Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When did things change?

Last weekend I was once again reminded that children have lost respect for their parents.  I have spent some time contemplating when the change came on.

When did parents become slaves to their children and, I might add, grandchildren?  When did the new rules go into enforcement?  When did dedicating our entire lives to our childrens' lives become the requirement for being a "good parent"?  Wasn't the first 20 years enough?  Does deciding to have children instantly make you responsible for them "till death do us part", I thought that was marriage! 

I was brought up to learn to live my own life and within that living my parents were included, but the main body was to consist of me, a mate and children.  My parents were then free to go and do as they pleased.  They had already spent 25 years of their life raising children, doing without, feeding us, clothing us, running us, paying our way.  Wasn't it now their time to enjoy watching their children live a good life of their own making, raising their children?

That's how I was raised!  I thought the whole system was pretty good.  We spent alot of our childhood wishing we could do what WE wanted......and now we could!  So, I looked forward to raising my kids the same way.  I would enjoy them and then give them away to their own lives.  Maybe they would have children and I would get to watch THEM raise them, see them occasionally and go about the things I had waited to do. That's what I found enjoyable, seeing my parents enjoy themselves.  I remember my Grandparents, we went and saw them at all the holidays, sometimes in between.  NEVER, did my Grandparents, pick me up at school (mom didn't even do that), show up at every event and rarely ever babysat.  Wasn't that how it should be?

Well, I was wrong!  Somewhere along the line the umbilical cord reattached!  First, there are children who NEVER move from home.  Somehow, they have the impression that we are required to take care of them for as long as THEY feel necessary.  Then we have the ones who have moved out, gotten married, had 2-3 children and now think that we should be available at all times to babysit all weekend while they relax, pick them up at school, make sure that you make all school events.  Which could be during the day events, soccer, softball, basketball, wrestling, dance, track.........the list goes on.  When told NO, that you can't make all that with a 20 minute lead time, they are disgusted!  My goodness, aren't I just sitting waiting for them to call so that I may serve???  What happened??

I find that I could handle the disgust, to a certain point, but I am appalled at the disrespect that is shown.  What was the old adage?  Oh yes, "I brought you into this world, you little (add your own) and I can take you out"!  I agree not a very nice thing to say, but after 20 years of raising children don't I deserve to live out the rest of it as I see fit.  Didn't I bring them into the world, shouldn't that be enough to qualify for "decent parent"?   Sure, there are the nightmare parents, not denying that, but this whole conversation is about the average dysfunctional family.  No beatings or locked up children!  Instead I see the worst treatment of parents who have not dedicated every breathing moment to "the children and grandchildren".  I find it very confusing.

I grant that things change, but I think children need to give it a rest!  They had the kids.......they need to raise them.  Give me a schedule and I will see what I can come to, but when you moved out and married my priorities changed.  From you to me.  I suppose some might think that selfish, maybe, but my main priority is to be happy.  I love my children and my grandchildren, but it seems, lately anyway, there is no compromise........I give all or I get nothing.

Dang, I'm still confused.............
J Mac

1 comment:

Joanie M said...

Ah, sounds like someone is trying to bully Grandmom to drop everything and be at someone's beck and call again. Could it be that the newest edition to the family is making him rear his ugly jeaousy head? Afraid you might show some favortism to the newest baby in the family and not dote on his 3 angels?