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The other day, a co-worker came running towards me shouting that she is about to become a grandmother for the first time.  Needless to say, I was excited for her  . . . that is . . . until she went on to say that she was glad that the baby would be going home with the girl and the girl’s mother since her son and the girl are not married.

That’s when I exploded.

I mean, aren’t we women first, and the mothers of sons second?  When did we lose our empathy for the women that we supposedly were teaching our sons to love and cherish?  When did we forget the treatment that we received at the hands of no account men and condone, if not outright encourage, that same behavior in our sons towards young women?  How did it happen?  When did it happen?  How/when did we become so uninterested, so uncaring, so maliciously unconcerned with regard to the girls that our sons mess over (during their learning/experimental phase) while simultaneously nursing our own bad relationship and abandonment wounds?

I confess… I am sorely disappointed by my sisters.  Not all of them, of course.  My disappointment lies solely on the women who have sons (not daughters) and allow their young “men” to devastate the lives of other females without repercussion.  This is particularly sad given the fact that more than a few of these same women are single parents themselves.  Whether abandoned, despised or just plain ignored, they have found themselves in the same position that various young women have been left in by their trifling sons.  These same women raise sons but somehow don’t get the message across to them that it isn’t okay to engage in casual sex with females, make a baby and then go on their merry way, leaving the mother of the child sidelined.

I know, I know, it is important that we make our daughters understand that it is they who are taking the majority of the risk during intercourse (most often, not even good intercourse but, that’s another blog).  Men can participate during the pregnancy; the rearing of the child; and the financial, spiritual, emotional, psychological and educational development of the child if they “choose” to.  Women, on the other hand, don’t have that same level of choice/flexibility.

This is not to say that women are saintly, innocent and/or don’t make mistakes.  Neither do I mean to imply that women are always good parents or bereft of responsibility when it comes to sex.  On the contrary, I mean to emphasize that women are the ones who end up pregnant, not men, so any decision she makes (be it to give birth, to give the baby up for adoption or to abort) will have a lifetime effect on her that it will not have on the man.

In this generation where females have more birth control options at their disposal than ever, there is really no excuse.  Yet, women continue to play Russian Roulette with their lives.  They continue to take unnecessary risk with their futures by depending on and believing in a male (yes, I said male, not man) who makes a lot of pre-sex promises but will fail to deliver. So, perhaps, the mothers of sons can take a different approach.  Perhaps, our sons can benefit from being forewarned that the reality of their momentary need for pleasure is the merging of two families, FOREVER.  I mean, is just any girl worthy of carrying on your family lineage?  Or maybe mothers can teach their sons that the bitterness they feel over the absence of their own father is the same as the child feels for their absence.  Is your absence somehow more reasonable and right than that of your own father?  Can anybody hear me?

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I still find myself reaching for just the right words to describe mothers and fathers.  That’s because a mother’s/father’s job has no set description.  They are on-call 24/7/365.

I am aware that not everyone has a wonderful mother or father.  Nevertheless, know that, regardless of who your parents were, they were just people.  They were just human beings, like you, with the same flaws, the same dreams, the same hopes and the same fears.  They were not superhuman, even if, at times, wanted them to be.  They were not immune to illness, failure and pain.  At trite as it might sound, they were only human.  Try to remember that if you ever feel you have been let down by them.

Instead of focusing on rating your parents’ performance, learn to respect them whether they were good parents or not.  After all, no matter how bad they are/were, you would not be you and, most importantly, you would not be born without them.  You owe them for your existence.  Honor them for this if nothing else.

If you are a parent, try to give your children what you feel you didn’t get from your parents (e.g., more hugs, more kisses, etc.).  But, be warned that some children are bottomless pits that cannot be filled.  No matter what you do, it will never be enough.  In the end, you just have to do the best you can.

At your best efforts, you may find that you are not as good as the parent you criticize.  Realizing the limitations of both yourself and others is called maturity, and it is that maturity that can and should lead to your having mercy on them.  The mercy and understanding you show will earn you some of the same from your own children.  Remember, in the end, you are just as humans as your parents were.  For all your efforts, don’t be surprised to find that your children are no more pleased with you then you are/were with your parents.  Only time will tell.

If you have no children, try not to be too judgmental of those who do. Parents find themselves in situations for which there is no preparation.  Even the so-called parenting books are just someone’s opinion on what should be done.  They aren’t the concrete gospel because one just doesn’t exist.  Believe me, you don’t know how you will react until the time comes.  When it does, hope and pray that you can react with the same wisdom, grace and maturity that you demanded from your parents.  Can anybody hear me?

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