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Eleanor T Beaty's Blog

10 things I didn’t know, that I don’t know, which I still don’t know.

published on June 15th, 2013

The other day I posted a possible theme for a post – it was more of a sarcastic gesture.

10 things I didn’t know, that I don’t know, which I still don’t know.

 

Then I thought that the theme might be a fun one as there are many things I don’t know that I didn’t know. Truth is, it’s been a while since I felt like posting. Maybe it’s the moment I’m going through, but I don’t feel like posting just to fill a page. I want to write from the heart. I hope that in doing so I won’t offend anyone. This won’t be an all-in-one post. I will write as the inspiration comes. Feel free to comment, as I don’t know everything.

 

Number One

 

No matter how hard you try, your kids will never think you were a good parent.

I remember when I was twenty-two, just married and dreaming of a perfect future with the perfect family. My husband and I would spend hours talking about how we would bring up our kids – totally different from our parents – both being from unconventional families. Wow, how many hours I spent planning and wow what a waste of precious time. The marriage didn’t last and the oath never to tear our kids apart was only kept after a few years of hard battles and a lot of pride swallowing.

So my kids grew up and I think -I got through those tough and painful years. I kept things reasonably balanced, and gave my kids a better example than what I had growing up. I didn’t repeat my parents’ performance. My experience and belief reflected in my writing. The main characters, a mother and teen son, in my first YA novel, Souls of Darkness, were close. They supported each other and enjoyed being together. They dialogued to a point. When the novel first came out, many criticized that their relationship was not normal. I thought it was because I thought that’s what I had – a great relationship with my kids.

Oh, boy, how wrong I was.

And this is what follows – when they grow up:

One day, the now adults get mad at you because you’re not perfect, a claim you never made nor portrayed, and they proceed to throw years of their lives, practically all of them, in your face. A very long list actually. You sucked as a parent and never knew it. Gosh, and you made such an effort! Shock and awe. Your beautiful memories are no longer colored pictures, instead they are faded Polaroids, to painful to look at.

When I mention this to friends I hear the same answer – that’s how it is, we will always be blamed for everything that goes wrong in our children’s lives.

I didn’t know there was no way around that. Honestly, I thought I could be different. That I could change that stereotype of parenthood. I would not be my parents. How disappointing. The best years of my life, those I could have spent having SO MUCH fun, have now turned into a list of failures.

The worst is, I still don’t know how to be a good parent to my adult children. Hence this being at the top of my  – Top ten things I didn’t know that I still don’t know – post.

My TOP Five suggestions to new parents:

1 – Don’t plan for the perfect life.

2 – Live the moments and really cherish and enjoy your kids while they are too young to judge you.

3 – Continue to love them when they do start to judge you, even if it’s from a distance.

4 – Grow a thick skin.

5 – Accept that you will never be good enough for your children, even if you spend a fortune on years of therapy to try and fix whatever it is that you are doing, or did do wrong!!!!

 

My father was a very wise man and whenever he heard the infamous – I hate you, he would answer that parenting was not a popularity contest. Bless you Dad, you got that one right!

 

 

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