Bit­ter­sweet

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINION -

PARENTHOOD is never easy. I can­not be­lieve I’m say­ing this, and never in a mil­lion years did I se­ri­ously con­sider that when I was in my teenage years. That’s not ac­tu­ally say­ing I was a pain in the neck in my younger years but I be­lieve I did not make it easy for my folks, es­pe­cially when it in­volves mat­ters of the heart (or what I thought then were mat­ters of the heart).

Now that I’m a par­ent my­self I look back and think about what I could have done back then to make it eas­ier for them. I am proud to say I did not ex­actly go through that phase of to­tal teenage angst and re­bel­lion, as I was quite a ‘good girl’ back in my younger years (at least, to the knowl­edge and be­lief of my folks, and truth be told now that I’m older and wiser, what they did not know could not have hurt them). This is quite in­crim­i­nat­ing and my daugh­ters will have a field day read­ing this if and when they do read it. But yes, I have had crazy days and a life of care­less come-what-mays, and de­spite ev­ery­thing im­per­fect in my life now, if given the chance I would only choose to undo the mo­ments when I hurt my folks the most.

Hav­ing four kids is not that easy, and ‘frus­trat­ing’is an un­der­state­ment to de­scribe my feel­ings at times when we ar­gue about re­ally minor is­sues. Like tex­ting and in­ter­net use, for ex­am­ple (at least for the grown-up daugh­ters). Hubby and I would get an­noyed when they keep on tin­ker­ing with their gad­gets while do­ing her home­work, be­fore bed­time and dur­ing break­fast (when they seem obliv­i­ous to the havoc around them, peo­ple scur­ry­ing here and there prep­ping for school and the of­fice), and they would get an ear­ful from ei­ther or from both of us. At times I try my best to play the ‘good cop’in­stead of both of us gang­ing up on them on triv­ial is­sues, to get their con­fi­dence. Lately I have come up with a res­o­lu­tion, which is to qui­etly re­trieve the mobile phone from them at crit­i­cal times, with a warn­ing that sub­se­quent of­fenses will merit sus­pen­sion of cell­phone priv­i­leges. Then there is the is­sue of bed­room up­keep and dirty laun­dry sort­ing, the de­tails of which may be too hor­rid to dis­cuss (I’m ex­ag­ger­at­ing, but close). It gets frus­trat­ing be­cause this is one job I want to get right; it is one ma­jor task I should never ever fail at, and most of the time I have no idea whether I am do­ing the right thing or just to­tally screw­ing it up.

I sym­pa­thize with my kids be­cause it is also not easy to have me as a mom. For starters, I tend to squeal and share my thoughts and ex­pe­ri­ences, no mat­ter how sad or weird, to any­one in­ter­ested enough to in­vade my couch.

As they say you can and will love your chil­dren in a way they will never un­der­stand. I should re­phrase that: You love your chil­dren in a way they may not yet un­der­stand, but which they even­tu­ally will. I am in that bit­ter­sweet process now.

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