right away. If Marcus and I keep up a positive attitude, and are respectful, she is more likely to be the same.
One thing I know I need to change, big time, is my language choice. I still have a potty mouth. It isn't as bad as it used to be. But, I do still swear. I also still take the Lord's name in vain, A LOT! I have gotten better, but I have been slacking lately. I have noticed in my own home, the atmosphere difference when I don't swear and when I don't say the Lord's name in vain. The atmosphere is much more peaceful and less stressed. And what I have noticed that bothers me is when small children take the Lord's name in vain or they swear. They don't realize what they are saying yet and why it is bad. And it is so sad when those words come out of their innocent mouths. Many people have said they don't understand why swearing is bad. It only has a negative connotation when people let it. Well, if we think that little children shouldn't be saying those words, (which honestly most of us do) why in the heck is it appropriate for adults to say those words? They are just as bad coming out of a small child's mouth as it is out of an adults. Actually, it is probably worse coming out of an adults mouth because we actually know what we are doing is wrong.
Lydia at 20 weeks
Lydia at 38 weeks. (Big white part on top is her forehead. White part on bottom is her chubby cheek. To the right is her ear. She is facing away from the Doppler thingy.)
If I want to answer the questions about her character and being respectful and so on, I KNOW as her mother I need to lead by example. Which, means I need to make some changes in my life. And those changes I am MORE than willing to make.
Now just to play the waiting game until she is born. You are welcome to come into this world at any time now Lydia. We are excited to meet you. We love you oh so very much, and we haven't even met you yet.