I never thought I’d be able to have a child. I’ve spoken in the past a little bit about this. I’ve been thinking a lot more as he’s getting older about what I want to instill in him as he grows up. Things I want him to value, things I want him to understand, how to be come a man of character. He has a few different men in his life that are role models. His father is an amazing man and dad, but he grew up in a very stable household with very stable parents. He and I are very different people, so the way we raise my son will be different from the ways either of us were raised. I have bipolar disorder. That is a fact of life. It’s never going to go away. But there won’t be constant periods of terrible mania or depression. Most of the time I’m just a normal Mama. My husband and I have set up our lives a little differently to make sure we have plans in place if I am having a difficult time. He goes to daycare 5 days a week. I don’t work, but we agreed that it would be easier for him to have a consistent schedule, be around other kids since I can’t have any more, and most importantly if I’m really struggling that he will have a safe place to be.
As a parent, I want to give my son have the best possible life I can. That doesn’t mean just having perfect home cooked meals every night, making him try to have to be a baseball star, being a concert pianist… I want him to be well rounded in those areas, but I want him to be more than that. In my humble opinion, men of character are hard to find these days. The country is in turmoil and I don’t know if there are enough examples of how to be a gentleman, how to treat women, how to treat other people in general, how to talk about his feelings, how to be self sufficient, how to work hard, and be a gentleman. These are my priorities for him. This is the kind of man I want him to become. I’ve had a lot of negative experiences with men. I know there are a lot of good men out there, but have they grown up with a bipolar Mama? Have they been able to have all this instilled in them properly? I don’t know. What I do know is that I need a plan. A plan that my husband I agree on for my son to be the most awesome man ever!
With years of therapy under my belt, I would like to think I know my self pretty well. I have learned a lot about feelings, emotions, communication, and about relationships. I want to pass this along to my son. I want him to know that he can express himself in positive ways. Ways where he doesn’t feel ashamed or feels like he can’t talk to me. I always want there to be an open line of communication. I’ll work hard to always let him know he can be honest with me. I want him to be strong. I want him to learn to be independent, because there will be times where Mama won’t be well. Mama will be depressed or manic and I want to teach him to not be scared, but when he is older to be able to be able to do things on his own and take pride in doing so. I had parents that did a lot for us, but sometimes I think it was detrimental. I was handed everything. I did well in school and all, but I never had to work for anything. My husband on the other hand has worked nonstop since he was in 6th grade. I often tell him how inspiring that is and how his work ethic has opened numerous doors for him. I want my son to learn the value of a hard days work and feel the satisfaction of seeing the rewards that come from that. I’m not going to spoil him, instead I will love him and give him all my support. But he can’t have everything handed to him.
I spoke about becoming a man of character and about being a gentleman. His father is a kind loving man and I know my son will be too, but I want more than that for him. As a survivor of rape, I didn’t have anyone to stick up for me. No one fought for me. Rarely in my life have I had a man be protective of me. My husband for instance is a good loving man, but he lacks that fiercely protective part. I want my son to be a man that will stand up for women. To never see a woman being bullied, treated poorly by other men, or being taken advantage of. In short, I want to teach him to be a gentle knight in shining armor. Some of you might this this archaic, but there needs to be more men out there fighting for justice and protecting people that need help. He will absolutely know how to treat woman and if I ever see or hear anything to the contrary, he’s going to have to face the wrath of a really pissed off Mama. I want him to be confident in who he is and loving of all people. I want him to grow up and be an amazing husband one day. I want him to have learned how to listen to his wife and family’s feelings, be compassionate, honest, and loving. And to protect his wife and family no matter what. I want to teach him all of this and hopefully that my illness will actually be beneficial in his up bringing. I hope he will be able to see the world differently than other people and inspire others by his actions and character.