Dear Future Children
Having children is definitely something I see myself doing in the future, and since rekindling a bond with my Mother recently after having an unsettled relationship with her in my early and late teenage life, it has made me realize that parents make mistakes - it’s just a natural part of life, let alone “parenting”.
My parents divorced in 2011, after I had just turned 13. My brother and I really didn’t take the news very well. My brother went inside his shell, he acted out of character for years. I, on the other hand, being the feisty person I’ve always been, became hot-headed, cynical and angry at the world, and there was nothing anybody could do or say to change the way I felt.
Before the divorce, we were a nuclear family, a family of four consisting of a Mother, so loving and providing, a Father, so hard-working and protecting, an eldest Daughter (me) and a younger Son. We were inseparable.
To this day I wonder, even at twenty-one years old...could it have ever been just a very convincing act?
Was it all just a lie?
We always seem to find out more about an event after it has already happened, rather when the event is actually happening. I spent so much of my teenage life looking for answers.
My Dad lost his own Father in 2006. They never had a close relationship. My Dad’s Father- moved away after divorcing my Nan, - my Dad’s Mother - and never kept in regular touch with my Dad.
Naturally, this broke my Dads heart.
He was happy living with his Mum, but to not have both your parents around is heartbreaking for any human being.
My Dad’s living regret is that he never was able to tell his Dad that it didn’t matter what had happened between them in their lives, they were always going to be connected and hold love for each other.
He never got to tell his Father that as his Dad had already passed away before they were able to reach the hospital. He still holds this regret, even though it is not his regret to hold, as he was the child and his Dad was the parent.
He held no responsibility at a young age to uphold a relationship with his parents.
This is a parents job.
My Dad is the most amazing father anybody could wish for, and I guess I can thank my Grandad for showing my Dad how to be a better Father. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my Dad.
I had my first heartbreak by hearing the news my parents were divorcing. I never experienced heartbreak with a boy. My heart broke into a million pieces when I found out they didn’t love each other anymore, how on earth could I ever believe in love after this? I became numb.
The second time I got my heartbroken was when my Mum didn’t take the break up well, and I watched her spiral out of control. I won’t go into any gory details of why our mother-daughter relationship was pretty much beyond repair in my early teens and late teen years, because I do always believe everything that has happened to me and my family has been for a reason and it has proved that every time we lose each other, something will always bring us back together. The fact that you cannot choose your family, is a blessing just as much as it is a curse. And the trauma I experienced in my childhood, at the hands of my sole protector and carer, had only stopped me being my true self for a few years. Still, I never turned to drugs, I never turned to alcohol, I never turned to one night stands and external validations. This is why I’m writing this blog because I never lowered myself. I have been through so much that nobody could ever understand, only my brother, who experienced my traumas by my side, making us the best friends we are today and bonding us even closer together than we already are in age.
All throughout my life, I’ve never regretted anything I’ve ever done. Not one thing. I’m such a big believer in the Butterfly Effect. Every little decision I’ve made for myself has led me to this life. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m allowing myself to re-connect, and try to figure this crazy thing called life out.
When I eventually have children, I never want them to go through the same things I went through as a child or young adult.
I never want them to struggle, but I also want them to see the world for what it really is. My own mother wrapped my brother and I up in cotton wool too much in our early years of life. She was so anxious that something was going to happen to us, and it was such a sweet way of parenting but it was also quite suffocating. It means now, being twenty-one years old, I’ve got it embedded in my mind, that - “I never have to do anything I don’t want to”. My Mum always used to say “If you don’t want to do it, don’t” and now I just abuse that statement in my adult life, and it has been an excuse I’ve used to be irrational and impulsive. This is just a very small example and I never slate my Mother’s way of parenting, if I’d of turned out to be a total drug addict, in trouble with loan sharks, or simply just a criminal, I would’ve had my reasons to slate her parenting, but I’ve never touched drugs in my life, I’ve never acted illegally (apart from drinking tequila in a skate park with my best friend at 15 years old...god I sound hopeless) and I’m not trying to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet, but I turned out okay. I’m no phD student, but I’m a decent member of society, and I think that’s the ultimate goal of parenting. You can raise the most intelligent human being, but if you don’t teach them morals and principles, they probably won’t last long in life. You could be earning an extortionate amount of money, you could live in the biggest house, but if you don’t have the skills to equip you emotionally throughout your life, it’s bad news. I was lucky that my parents taught me decent morals from pretty much the day I was born and that’s why even when times were hard for me, I didn’t throw myself overboard. Okay, I’ve done some pretty dumb and stupid things, but I’ve had valid reasons behind all of my actions, I’ve never thrown another person under the bus when I’ve even had ammunition to do so, I’ve never hurt somebody, I’ve always done what’s right for me.
