Parenting

Have you ever stopped and said to yourself, oh my goodness, I sound like my mother/father?

I have done that a few times over the past 7 years with Little D. First, let me tell you about my father. I love him dearly, but he can be a little short sometimes. He can walk in a room and just snap at you. Part of me thinks he is unhappy. He lives with his wife (my mom), his mother-in-law, and J, who is a handful to say the least! But then again, another part of me thinks it’s just his personality. I realize that I have a part of my father in me. I get grumpy when anyone tries to help me with a project, for example. This stems from my father being that way as I was growing up.

I am normally a pretty quiet, passive individual. We don’t raise our voices at Little D, and try to make sure he doesn’t hear us when we raise our voices with each other, which is thankfully not too often!

But sometimes I do find myself being my father. Case in point: On Sunday, Little D was monopolizing the computer and the dining room by playing a computer game simultaneously on his laptop and the desktop. I must be PMS’ing or something because I kind of snapped at him when we got home from grocery shopping. You see, the living room and the dining room are connected by a doorway, and D and I censor what we watch when he is downstairs. I know, he’s 16, but we can’t bring ourselves to watch something that’s rated R in front of him if we don’t know what happens in it (Is it rated R because of sex? Violence? Language?). I’m sure he’s seen rated R movies before, just not with us unless we know when to fast forward:)

Anyway, I snapped at him about how we might want to watch a movie, and he sort of sulked upstairs. (Let me just say here that it is almost always only on Sunday nights when we want him to find something to do, and he is usually okay with it. He knows we are not saying we don’t want to hang out with him, but that we need some adult tv time.)

I felt really awful. I paced around for a bit and got a little bit of a talking to from D. I realized I was being like my father and so I decided to go talk to Little D. I’ve unfortunately had to apologize to him like this once or twice before.

I went up and told him I was sorry if I hurt his feelings. I explained that sometimes the way I say something isn’t the way I mean it to come out. I told him that he is welcome to be in any room in the house at any time, and I explained that sometimes we want to watch a movie and then we have to ask him to go upstairs for an hour or two. I told him that it’s a fine balance for me to express to him our need for him to find another thing to do and not hurting his feelings. As soon as I walked in the door to say all this, a little smile crossed his face. He knew I had realized that I was being harsh.

Whenever I do that (which believe me, has only been I think 3 times in 7 years), I know I have to be a bigger person than my dad was. I know I have to swallow my pride and apologize. And I truly think Little D really appreciates that I do this, as evidenced by the fact that he was my best friend for the rest of that night:) I’ve told him that any time I am acting that way, they should just all call me my dad’s name, and both of them laughed.

I realize this fault in me, and I am trying to break that cycle. I am trying to show our son that if you know you are wrong, you should own up to it, no matter what, which is something my dad never did.

So what about you? In what ways do you see your mother or father in yourself in relation to your parenting?

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About thelesbiannextdoor

I am a 40 year old lesbian, living with her wife in a small town. I have a 22 year old step-son. Who knows, I could be your neighbor ;) (Unless you know for sure your neighbor is not a lesbian - then I'm probably not!)

Posted on April 5, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I just talked about this in my most recent post. I’ve inherited my mother’s temper and it’s been a challenge to deal with. But I think if we can identify our shortcomings and try our best to work on them, and apologize to others when we slip up…that’s really the best we can do. We can be better parents than our parents were to us and try to correct those wrongs. Sounds like you’re doing great.

  2. Thanks Strawberry! It’s funny, I started writing this post yesterday. I posted it today and then went to your site to see what you’ve been up to (before you commented) and you had written about much the same! LOL!

  3. If I found myself speaking like my dad, I would be so pleased b/c he was/is always such a wonderful parent. Lets you talk about whatever situation you are in and listens thoughtfully and then asks insightful questions to help you arrive at a plan/conclusion, rather than saying things like “You should do X”. I can’t even think of more than 2 situations in my ENTIRE 29 years that he raised his voice at me, and both were times that I put myself in grave danger (going out too far in the lake and being a weak 5 year old swimmer & coming home one night in HS and being dropped off by someone who had been drinking). He is THE most kind, gentle man on the face of the earth and I have often said to K that I can’t wait to parent our children the way my dad parented me.

    My mother, on the other hand? K has strict orders that if I EVER do/act/say anything like her, to call me out on it immediately b/c the last thing I want to do is ever make someone feel the way she has made me feel in the past. She is a wonderful and loving mother, but she is also very hard on me (always has been) and never really wanted to focus on the good, just point out the bad (case in point, I graduated undergrad and with my masters and have an awesome job and pretty successful career for my age…and my mom STILL will tell you about the time in my freshman year in college that I lost a scholarship b/c I got a D in some stupid astrology class).

    Good for you for apologizing and being the bigger person. You are setting a wonderful example for Little D and hopefully, one day he will remember your kindness and honesty towards him and reflect those same things on other children in his life. 🙂 (PS sorry this is so long!)

  4. As always, thank you for sharing A! That is awesome that you have such a great dad! My parents aren’t monsters, but they definitely have their faults.

    I think I always see my parents in me in bad moments, not good! My mother and I have always had a rocky relationship, but over the years we have made big strides. D knows if I ever do anything like her, I need to be slapped! It’s great that K knows to call you out too. Otherwise how will we know when we are being jerks? LOL!

    Sorry to hear about your mother picking that one point about you and dwelling on it. I have relatives like that too!

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