As a child, Iever really thought about my parents. They were there when I needed something and to care for me. I never really thought of them as people with needs and wants and hopes and dreams. They were just people that caused me grief and yelled at me with no good reason. They made me work and do things I did not want to do. They were using me as free labor. Why did I have to do dishes, sweep the floors, mop, take out the garbage etc.? It wasn't fair what they made me do. I could not wait to get out of that house.
Thirty years later I now understand. Number one was because they needed help. They took care of their responsiblities, and as a member of the household I needed to help around the house. PLUS, all of the chores they made me do taught me how to be successful in life and how to care for myself and my own household. They were valuable life lessons in good work ethics, being on time, completing tasks and doing a good job. It also taught me how to responsible, considerate, respectful and have good character toward my family, and later to the rest of society. I can be counted on because I was raised that way.
After being a parent, I now understand many of the decisions my parents made. As my own son grew, I began to appreciate my parents' actions more, because I was running into similar situations with him. It was like a light bulb would go off each time I would have to tell my son NO. I understood what great parents I had been given. The reasons they were strict and would often say, "No you cannot do that.", was to protect me. It was ALWAYS to protect me. To keep me safe even when I ( as a child) did not realize there was any danger present. They wanted to keep me safe because they loved me. I was valuable to them.
I now know, without a doubt, they would have killed and given their own lives freely to protect me. ME, their valuable and LOVED child. I know I would do the same for my son without hesitation. Because he is so loved and valued by us, his parents.
My 78 year old mother still tries to "mother" me. I don't get upset that she is in my business. I look at her and listen to what she has to say. Then I say, " okay, mom". Then I do what I want to do. I feel I OWE her that . I owe her that respect. She is my mom. She STILL wants to PROTECT me and guide me , because it is still and always will be her job. I do not have to listen to her now. I still owe her the respect of letting her know I heard her and understand her concern for me. I really appreciate that she loved me then and she still loves me now . I also appreciate that I am still valuable to her and she cares about me due to that.
I told my son the same thing. You owe me the respect of listening to what I have to say. Then just say,
" okay mom", and then do what you will. That way I feel I am still protecting him and doing my job as a mother, and he feels good because he let me have my say and can then do what he wants. A parent will always be a parent no matter how old their child is.
I hope one day my son will understand this too and appreciate me and his dad for everything we did as we went about parenting. People do the best they can with what they have and know at that given moment in time. It may not be the best thing in an ideal world, but it was the BEST they could do at that time. I firmly believe this.
Thank you mom and dad for all of your hard work and care.