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.