Parent: FAIL

There are a lot of things I was not prepared for when I became a parent almost 33 years ago. Let me just say that having kids was not really part of my “life plan” not that I actually had a “plan” but if someone had put my 21 year old self in a chair, under a bright light and asked me “what is your life plan?” I feel pretty certain having a baby or three would not have tumbled out of my mouth.

Now, I am not saying that my ex tricked me into having kids, I was a willing accomplice but kind of like sharing way too many chocolate chip cookies or getting drunk…it was definitely his idea. I thought it would be “fun”.

I had fantastic pregnancies and 2 really easy childbirths (first was one was dangerous) and I surprised even myself at how much I loved being a mom. I had adorable, chubby, smart babies and as a naturally crafty person I loved cutting their sandwiches in puzzle shapes and decorating over their bed the night before their birthday and signing songs in the car. I loved it all. I love them.

However,

  • I wasn’t prepared to suffer every struggle they had (x100) along with them while keeping up a strong front
  • I didn’t know that love was not enough- that kids need stuff, lots of expensive stuff.
  • I wasn’t prepared for my ex to go off the deep end and leave me holding the “kid bag” …alone

Most of all, I was not prepared to have my entire life psychoanalyzed by my children~~ These young adults that I remember from before anyone else can imagine. Apparently my life is now open to their critical eyes, even events that they weren’t even around for because in some way “it’s all related”.

Now my parents divorce in the 70’s is intertwined with my divorce which sets my kids up for failure in love and marriage…or something along those lines.

Honestly, I am tired of talking about it. Am I being cold to say “Get over it!”? because I say that alot and I assume it will just be added to my list of parenting offences but fucking hell….I am tired…tired of being the “go to parent” the “reliable parent” the parent who shows up at baseball, parent/teacher conferences, the vice principal’s office, the police station…

But if I don’t, who will? and I love my kids too much to leave them hanging.

My kids are all technically adults but I am still supporting and helping all of them. I’m happy to do it and grateful that I am finally able to try to make up for what I fully admit was a shoddy childhood but c’mon….in my old school mentality I always wrote off the bad things in my childhood to my parents naievte, ignorance and/or innocence. My mantra was “they did the best they could, with what they knew at the time, in a difficult situation”

Apparently that doesn’t play in 2014

Just curious if anyone has thoughts on this~~ either as a parent or a child?

2 thoughts on “Parent: FAIL

  1. wow!! nobody has left a comment?? I think my parents failed me in a lot of ways and yes I still hold on to the resentment but I was trained old school and would never tell them or at least not consciously.. I know the stuff that destroys my mom about her past mistakes and have told her…but she is also very critical of me so when I felt pushed I played that card..I don’t anymore even though her criticism hasn’t ceased… am I still not ‘getting over it”? hhmm.. In a lot of ways though especially since I lived abroad…I can truly relate to their pain of being ‘foreign and other”.. much more than I was… and then raising children in a society that is totally foreign to you as a parent..I can see how they felt tricked or betrayed that they raised the oppostion in a way…so definitely…they did all they could and I know they sacrificed a lot and we did not get a lot of stuff.. (working class folks) with what they had and what they knew.. I guess I am mixed..

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