A blogging friend of mine, Kate from Raising the Rogers
, invited me to be part of a link up today. The topic is What Kind of Mother Are You? Well, I’m not a mother yet, and Kate knows this, so she asked me to answer what type of mother I hope to be.
I’ve thought about this for numerous weeks. What type of mother do I want to be? How much do I want to be like my mother? What do I want to teach my children? What is most important to me? Then I realized something big about my own personality. My life revolves around Industry.
Now, I don’t mean being a workaholic and making as much money as possible–that’s not what I want to instill in my children. No.
I’m thinking of Benjamin Franklin’s virtue of Industry (he has 12 others, sort of like his own Happiness Project
, which I think I’ll talk about in a different post).
“Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.” -Benjamin Franklin
Dictionary.com: energetic, devoted activity at any work or task; diligence
I am talking about Franklin’s holistic view of industry. That
is what I want to teach my children–to not necessarily always be doing
something, but be engaged in working toward
something. And, I want to teach it to the in 4 different areas (listed least important to most important).
(This is not the only thing I want to focus on as a mother, but it is what came to my mind today.)
When I first got my driver’s license at age 16, my mom handed me the keys to the car and told me to go out and search for a job. I did and I have been working ever since. My dad has always had at least one job. He taught me the determination of “pounding the pavement” until I got the best job I could. I want to continue these teachings to my children. Because of my parent’s philosophy of working hard, I felt I could be independent, and I was. I graduated college without any debt, went on a study abroad to Great Britain, maintained a 3.8 GPA and juggled 3 jobs. All my siblings right now have a job, including my 13 year old sister who babysits. If my children can understand the importance of working and being able to rely on yourself and depend on yourself, making you independent, they will grow up that much more mature.
I want my children to grow up with the peaceful feeling of a nice, clean, organized home. Their home should be their safe spot, their refuge. I have started a series on femiology.com called “A House of Order” to help relay my ideas and knowledge of organization. But, I wouldn’t have this knowledge if my parents hadn’t taught it to me. Before kids get jobs, they need to already know how to do hard work. I learned to clean and help with chores at an early age. Of course, they were age appropriate. I didn’t start scrubbing bathrooms until I was almost in middle school. But, I learned why it is important to keep a clean house and I want to help my children understand they can be more relaxed and less stressed if their rooms are clean and the dishes are done. Then, I won’t have to worry about how they will do on their own. As a freshman in college, I had numerous roommates ask me how to do dishes or a load of laundry or how to scrub the toilet! I want my kids to know and prepared.
As a teacher who will eventually be a mom, I want my children to know that their parents only expect them to do the best they can. If that is straight A’s, wonderful. If it is C-s and D+s and they gave it the best effort they could exert, , than what more can we ask of them? I was a straight A student in grade school, but I remember in 9th grade with my first AP course, I got a D on one of my report cards (in history, no less!). I was so scared of what my parents would think and say and thus, how they would punish me. But, when my mom saw, she said, “It is ok, hon. Everyone is bound to have a bad term.” She knew how much effort I had put into the class and she wasn’t disappointed. She felt bad because how I felt, but that was all. I want to teach my children I won’t be disappointed in them if they try their best.
More than that, though, I want them to always be trying to improve themselves. As a Mormon, our family and home will be centered on Christ. We will go to church every Sunday. We will have family prayer and family scripture reading every day. I will teach them the lessons, virtues, and standards of our church and how to be a tolerant, loving Christian. But, I want them to take it into their own account as well. I want to teach my children the importance of independent daily prayers and scripture reading. I want them to know how much I love my Heavenly Father and Savior and how much I depend on them. I want them to follow that example and get to know their Heavenly Father and Savior as well as I am getting to know them.
Industry also includes hobbies and talents. And I don’t mean videogames. Yes my husband and I are gamers and yes, we will probably play videogames with our kids, but that is not being industrious. I want them to find a self-improving hobby and grow their talents. Whether it be arts and crafts, music, sports, writing, or some other talent, I want them to find their niche and I want them to shine. I want them to be diligent and determined. I want them to always be improving some aspect in their life.
I want to instill the concept that Charity is the true love of Christ. To be truly Christian, we must love and serve our brothers and sisters and neighbors. I want to somewhere, have these scriptures showing in our home:
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Moroni 7:46-47 (found in the Book of Mormon) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
I want to teach my children the importance of loving everyone and being tolerant of others. I did not grow up in Utah, being a military brat, and I met and became friends with people from all walks of life. They all have their failings, but so do I. They all have wonderful characteristics that I could only hope for. That is what I want my children to see–the good in everyone. I want my children to be willing to reach out a helping hand to someone who is hurt or in need. I want my children to be willing to make friends who can’t very easily. I want my children to be loving.
In trying to teach the concept of Industry in these 4 areas, in trying to get my children to be “always employed in something useful”, to be actively engaged, to be diligent in their doings, I feel that my children will grow up happy and successful.
After looking back at this, and looking back at Benjamin Franklin’s 11 Virtues (Temperance, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Moderation, Industry, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Silence, Sincerity, Chastity, Humility), my definition of Industry becomes a blanket term for all of these virtues. Maybe, to make it easy on myself, I’ll just read them Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography in which he goes into detail of trying to achieve all these virtues and tell them to be like him. (I’m only half kidding, but I do think I want to read this to them and have them be aware of it, as well as the concept of a Happiness Project throughout their lives).