Family & Motherhood

baby thoughts: lessons for our little girl


“What are some of the most important lessons you want to focus on teaching the baby?”

I was watching Ellen DeGeneres the other day (as I religiously do) and Ashton Kutcher was on talking about his new baby girl. He said something that really struck a chord with me and made me tear up a bit. He said “people are focused on making the world a better place for our children, but I want to make better children for our world. Having a baby is the greatest opportunity to do just that.”

A couple of weeks ago Justin and I casually brought up the subject of what we thought was important to teach our little girl. There are so many things right? It’s almost overwhelming to think about what to focus on to make sure our little girl is a well rounded individual. I was prepared to have a full length conversation with him on what we thought was important, but it ended up being anything but.

Growing up, my parents (especially my mom) paid extra attention to how we greeted guests, behaved at parties and acted in public. Sure we had our temper-tantrums and hissy-fits, but the things we were taught as an early age has remained with me as an adult. A friend and I were talking about how important manners were, and she made such a good point about it starting at the dinner table at home. With little ones, there are so many distractions in public, at parties, and with other people that it’s tough to teach behavior at that time. But if they learn the fundamentals at home, at the dinner table, where there are minimal distractions, the success is higher that kids will do it in public. Genius. That’s lesson #1.

My mom tells me stories about how I HATED having to speak to her in Spanish, throwing tantrums, storming upstairs and just not talking. God bless her for not giving up, as I’m so grateful to be able to speak another language with practically no hard work done on my part. I learned both English and Spanish together. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and she would only speak to us in Spanish. “este oido no entiende ingles” (“this ear doesn’t understand English” she would say, pointing to her ear), and we would have to ask her for anything in Spanish. We were forced to speak it, and made a point for all of her friends and family to talk to my sisters and I in the language. While that may be more difficult here, with my family in another state and no friends that speak the language, I’m making every effort to teach my daughter the language. That’s lesson #2.

My dad was the “Education Boss”. Making good grades, getting into a good school and choosing a career that would make us happy while making money was his priority. His mantra when it came to a career was “find something that you are good at, is in demand and can make you money”. When Justin mentioned this was something he wanted to teach our little girl, I was all over it. Both of us have masters degrees and are doing work that we are good at and love. I see us both pushing our daughter to do well in school so she’s got a fair chance in this competitive job industry. That’s lesson #3.

Justin and I are both very creative people in very different ways. Both of us can fill a blank page with something awesome whether it’s with words or code. This was his pick, and I’m so grateful he put such importance on it. Exploring creativity can open so many doors to a world that is limitless. There hasn’t been a more encouraging time to find your craft than now, and we are planning on helping our little girl test out what’s out there, whether it’s sports, dance, arts, fashion and anything else. That’s lesson #4.

For those new moms out there, did you have any lessons you wanted to instill in your little one?