My daughter says my website sucks!
Oh the callous cruelty of youth. The carefree carelessness with which they break their poor old mother’s heart. The lack of gratitude for their birth! Have I not told her, over and over again, how many hours of pain and anguish it cost me to bring her into this world? Has she forgotten just how many stretchmarks, sleepless nights and other sundry costs to me her creation involved?
Probably. And I am fine with that.
I gave my children life but I believe they didn’t ask for that gift so they don’t owe me for it. In my mind I am the one with a debt. I owe God for giving me the gift of my two children!
I remember a woman I met who gave birth to several children then behaved in ways that left them in the care of other people more often than not. She had a mental illness so her behaviour was not entirely under her control but she’s very old now. Her children have made peace with her. They understand she had no choice about being ill. They do their best to treat her well but she feels cheated.
God wants us to honour our parents and I respect that command but creating life does not entitle us to own the life we create. Honouring your parents involves respecting them. It does not mean sacrificing your life to become their slave.
Over the years I have come to love my mother. She had a rough time of it and she did the best she could. It was never her intention to give me a life of misery. I honour and respect her for the effort she put towards giving me a good life.
It wasn’t always that way. For many years I resented her most of all for opening her legs and allowing me to be conceived. I felt she was selfish to bring me into a world where I was not going to be cherished and loved.
When I came up against God’s commands to honour my mother I struggled for a long time.
Finally God said: “One of the reasons I created her was so she could give birth to YOU! I am pleased with her for fulfilling that part of my plan for her life. She did MY will and I want you to honour and respect her for that if nothing else. I wanted you and she gave you to me. Those who do my will are entitled to the reward I have promised them for it. I promised, in my laws, the reward for giving me children is to be honoured by them! If you do not give your parents the reward I promised them you will be punished.”
I didn’t understand, for a long time, how that worked but now I do.
Our parents are part of who we are whether we like it or not. There is a part of our psyche that identifies with them because we know we come from them and are made from their genetic material. There is another part of us that comes from living with them. We pick up some of their sayings, their habits and mannerisms and see them in what we say or the reactions we have to things.
When we hate and disrespect our parents we automatically hate and disrespect those parts of ourselves that we identify as coming from them. We are, in that way, punished. We are also rewarded when we honour our parents because we automatically improve our self-esteem.
Time and time again I have found God’s laws, orders and suggestions for living come from a deep and thorough understanding of humanity that only my psychological education made it possible for me to see and understand!
God commands us to HONOUR our parents. That means we are to respect them and treat them with respect.
The new commandment that supersedes all others is “Love one another as I have loved you” so he does command us to love them in that sense. There is, however, no such command in the 10 laws. We are commanded to love God with all our hearts but we are not commanded to love our parents – just honour them.
The lady I mentioned above receives honour from her children. They dutifully send her birthday cards, remember her on mother’s day and Christmas, visit her when they are in town and so on. She does not find their respect and honour enough of a reward. She wants more. She wants their love. She wants them to seek out her company and want to be with her. They can’t give her that. She spent their childhood making herself dispensable and now she IS dispensable.
She has reasons and excuses for her behaviour but the best excuses in the world can not undo the consequences of her actions. She was not there for them and now they are not there for her. They understand her mental illness made her behave the way she did but they never got to know her so now they are polite strangers and they can be nothing more no matter how much she longs for it.
I have said it before and I will say it again – actions DO have consequences! You WILL pay those consequences no matter how excellent your reasons or excuses are for what you do. It is a part of the natural order of things. It does not matter WHY you put your hand into fire – if your hand goes into fire you will be burnt! Fire does not say “Oh dear, that nasty man grabbed a hand and shoved it here, I will not burn the poor thing because it did not choose to come here”. It does not give second chances to people who are ignorant of what fire can do, who have an epileptic fit and accidentally touch fire or who get so drunk they fall on fire. Fire just IS and it does what it does without exception.
If people spend their children’s childhood doing what they want their children will do what they want when their parents are old. It’s the natural order of things. They won’t mean to hurt their parents any more than their parents mean to hurt them. If you make excuses for why you cannot be a better parent they will make excuses for why they cannot be better children.
Most children would never, however, tell their poor old mother they thought her website sucks!
Not like the disrespectful fruit of MY womb hehehe!
