The funny thing about being a parent is that you start out, the second you find out you are pregnant, by being absolutely scared after the novelty wears off of course. Scared about being pregnant, scared for the baby inside of you, scared about being a mother let alone a good one, scared of raising your child in this complex world of ours, and scared for just about everything.
Two to five years into being a parent, you think you’ve got the hang of it and choose to have another, very confident that you could handle both or even more. And you do, now nearly doing things with your eyes closed – changing diapers that is and keeping a feeding schedule.
At pre-teen years, you notice your faced with different challenges, some great while others not so. You brush it off as a learning curve for all of you. To clarify, on how to cope with a child with many questions, and an attempt at developing their own voice and character.
Just when you think you have that down, they become teenagers, shutting you out of their world. Keeping secrets, exploring, being daring, inconsiderate at times, a little selfish and developing a tone, worrying you, forcing you to seek some guidance from your parents perhaps or even professionals, shying away from letting your extended family members know you are not able to handle your children.
The twenties, a sigh of relief you think. They move on, establishing themselves in the world, following their passion, their goals, relationships in-love or not, careers and what not. They barely contact you, fill you in, or even listen to anything you have to say. And if they do, it’s nearly too late. They need you after a gruesome wake up call and you go running, baffled at the fact your adult child needs you. So you give advise and be supportive, hoping you’ve done all you can to help, perspiring profusely at the fact, you could have possibly done more damage than good, keeping your fingers crossed.
They get married, driving you insane in the process. Or better yet, they fall for someone you don’t approve and there is nothing you could do to make them see the troubles ahead. And if you do, you are the bad guy, hurtful words thrown your way to make you second guess your parenting skills, running to an expert for advise, gambling on choosing the right way to parent yet again.
Just when you finally get a good night sleep, they announce a separation, a divorce perhaps, a loss of a good job, a plan to change gears with family in tow, financial mess possibly or even tangled in an affair, complicating everything. Not necessarily asking for help, but rather expecting it in a strange and unexplainable kind of way. And when you speak up, your opinion or wisdom is laughed upon or criticized, now your children bestowing upon you the inkling to second guess yourself again, wondering when in the world will you ever learn to be a parent?