2014 is a strange year for resolutions.
Being pregnant, the usual fitness resolutions — stay thin, lose weight, break new personal records — aren’t going to fit in 2014. I told my mom that the only resolution I have is that I want to have a healthy baby this summer, and she told me that’s a wish, not a resolution.
Last year, and the the last few years leading up to it, I’ve spent trying to make myself a stronger, more determined, pragmatic, joyful person. I want to be the kind of person who can be as good a parent as my parents were to me. And while I’m far from perfect, I feel more capable than I ever have.
So this year I will do my best to give my son or daughter the best chance to be a healthy, well-equipped adult. I’ll cook at home, eat vegetables, exercise every day, and make sure to take time for myself.
And that feels manageable, ’cause I’ve been doing all those things already. It’s what comes after July that scares me. Because it’s one thing to try to exemplify the kind of person you want to be; it’s another entirely to turn around and be a role model for someone else at a very critical time.
If we have a daughter — that’s easy to visualize. I will teach her to be self-reliant. Curious. Playful. Polite. I’ll teach her to be athletic, and that the only competition that matters is with her former self. I’ll teach her not to shy away from hard problems. I’ll teach her to be fair. She’ll learn that the library is the best place ever, and that there’s nothing about having a penis that makes boys better at science or math or computers than she can be. And that being smart, kind and compassionate is secondary to being pretty (sing it, Beyonce!).
But sometimes I hope that we have a son. Because society sends mixed messages about what it means to be a boy, and that results in truly messed up situations like 1 in 5 women saying they have been victims of sexual assault. I love my husband because he is kind, and caring, and sensitive. He is be sweet to our animals and he has always supported me in my career. He’s compassionate and competitive; we love playing games together and he never lets me win. I know he will make a the best father and role model.
And I think raising a son that is humble, compassionate and respectful to women is just as important in building a good society as raising a daughter that is courageous and confident.
It’s not a resolution, really, because in 2015, I’ll be saying the same thing. And I know this is totally different than my usual list of races and records I want to break. But 2014 is going to be a big year for the Reaves’.