My daughter did, however, tell me the bad news gently. She said she couldn’t find her way around or find a list of entries. She did not even SEE the menu just above the latest blog entry. She said it blended too well with the top of the site. In the end, she said, it was all too much trouble and too unfamiliar to her so she left very quickly.
After I dried my eyes and wrung her for some guilt (and took enormous pride in her ability to see through the manipulations and tell me to cut it out hehehe) I was grateful to her for telling me the truth.
A lot of people come to this site and most stay only a few seconds or for one page. Now I have some clues about why. When my website designer has some time to spare I will discuss with him how to make the site easier to get around in.
WARNING – BRAG TIME AHEAD
My children do honour and respect me. I get my birthday and mother’s day cards and all the usual dutiful stuff but I put a lot of effort into making myself into someone my children would want to be around.
It worked. Now they seek me out. They look to me for company, support, a chat, a laugh, a meal out, a game of cards, a shoulder to cry on and more. Much more.
I am someone who loves them now, and who has always loved them, for who they are not for who they “should” be. They love me exactly the same way now as I have loved them in the past. They let me waffle on if I need to talk, they lend me money if I need it, they like my company and seek it out because they know me as well as they know themselves. I am a very familiar, comfortable, predictable person to them. They don’t judge me or wish I was different because they got to know, and accept, me whilst they were young enough to accept and were too young to judge.
They dropped everything and came running from one side of Australia to the other when they heard I had been attacked. I didn’t ask them to or even hope they would. They said they heard fear and exhaustion in my voice and knew I needed them. That was all it took.
They canceled their plans to audition for Big Brother Australia, told their bosses they were taking time off, then jumped in the car and set off. They were prepared to lose their jobs and their shot at fame and fortune rather than not come to me.
They took turns driving and drove non-stop for three days to get to me and be with me in my time of crisis. They came for one main reason – so I would feel safe enough to go to sleep and get my strength back! They hoped their presence, their love, and a few nights of decent sleep would help me cope with the trauma. They stayed as long as they could then drove non-stop for three days to get back to their jobs on time.
When they saw, a few months later, that I was not recovering from the trauma they insisted I move in with them. They never once made me feel unwelcome even though I was sleeping in their living area and they had to tiptoe around their own home if I was asleep.
They supported me completely and asked for nothing – no board, no work, no efforts to get a job – nothing. They told me to sleep, rest, let them take care of me for a change.
The above mentioned woman was beside herself with envy when my children dropped everything and came running to support and comfort me. She could hardly bring herself to talk to me when she heard my children were asking me to come live with them. A lot of people envied me the love my children showed me then. They told me how “lucky” I was. It didn’t come from dumb luck though – I worked for it. I worked hard and with no expectations or sense of entitlement.
I gave them no excuses to avoid sacrificing myself for them and now they give no excuses to avoid making sacrifices for me.
They have unconditional, non-judgmental, love for me just as I always had for them. I am getting back every bit of what I put into them and I cannot tell you how surprised I am about that. I never expected them to value me. I just hoped, if I did well enough as a mother, my children would not hate me. I didn’t hope they would love me. I was certain nobody could ever love me. I gave them the best I had it in me to give because I felt they were worth it. Now they seem to think I am worth the best they can give me for some crazy reason hehehe.
I’ve met a lot of people who think they gave their all to their children and they don’t understand why they are getting nothing back. Closer investigation usually turns up the information that they believe their children owe them. Their children know they feel that way.
How many people seek out the company of those to whom they owe something they are not able to repay? Most people instinctively avoid people they owe money to until they are able to repay it. My children know they owe me nothing – they were my gifts from God and it is I who have a debt.
On the other side of the coin many parents spoil their children rotten then wonder why their children turn out rotten.
I made a lot of mistakes with my children but they learned from my attitude towards their mistakes when they were growing up. It’s OK to make mistakes. Mistakes are how people learn to do better. I was never afraid to tell my kids I had messed up and I was sorry and they have never been afraid to tell me if they mess up or offer me an apology.
I never tried to be my children’s friend. They can get all the friends they want but they can only have one mother. I tried as hard as I could to just be a good mother.
Somehow that earned me their friendship too. Much as I hated to hear my website sucks I am glad I have a friend who was willing to give me the bad news gently hehehe.