Parents

I apologize for not having my guest post for last week. I have been at my mother’s house. She had surgery on one of her legs and the recovery has been a bit more difficult than was anticipated. I have been working hard helping her out, and completing some projects for her. I was so tired when it the time came to write the guest post, that I could not even string a proper sentence together.

I have been thinking a lot about being a parent and parenting while I have been here. Being a parent is a never-ending job. With it comes much sorrow and joy. The catalyst for thinking about being a parent and parenting was something my brother said this week, as well as meeting my pregnant daughter-in-law for the first time. It got me thinking about how often – as adults – we do not allow our parents to be parents to us.

My brother – and his wife – has been struggling with his own mental health issues for the last few years. My parents found out about his mental health issues/mental illness around the same time I tried to take my own life. It was a shock for them to find out that both of their children have severe mental health issues. My brother and his wife have been in therapy – separately and together – for a few months longer than I have. For some reason, neither one of them seem to be progressing in getting mentally/emotionally healthy. In fact, it appears that my brother has been on a downward spiral and gotten worse during the time. My brother’s ability to earn as much money as he used to has drastically decreased, and he is currently struggling to pay for a license he needs to be able to continue to work in his chosen profession.

Rather than tell anyone what is going on, and letting us know how we can help him, my brother has chosen to be quiet about what is going on with him. Consequently, the only way my parents know how to help him is to offer him money. The other day, my brother made the comment that he wished that my parents “would just be parents” and not try and “fix things with money”. My reply was “How can they be parents if you do not give them the opportunity to be” My point in saying that was that since he does not let anyone know what is going on with him mentally/emotionally, the only thing my parents know to do is to help him financially. He is not giving them the opportunity to be the parents he wants – needs – and is expecting them to be.

How often do we do that? We want/need our parents to be there for us, but we with-hold things from them, making it impossible for them to be there in the way we need. We shut out the very people who love and support us unconditionally. No matter how old we get, our parents are our parents, and have a built in need to love and care for us. Our parents also have the benefit of having wisdom that comes with living life longer than we have. They occasionally can give us the exact advice we have been needing to hear.

My daughter-in-law is only 19 – pregnant – and married to my 20 year old son. They are both young, and in many ways still very immature. They are still in that stage of life where they know everything, and parental units know almost nothing. My son especially, wants nothing from me or his father right now, and goes to great lengths to hide things from us. My daughter-in-law seems to have a better grasp on reality and has started coming to me for advice, and some parenting – since her own mother lives far away. She has even asked me to be with her during her labor and delivery, since neither my son – her husband – or mother can be there during that time.

At this time in my life, when I am learning how to parent my daughter again, and getting used to the fact that I will be a grandmother in a few months, I am now having to learn how to parent a total stranger. It makes me think of all those years – when my own mother was not emotionally healthy enough to parent me – that I found women to fill the need I had for a mother. As a result, I have had some wonderful and strong women in my life. They helped me through rough patches, and showed me unconditional love. I believe that helped me learn how to accept my mother for who she is, when she became emotionally healthy enough to be a parent. Now it is my turn to be a strong parent and role model for someone else.

I guess the point in all my ranting is that we – even though we are adults – need parenting as much as our own children do. We need the comfort and love that it gives us. We also need the truth and honesty that parents display toward us. Some of us are blessed by having parents who are emotionally healthy enough to do this. Others are blessed by finding the right people to fill in for their own parents. Open yourself up, and let some parental love come in.

Margaret Tidwell

I am a 32-year-old blogger. I write about my life and my struggles with Multiple Sclerosis. I also am a huge book worm and I have been doing book reviews for years now. I also blog about adoption, Multiple Sclerosis, and things that go on in my life.

Margaret Tidwell

Margaret Tidwell

Margaret Tidwell

Margaret Tidwell

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Comments

  1. Still Smiling says:

    I agree. Even as an adult I still need my mom and always will. We always need guidance from our elders. They still know more than we do.

    Stopping by from blog hop.

    Melissa

    http://throughpainandsmiles.blogspot.com

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