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.