Tuesday, August 17, 2010
WHEN YOUR PARENTS DON'T FIT
"Was I dropped off to the wrong house by the stork?" This is a phrase I use to yell in my head when I as a kid. I truly felt as though God created me and put me with the wrong set of parents. I know many of my friends at the time felt the same way. Now that I’m older, I believe the differences I had with my parents at the time were good differences. Those were the things that allowed me to learn from them.
HOW’s THE FIT
My parents were both teen parents. They had a great support system that allowed me to be raised by my great-grandmother (whom I felt was a better fit as a mother figure in my life than my own mother at the time) and my aunts (my mother’s older sisters).
I used to compare similarities in my parents actions to how I would have responded to the same scenarios. You know what? I didn’t realize that it wasn’t an exact science. That I had the ability to make the same mistakes as they had if I hadn’t had examples of the consequences of their actions. Of course it was easy for me to judge them, even when I was a kid. The term, “Walk a mile in your shoes,” is a strong statement. When I became a mother myself, I realized how much my young mother sacrificed to give me a better life. How the mistakes she made hurt her, but I was stronger because of them.
How did I benefit from observing these parents that I felt was a completely wrong fit? I did it by not wanting to make the same mistakes they made. I wanted to be better, stronger and wiser. Thanks to being their kid, I am.
WHAT TO DO WHEN PARENTS DON’T FIT
Keep a positive outlook. Realize that there are no perfect parents. None at all. We are all prone to mistakes, some revealed and others hidden. But learn from the mistakes of others, even your parents mistakes. Also, learn to love them were they are at. Parents have to grow up sometimes too.
THE SURPRISE GIFT AT THE END OF THE JOURNEY
At the end of the struggle to find yourself throughout your teen years. When you grow up, have your own family, made your own mistakes, and get stronger look back and see your parents through different eyes.
When I did, I realized that although they were teen parents who made huge mistakes, they weren’t that different from me in the end. That because of them, I became who I am. I also realized that they sacrificed specifically to give me a better life and I can’t say that I could have kept it all together like that had I had my kid at such a young age.
Even today as a parent I make huge mistakes that I have to apologize to my kids for. But the wonderful thing about children is their willingness to love their nonfitting parents deeply, ever thirsting for some semblance of a bond.
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