So, I realized at some point, either during my pregnancy or after my mini was born, that part of my "job" as a parent was to not only raise my little by what I purposely taught, but also model what a mother is. I was setting an example of what is and isn't appropriate for a mother to do.
I also realized, that if the other half and I had managed to remain together, or any guy that may come along in the future, is, or will be, part of that model. The other half or the guy would be an example of what a father should be. I would need to keep that in mind for any guy that enters our life and choose a guy that would be a proper example, and the two of us would be the model for what a relationship should be.
As the mother, I would show what behaviors were acceptable of a wife and mother. I was more than raising my little, but setting up my mini's future relationships and life. Any guy that became a part of our daily life would also become a part of that model for the future.
As I am modeling what a mother should be, and whoever this guy may be would be modeling what a father should be, we would also be modeling what a relationship should be like. Not only by how we act and treat each other, but also what treatment and behaviors we accept of the other. It isn't just how I act, but also what I allow the other to do and how I let that person treat me.
I realized more recently that it goes beyond the example I set, though, as I have seen many couples over the years and therefore seen examples other than my own parents, I have learned things others do that I do or don't like. My own child/ren will, too, experience many relationships. It will go beyond the example I set, but extend to those of friends, family and the parents of other kiddos.
The treatment of others is something that will come from many different sources, but the mundane stuff that comes from being in a relationship, a true partnership, are the examples that will mainly come from home. Showing my mini life skills like laundry, grocery shopping and bill paying, are things I am tasked with as a solo mom. If, in the future, there comes a man to step up as a father and husband, then, together,we will model how to discuss problems, how to talk to one another, how to balance housework, and child rearing.
I guess it goes beyond me learning from my mistakes, but also using that knowledge in a positive way to also teach my kiddo/s, and always remembering that it matters not just what I say, but how I say it and above that, how I act.