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comment by kleinbl00

Yeah, so funny story.

My mother, when drunk (and jovial) is fond of saying "I never wanted kids but you two turned out okay." When drunk (and not jovial) she omits everything after "kids."

My father, for his part, has only ever offered me one piece of advice: "never get married." This advice was generally proffered while drunk, and usually after my mother had done something charming such as threatening to murder the dogs or hiding the cars in other people's driveways.

Childhood was much easier for me when I minimized my footprint. I learned to not involve my parents in things as much as possible. I was latchkey from first grade and generally nobody got home until 7 or so. I started cooking for me and my sister in 4th or 5th grade. I got the impression that marriage is impossible, kids are a total drag, and only suckers have families because they drain away your life force and leave you bitter and worn out.

Then I had a kid.

So now I vacillate between whether I was that much of a pain in the ass or whether they just sucked that hard at parenting. 'cuz this kid thing? It's a fuckin' snap. And holy shit is it fun. And had I known that going in, I woulda had one fifteen fuckin' years ago. So either I was a terrible kid (equals "I'm a terrible person") or my parents were terrible parents (equals "are terrible people") and no matter how I look at it, there's no amount of insight that makes any of this any better.

In fact, I've found that since having a kid, I talk to my parents less. Framing myself as "son" while also being "dad" puts me in an extremely uncomfortable juxtaposition that makes my mind scream. 'cuz on the one hand, hot bag'o'broken glass. On the other hand, daughter who wants to read the motorcycle fuel injection manual before bedtime again. And I'll take Door #2, please.

So I wouldn't ask 'em a damn thing. Not a damn thing. 'cuz I honestly don't wanna know. More than that, I'm much happier not even thinking about it.

Tomorrow's my mom's birthday. So, there's that.


maxwell  ·  2883 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    or my parents were terrible parents (equals "are terrible people")

Are all terrible parents terrible people?

lil  ·  2883 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Of course not. Some terrible parents are good people who make terrible mistakes while trying to be good parents (think cults) or who do things that the kids perceive as terrible.

Are parents terrible because they beat their kids when they behave badly. Or are they good parents trying to discipline their kids? It depends on whether you believe that hitting kids is wrong.

My daughter thinks I'm a terrible mother right now because of something I did on Tuesday. Parents and kids do and think things for different reasons and we don't always see it from one another's point of view.

Some parents though are both terrible people and terrible parents.

thenewgreen  ·  2882 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm sorry that your daughter is feeling that way about you. This must be very difficult to realize. Is there any validity in her perception of the situation? Is this a minor blip or a rift? I hope it's just a blip.

I had a long conversation with my mom and dad this morning. It was nice, I gained some real insight in to my childhood and early years.

_refugee_  ·  2882 days ago  ·  link  ·  

  This Be The Verse

  They fuck you up, your mom and dad
  They may not mean to, but they do
  They fill you with the faults they had
  and add some extra, just for you

  But they were fucked up in their turn
  by fools in old-style hats and coats
  who half the time were soppy stern
  and half at one another's throats

  man hands on misery to man
  it deepens like a coastal shelf
  get out as early as you can
  and don't have any kids yourself. 
- philip larkin
b_b  ·  2883 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you think you would have been a good parent fifteen years ago? At 32, I'm confident that if I had a kid now I could do a reasonably good job raising her/him. I think in my twenties I didn't understand a lot about human connections, and that I would have not been great at it as a result. Not that I'd be neglectful, but I think that I've gotten more sensitive to others as I've aged and reflected. Anyway it's nice to hear things working out this way. It seems like bad parenting is often cyclic, and it takes a really in touch person to break the cycle.

kleinbl00  ·  2883 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A good parent? Certainly. Not quite as good a parent? Not sure. Thing if it is, I have literally dreaded being a parent my entire life. Not a selfish thing, but a "the cycle ends here" sort of thing. I had naturally assumed that the rigors of parenting would reveal me to be the selfish, incompetent asshole I truly am as a wailing blob of protoplasm rendered my true self to the detriment of all.

At 25 I still woulda done a damn fine job, and my entire worldview would have shifted that much earlier.

I was raised to believe in no uncertain terms that kids are terrible and they destroy your life. It couldn't be further from the truth. And the gap between those positions is one filled with personal and familial insights that I'd rather not plumb.