A mother of a job

I got another blood nose in the weekend. It was while I was in the shower, which was perfect, although I’m slightly concerned about getting them at all. I told mum when she came over on Sunday. She looked surprised. I asked her why and she said that she figured that when I got them in the past (before my wedding) that it was because of ‘all the shit I was putting up my nose’. What the hell? I told her I wasn’t putting any more up than I had in the past decade. She told me it was cumulative.

I assured her that I most definitely am not putting shit up my nose these days so she accepted that perhaps it was the result of something else, but it made me realise that as judgemental as we think our parents may be, there is a whole lot of things that they think that they just keep to themlselves. I reached a new level of respect for mum that day.

It got me thinking a bit about parenting. When you’re trying to have a kid you think a lot about babies and little kids, but you don’t think a whole lot about how you will treat them when they are older.

We had breakfast with a friend and his fiance the other day. She has a child to a previous partner and he commented to me a while back that they have different views when it comes to parenting. I didn’t ask for specifics at the time. At breakfast, they were up ordering and we were at the table with the child. He as colouring in and we were having a discussion about something unimportant. The kid told us to shut up because we were boring him. I couldn’t believe my ears! I asked him if there was something he wanted to talk about and he said no, so we continued the conversation. A few seconds later he shouted “What did I just say about talking?” Bloody hell! It took all my willpower not to tell him where to go. It made me realise just how important setting boundaries for your kids are. Not just the setting of them, but how they are set.

My parents and Shaun’s parents have very different styles when it comes to parenting. His are of the school that say no to things. Mine are of the school that explain the consequences of doing something and then let you make the choice whether or not to do it. I generally did it. Sometimes more than once. But no matter what I did, mum and dad were always there afterwards. I didn’t have to keep secrets from them and I didn’t have to sneak around. I learned to respect their opinions on things, because I felt that they gave them honestly and backed them up with logic, rather than doing what I saw so many other kids’ parents do, which was say no “because I say so”. What the hell does that teach a kid?

 So Shaun and I have talked about it a lot. I think it’s important to understand how we both see things before we are forced to exercise our parenting skills (or lack thereof). I was relieved to find out that we see things in very similar ways. Because that is something else that I remember as a child. Parents that had different opinions. I had friends that knew that if their mother said no to something, they could go to their father. Parents need to have a united front.

So I guess the upshot is that I’m proud of my parents and the more I think about the job they did, the more respect I have for them.

And holy hell do I love them.

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6 thoughts on “A mother of a job

  1. “So I guess the upshot is that I’m proud of my parents and the more I think about the job they did, the more respect I have for them.”

    Your parents sound like decent people and they obviously love you but can you honestly say you would want to raise your children the way they did theirs? Reading through this blog you speak of massive excesses of alcohol, drugs and other things to the point where you were malnourished and had problems associated with that. Christ from the way you’ve talked in the past even you are surprised you survived it. Although it’s very likely the problems you have now are directly related to your past lifestyle. Alcohol abuse is known to have caused both epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorders.

    You’ve also spoken in the past of the grief you must have put your parents through. Can you honestly say letting a kid make their own choices is a good idea. Bloody hell even the best kids will take the more exciting sounding course even if they are warned of the consequences. They simply don’t yet have the mechanisms to deal with these things. Why else would we have age limits for things?

    My wife and I are strict but loving with our kids and despite copping some flack from people over the years surprise surprise our two are easily the most well adjusted, happy, free thinking kids of all our family and friends.

    Christ Sarah, your own mother thought you were still doing drugs. If that is not a wake up call I don’t know what is. After what you’ve been through I would have thought the last thing you would do is just let your kids follow your path.

  2. About the shut up kid, I don’t know, I think that’s pretty normal/typical. It won’t be long before he loses his innocence and stops thinking the world revolves around him.

  3. Wow. Wow! I don’t think I have ever been more misread in all my life. I know you mean well Mike, but once again you couldn’t be more wrong.

    …but can you honestly say you would want to raise your children the way they did theirs?

    Hell yes! HELL YES! I am one of the most down to earth, well adjusted people that I know. I also have a great career, more friends than I can count and a healthy marriage. Both my siblings are similarly well adjusted and successful. We have a tight family and good values (one of which is being non-judgemental. Are you teaching that to your kids?).

    …you speak of massive excesses of alcohol, drugs and other things to the point where you were malnourished…

    I got scurvy at university from drinking too much beer! That’s hilarious and not in the slightest bit dangerous! If that’s the worst thing that happens to my kids at varsity then I’ll be stoked! As for the drugs, I’m not sure what you take me for, but I have never NEVER had a drug problem. I have used them socially, sure, and I have an extremely high tolerance, sure, but I have never been hurt or hurt anyone as a result and I suffer no pschological ill effects. Perhaps it contributed to my epilepsy or perhaps that was the result of the extreme stress I was under at the time (which is what my doctors attribute it to).

    obsessive compulsive disorders

    Hmmm… I’m not sure where you’re going with that… I don’t have OCD. I exercise a lot. That’s because I love it. I joke about it being an obsession, but it’s certainly not a disorder.

    Can you honestly say letting a kid make their own choices is a good idea.

    I think you’re taking things a bit literally here. I don’t have hippy parents who let me do what the hell I wanted. They just realised that banning me from doing something was going to result in nothing more than lies and deception.

    Christ Sarah, your own mother thought you were still doing drugs. If that is not a wake up call I don’t know what is.

    WTF? Only because I was getting nosebleeds and she made a wrong assumption, certainly not because of the way I act!!

    After what you’ve been through I would have thought the last thing you would do is just let your kids follow your path.

    After what I’ve been through? What the hell are you talking about? I wouldn’t change a thing about my life! I think most people would be lucky to have it!

    Wow am I pissed with you! I feel like going on but I think to do that in anger would be a mistake.

  4. I can back up everything Sarah says about our parents (legends !!). It is Sarah’s personality which has made her experiment with life, not her upbringing, although I would have to say that she is a well balanced and special person due to her life experiences (which include experimentation). If you knew me (who has a very different personality and has made very different choices in life) you would see that it cannot be attributed to our upbringing, but rather to our different temperaments. I know I am getting into the nature v nurture debate, but thought I would give you some further food for thought.

  5. I am lucky enough to know the Hawk outside this blog and form what has become known as the tight three.I am not a regular reader of the blog – however today to relieve an otherwise dull afternoon at work I logged in for a quick fix of humour. What I have found instead is a something that I feel I need to comment on as it seems through the honest ( sometimes brutually so) dialouge that is this blog one of her readers seems to have formed an opinion of Sarah that is not so accurate.

    I am not so much tryng to defend a friend as to set Mike and any of the other readers who may have this opinion straight.

    Sarah comes from an incredible family who do not let her “run wild” but instead support her on decisions that she makes that are “good” and guide her (well I think) on other ones.

    Although this blog tells of someone who loves to push all boundaries (which is true) it also tells the story of someone who would do anything for her friends and family. Sarah is not a drug addict, alcholic, or obsessive complusive. What she is an intelligent, open minded and non judgemental person who along with her fantastic husband Shaun will make some of the most amazing parents around.

    In this world it is all too easy to be judgemental and close minded, and if the one thing Sarah can pass onto her children is her ability to look beyond those things, to me that makes for a pretty lucky kid.

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