Alright, it’s calmed down in my house for the moment, so I have some more thoughts that I want to share. I’m still in my pajamas from last night, by the way. Don’t worry! I brushed my teeth. 🙂 I’ll shower and change later! My entries aren’t always going to be about rainbows and butterflies- oops, I mean mental illness and grief- sometimes, I just want to talk about my thoughts. So, here it goes…
Are you friends with your kids? I’m talking like under 18 year old kids. Kids that live under your roof and need to follow your rules and give you the respect that you demand. Are y’all friends? I’m not. I have two of my own kids and Jacob has three. They’re all under 18. Every other week, we have all five. My two are always with us. I’m not friends with any of them. And, I don’t care. There will come a time when my children and I are allowed to be “friends”. Raising them in this crazy ass world, now ain’t the time. I grew up with my mom, stepdad, and brother. My stepdad, who I refer to as my dad, taught us what a normal family was supposed to be like. He wasn’t our friend. In fact, I thought that man was my worst enemy! He was always on my ass and damn! I was always in trouble! My mom, that was a different story. I controlled her. My dad worked away on a 7/7 schedule. I loved it when he went offshore. It was time to PARRTAYY! I would manipulate the hell out of my mom. You see, she suffers with depression, too, so when she wasn’t working, she was sleeping, or she was agreeing to whatever I asked for to get me off of her back. I didn’t realize then how much my dad cared. He didn’t want to be our friend. He was too busy teaching us what a father was like. When I finally realized that, he became my hero. My dad, today, is one of my very best friends. He taught me how to be a parent.
I’m constantly told how respectful and polite and well mannered my two kids are. I’m going to have to admit that I agree. My kids are good. They’re typical little shits sometimes, but they’re good kids. I can’t say that I learned how to parent alone. In fact, I’ve been through seasons as a parent where I completely failed. I had my son when I was only 21. I was unmarried, miserable, and had nothing going for me. I was as good as a mama as I knew how to be. I took great care of my baby, and like my dad taught me, I parented him. I went through many seasons as a young, single mom but I don’t regret any. I never saw it then, but I began to learn that there was a lesson that lied within each season. My late husband, Kyle, was also a phenomenal parent. A little more strict than I was, but I respected and appreciated his parenting style. Kyle helped me raise my son, and when our daughter was born, he helped me to raise her, as well. All while fighting for his life, battling cancer, Kyle never let his ailments get in the way of his parenting style. Jacob is an excellent dad. He knows what my expectations are of my kids and he demands it.
Parenting isn’t just about demanding respect and setting boundaries to raise a peaceful home, parenting is setting an example of what kind of adults you want your children to be. Do you want your children to grow up to become toxic individuals who expect the world to take care of them because you never taught them how to take care of themselves? It’s not just teaching them life skills like tying their shoes, it’s teaching them how to be independent. Do you want your example of insecurities portrayed to them because you refuse to quit playing the victim? You don’t want your children to grow up to be insecure. You want to teach your children how to own that shit and be proud of their accomplishments. Let your kids talk to you. Parenting isn’t about yelling and screaming and bashing the shit out of everyone. That’s toxic. If you know how to parent, you know that the yelling and screaming can be avoided. I was hell on wheels as a kid, but my ass knew not to cut up like that when my dad was home! I’m no professional when it comes to parenting. Trust me, I fail daily. But, I see it. I see where I go wrong. I refuse to play the victim to my mental health and let my kids control my house. Parenting isn’t hard, it just takes consistency. My kids know that when I say “no” that I mean “no!”. Bottom line. I don’t care if they tell me “you’re the meanest mom ever!”- I don’t give a shit! At the end of the day, they respect me. Stand up, parents. What’s going on in your house? Is it your kids, or is it really you? If it’s you, it’s ok to seek for help. Shit, I depend on antidepressants to keep my ass sane. It’s sad that children’ bad behavior is often blamed solely on them. Take a look at yourself as a parent, you’re raising that. I can’t imagine how much crazier I would feel if I couldn’t tell my children “no”. So, until I say so, we ain’t friends.
Parenting is so damn hard. Thanks for sharing.