Being raised by a single mother was the most significant life lesson I have ever had. At a young age, I learned how to take care of myself and how to take care of others. I also learned how to take care of a home.
Like most girls, I made many decisions about my future self when I was young. I knew the kind of husband I wanted, the kind of mom I would be, and the children I would raise. Well, good for me that my husband ended up being the exact opposite of what I dreamed of, while simultaneously being everything I ever wanted. He helped me learn what I truly wanted and who I was as a person. Together we framed our parenting to always be on the foundation of respect. And this, to us, allows our boys to form their own opinions and challenge the world.
We always said that we weren’t raising babies or kids or children. We are raising men! We are raising, God willing, future husbands and fathers. When the boys would misbehave or step out of line, I would always reference that frame of mind and ask them, “how would you feel if your son or daughter…?”. And let me tell you, they misbehaved A LOT, so as they grew older, the meaning changed and evolved their level of understanding.
And now we see the fruits. I hear respect, leader, and kind when we have parent-teacher conferences. Their teachers go out of their way to send us emails and messages, and I would rather get those messages than a report card with straight As. Because remember, I am not raising scholars or athletes. I AM RAISING MEN! This summer, that will truly be put to the test when our oldest graduates high school. He will leave our nest and show the world what kind of man he is. I fear the day as much as I embrace it. I have every confidence that he will be successful because of the traits, values, and characteristics of a man that he has displayed these 17 years.
By raising men our job is never done. Men need their mothers, fathers need their mothers, and well, daughter-in-laws- need their Mother-in-laws, right!
Want to hear more from Nichole? Check out her post Why putting our marriage first was the best decision for our boys.