There are a lot of promises you make to yourself when you think of having your own kids. Maybe you never want to yell like your dad did or you'll never force them to eat peas or wear dresses. We tell ourselves we'll never become our parents, even if we love our mom and dad, because we know better or can do better. We usually break these promises, one way or another, and that's okay too. Raising kids is hard, no one is perfect.
There are two main things from my childhood that I worried about when it came to having my own daughter. Firstly, I wanted to be my own person, with active goals and lifestyle. I did not want my life to revolve around her. My parents are the most giving, selfless people and while that might sound like a good thing, they sacrificed a lot of their own desires, life plans and happinesses for their children. They lived for us and I've watched them struggle because of it.
Secondly, I wanted her to be healthy and happy. I was the fat kid growing up. The friendless, glasses wearing, tomboy, fat kid. School was a torture. Kids are mean. Adults are mean. I never felt pretty or good enough. I still struggle with my weight and self worth to this day. I never, ever, want my daughter to be ostracized for the way she looks. I never want her to be uncomfortable in her own skin. I can't control the people around her, but I can help her be strong and proud.
Of course, the best way to show, teach or preach anything is to be an example of that yourself. So I started to panic with this little bundle of beautiful baby in my arms. All I had in my life was her. I was uncomfortable and unhappy in my own skin. How could she ever learn from me if I didn't show her?
Enter Roller Derby. Strapping on those eight wheels and skating around that track was my answer to how to be a good role model for my daughter. Somedays I feel like a super hero. Super Mama! Able to change diapers, read books and fly around the track, leaping small cones in a single bound!
And my daughter loves it. She put on her first pair of skates before she was a year and a half old. She bravely started stepping around the rink and let go of our hands. She fell down but got right back up and kept going. She loved it partly because she watched me do it. Because she saw me happy and strong on those eight wheels and she wanted to be like me.
She has kind of become our team mascot now. She is there at every bout and event rocking her Star City Roller Girl outfit. Asking to be picked up and skated around the track. Watching these empowered female athletes doing what they do best: inspire and be amazing role models.
I couldn't ask for a better environment or team to raise my daughter in. We are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and girlfriends, and this sport makes us a stronger family and better role models.
These were the things I wanted her to learn: to be daring, confident, independent, brave, resilient and persisent. To find happiness and strength. To be active and stay challenged. And I can show her all these things, I can be that example for her as a Derby Girl. The most important decision I ever made was to raise my daughter on eight wheels.
Are you a derby mom, aunt, sister? Who do you inspire with your derby lifestyle? Share with us!
Meecher MKR Star City Roller Girls