One reason why I keep blogging about experiences in my life, is that one day, I want my daughter or son to read through this blog and learn more about life and how their mother views it.
The harsh reality is this…
The world is an awful place. It’s full of problematic companies, problematic leaders living in problematic places ruling over problematic people. We’re all put on this earth out of no choice of our own, other than our parents' decision to procreate. We will probably all use the sentence “I didn’t ask to be born” at least once, if not many more times in our lives. When you realise the struggles of trying to pay your rent and bills when some days you can’t even afford a weekly shop, you ask yourself “Why did my parents decide to bring another human being into this bleak world?” I’ve often thought it myself, even more so that I’m an IVF baby, so my parents actually PAID for me to exist. I ask myself why would they waste their money on my existence, and I ask myself why am I breathing other people’s oxygen, when there are so many people on this planet who offer something worthwhile to the world, and the people who run it. I ask myself as if I have all the answers, and then when I ask the people I love the most, my family, they help me to understand that my entire existence was made with love. I hate to sound corny, but love is the answer to everything.
Love is what makes us all stronger. It seems most people these days, hate to show vulnerability in love. I do understand exactly how it feels, as when I tried to rekindle my relationship with my Mother in years passed, to give her my heart to hold in her hands, the exact same hands that had already crushed it into a million pieces before, was the scariest thing for me to allow myself to do. I always kept in mind how my Dad felt when his own Dad died, and what regrets I’d have if my Mother wasn’t around anymore. I knew if I didn’t try to work to get our relationship back to a healthy level, I would regret it for the rest of my life.
So Dear Future Children,
Don’t be too hard on your parents. I’m bound to mess up, I’m a human. I make mistakes. I’ll probably embarrass you. When you bring a girlfriend or boyfriend home one day, I probably will be that Mother that cuddles them and shows them all your embarrassing baby photographs. I’ll probably drive you crazy with my clean-freakish-ness. You’ll probably hate me and hate being around me at times, trust me, I’ve been there with my parents. But one thing that will always connect us is that we’re family, and the common denominator will always be love.
It will be so weird to meet you, and see you grow into mini versions of me and whoever I decide to have you with. (Hopefully he’s someone nice and caring, I don’t have the most amazing track record with men).
We don’t come from a rich family, but we do come from a family of love, and loyalty. Whenever we have issues, we come to each other, we search for answers from each other, and we’re able to give those and help settle each other’s minds. As long as we have family, we are never alone. Family will be there for you, when no one else cares. In school, you’ll probably want a million friends, and think it’s so “uncool” to hang out with your family, I can remember the day I snatched my hand away from my Dads when he’d walk me through the school gates every day, he asked me “Jodie, why did you stop holding my hand?” and I’d say “I don’t want my friends to see me still holding my Daddy’s hand” but then when he came to walk me home the following afternoon and we were out of other people’s sight, I’d grab his hand again.
To this day, I still give my Dad a cuddle goodnight. And sometimes when I’m feeling sad he’ll tuck me in bed and kiss my forehead. I’m not embarrassed by the fact that I’m part of such a loving family, most people don’t have what I have. I went through so many years wishing I was part of someone else’s family, especially when my parents split, just because mine wasn’t perfect, and had issues staring us all in the face. But once you overcome the problems, as a nuclear family or as a broken family, it brings you so much closer together and to see happiness again together or apart, is the biggest sense of happiness you could ever wish for. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if the tunnel seems like the longest journey you’ve ever been on, sometimes you’ll break down, sometimes you’ll stop completely and you’ll get off the train altogether. You might not even think to get back on the train until years later and you’ll finally start to see the light ahead of you. But there is always light at the end.