This is a very personal post but feel I need to share this as part of my journal of personal experiences.
The saying “Once a parent always a parent” my children range in ages from 35 to 39 years , but sometimes only feels like yesterday they babes in arms. The natural bond between a parent and child, sometimes grows stronger as time goes on but can only grow if nurtured between both child and parent, early days the parent creates this bond with their child and nurtures and encourages growth allowing their child to become the best they can be.
But sometimes things don’t always go the way we plan them to go for us or for our child, unexpected events occur which moves us away from our original picture of happy well adjusted child/children to to a child that becomes rebellious searching for answers but not getting the nurturing and structure they need to grow and be the best the can.
Marriage breakdowns, unexpected accidents happen every day, do we take the time to consider how these events affect our children? Do we stop and take a deep breath and step away from the anger, the pain and frustration of a marriage breakdown or accident? Where do we draw the line? How do we ensure that our children can still be the best they can be in spite of the all negative events that are happening around them?
Speaking with my eldest son many years ago, after my marriage breakdown, I always remember his words at the tender age of 8 years old…. ” you know mummy we are happy that you and daddy don’t live together anymore, because you are happy now and so are we” then as time went on and children become adults he said to me… ” no matter how hard you and dad tried you couldn’t stop the way it made me feel” asking what was he feeling and thinking? ” What did I do to make mum and dad unhappy and argue all the time?” as a child they take on so much responsibility way beyond their years, losing that structure and safety of just being a child, the trauma this causes, if not addressed.
In a conversation with my beautiful daughter many years ago… ” you know mum as children it didn’t matter what happened we never questioned it, we just loved you both unconditionally” .. does that statement make one, as a parent ask the question, is that also what our children need at times like that? Instead of getting lost in the anger and all that goes with this situation, but to just step back and look and consider the wisdom of our children.
Communication so important at all ages of growth from babies to teenagers to adulthood so many different ways of communicating with our babies through to adulthood, one step over looked. not taking that moment to stop and listen to what your child has to say or a few simple words… ” I love you…” “I care about what you think and feel” ” You opinion counts you are important” ” Please share with me your thoughts and feelings”, just taking the time to sit and listen and not judge but just listen, our children our wise beyond their years and giving them the space just be, just to be who they are and allow them to feel safe to communicate without judgement, so quick are we to judge not only ourselves but those around us.
My youngest and most troubled son now 35 years old, has travelled a different path and journey to that of what I or we as parents could every have imagined for a child, a life of self hurt, drugs the list goes on, this child is a beautiful soul that cant seem to find his way or where he belongs, his journey has been filled with pain, isolation so much sadness in this beautiful souls life. As a parent where does one draw the line? As a parent where does one say enough is enough? As a parent when does the guilt stop? As a parent what else can I do to help this child? As parent coming to terms that you have done the best you can do with knowledge that you have at the time, was that enough? was it the best I could do? so many questions remain unanswered, but lay deep within me, this I know, searching for answers anything that I can draw upon to help this child.
Realization sets in……….yes I have done the best I can and continue to do , always as a parent to do so to be there when needed most, but also understanding until my help is needed by my child I can do nothing more than sit on the sidelines and wait for in hope that my child will become open to receiving my help then and only then can I as a parent help this child. Until that day I will just keep reassuring him that I will always be here when he needs me, but I will not be used, abused or pushed aside at the whim of my child’s needs, but to remain true to myself and my beliefs that everyone in their own time will chose what is right for them, whether it be from their parent or external sources, their are so many wonderful people out there that sacrifice their own personal time to help the lost souls, these people are selfless in offering their time to help those not as fortunate.
So many mixed emotions, but I am so fortunate to have support around me, my partner, my family and my children how fortunate am I to have this support, this keeps me strong in knowing that I have this support and that I am not alone and this keeps me balanced and ready to help my son when the time is right for him, for I believe that one day there will be a time that I do believe, with all my heart and soul.
With all the knowledge I have gained over the past years, still not enough to help my son, why? because he is not ready to accept it, what I have learnt as individuals we all have a right to choice with the knowledge at the time that we have,and I believe there will be that day , that day will come for him when it is right for him not me him, this is where we as parents go wrong,because all we want is for a children to be happy, safe and well adjusted and we want it now for them, frustration sets in, this I feel is because we love our children so deeply that we sometimes lose sight of the needs of the child… my son said to me a few years ago.. ” has anyone ever asked what I want” it felt like a knife to the heart with all the support we thought we were giving him was just creating more of burden for him because we assumed yes assumed that what we were doing is what he needed and wanted but not stopping to ask him, where does it stop where do you draw the line?……..
With much gratitude and love , for this event , I ask myself the question; “What can I learn from this? What can my child learn from this? always lessons no mistakes, no judging of ourselves and others but unconditional love,what a different world this could be.