A blog entitled ‘Honest Parent’ needs some honesty. This is a great starting point.
I became pregnant with my first child when I was 17 and a junior in high school. Before I got pregnant, I was already a train-wreck – I was walking reactions and emotions within being lonely, insecure, and trying to piece myself together so that I could place myself in an acceptable place in this world. A typical teenager, yes, though I was seeing that there were others my age that seemed to have it together, seemed to have the perfect lives, and seemed to have a precise direction with their life. I could not get there. And becoming pregnant made this conflict within myself worse – I had totally messed up. After going through, experiencing, and exhausting all of my options that would release me from my responsibilities to a child, I came to the painful conclusion that I must be this child’s mother and so I took it on.
We aren’t taught how to best take care of a child. What we learn is through what our parents and others outside of ourselves tell us we ‘should’ be doing. We grow up watching TV Families and use that as a goal for what we want our families to be because we watch them grow up, we see that what the parent’s are doing is working because the families are close, mostly well-balanced, and even amongst the ‘bad’ stuff that happens to the family, everything always works out for the best in the end. Hope and Love conquer All.
So here I was. Young, messed up, and responsible for another life. I am grateful for my others assistance. Others helped me out a lot and filled in places in my child’s life within where I was absent. More on that later.
I read as much as I could on the topic of Parenting, I watched others parents, tried all kinds of different methods, and I had weekly/bi-weekly sessions with a psychotherapist to assist in keeping myself ‘on track’. I created a structured time with myself and my child. We did so many great things together. We pushed through the ‘bad times’. That’s what family did, right? Push through the bad times because it was all going to work out in the end?
Truth: What happened, for real, is that my child forgot all of the great and awesome times we had together. They forgot the laughs, fun, and what a blast we had discovering ourselves together. In the end, most of what was retained from their childhood was ‘bad memories’.
Looking back over my life, it makes sense. I did the same thing with my childhood – it was easier, convenient, and a better payoff for me to look at my childhood and see it as being completely wrong rather than remembering those moments when our family experienced true joy together. If it is during those moments of pure, expressed joy that we can experience who we really are, then how much of myself have I lost? How much have our children lost and how much will they lose because who we are is lost within thoughts, emotions, and feelings? How many moments of true joy will we miss out on together, as a family, because we are caught up in ourselves, our thoughts, our reactions, and not present?
At Desteni, we’re learning and applying the tools that can assist us in stopping ourselves from getting caught up in our thoughts and reactions through writing, self-forgiveness, and self-correction. I’ve been participating in this process for several months and it has been very cool. I can see my responsibility in what I’ve created – particularly within my relationship with my children. And I’ve just started to scratch the surface.