Sunday, 18 September 2016

Thoughts on Parents


I want to talk about parents and children. This issue has been bugging me for quite some time now, due to a conversation I recently witnessed between a mother and her child, in which the mother told her kid that she needed to show respect for her because she sacrificed so much for her. The mom was blaming her kid for everything she was unable to do or unable to achieve due to being a mom, to the point where the child had to apologise for everything this specific person sacrificed. And all I could think was. No. You cannot say this to your child. Why? Because we did not ask for it.

My mother used to work night shifts at a gas station during the weekends, so she would be able to give us her full attention during the week. When we were really young this meant that my mom would take us (all three of us) to the town to do groceries. It meant that we could go home during lunch, that she would be there to pick us up from school, she would be there to help us with homework after school, that she would take us to our sport/practice and she would cook dinner for us. Day in day out, while my dad was at work. It meant that during the weekends we would get my dad's full attention and during the week my moms. It meant that we always had at least one parent around to take care of us. 

But I did not ask her to do any of that. I understand why she did it, but it was a choice she and my dad made 9 months before I was born. It was a decision that came after a lot of consideration and time. They knew what they were doing, they had been married for 9 years when I was born. My mom was 29 and my dad was 34 when I entered this world as Alyssa, something I also did not ask for. I did not ask; mom I want to be born and I need you to be there for me all the time. You are not allowed to ditch me in day care after school. I want you to be there.

I did not. Nor did either of my brothers. So, in my opinion it is unfair to say to blame your child for the things you were unable to do, due to being a parent. To say: I did it for you so you better be grateful. It was a choice they made before I was born. Better even they decided that I should be alive and should live in this world that is already overpopulated. I did not do that myself. 

However, this does not mean that I don't understand. I appreciate my parents and I love them for everything they did for me as a child. They never send us to after school care because they would be home. They didn't go on luxurious holidays to expensive sunny places without us, they took us camping all through Europe. They were okay with living in a relatively small house, if it meant that we would be able to play musical instruments, or do sports, or both. I grew up in a town where a lot of kids rarely saw their parents due to their careers and lifestyle. Kids who would laugh at me because my mom worked at a gas station (what kind of job is that, lower class job, pff). But I never felt like they had it better than I did, because my parents where there for me and they appeared to be happy while doing so.

I have a ton of memories that continue to make me happy on a day to day basis. For example: when I was 8 years old my mom took me to a musical (Elizabeth) and through the years she continued to take me and my brothers to musicals. Or how my mom used to take me to singing competitions. I don't remember her telling me to win, I don't even remember her urging me to do my best. I remember my parents always being there and giving me the choice to sing if I wanted to. I remember them being proud, I remember them telling me it would be okay whenever I was to nervous to breathe. I remember my mom fighting her ass off to get my teacher to see that I was dyslectic, rather than stupid. I remember her taking me to extra lessons while other kids had gymnastics or such. Which I will be forever grateful for, because otherwise I would have never fell in love with books. I remember my dad driving me home after harp-lessons. Or always taking me to the station or picking me up if I asked him to. I remember the endless Saturdays and Sundays spend on the couch watching TV-series and movies together. I remember the things he build for me. I remember my dad taking me for a walk with me not long after my first boyfriend broke up with me (I stayed home sick that day) and trying to make me feel better. I don't remember what was said, but I remember him being there. I remember my aunt (who now lives in Australia) telling me stories about how much my dad loved me right after I was born. That she learned to love my dad more due to his love for his children. My parents are pretty bad-ass. 



I would not trade my childhood for anything because my parents clearly loved me and did anything in their power to give us a good childhood, one in which we were allowed to and could play, learn and see places. Of course they made mistakes, but who doesn't? Nobody is perfect and raising children is hard and difficult (especially when you are a very angry teen, like me haha). I guess what I'm trying to say is that,  I love my mom and my dad, for everything they gave me while I was a child, and continue to give me. And even though I feel like parents should not blame their loses on their children, we as children should still respect them for it or appreciate it and even feel gratitude. We, as children should stand up for what we want and believe in, but not forget to be respectful and grateful in the process. We may have different opinions and lifestyles than our parents, but that does not mean that we can't show them how much we appreciate them. How much we love them for all the love they have given us over the years.

I used to be like, 'hey why don't we have kids day, there's a mother's day and a father's day but we don't get a day'. But now I realise that everyday was kids day. And maybe I won't truly understand what it feels like until one day I am a mother myself (if at all), but I know that when I do I will never blame my child for something I could have done or had instead of them because it would have been my choice to become a mother, not theirs. I haven't really mentioned my siblings through all of this. Sibling love is a completely different matter, one I will not even dare to get in to right now because its such a complicated relationship.

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