As I’ve gotten older I often reflect on my parent’s parenting skills. I don’t do it to judge and critique but instead it’s the complete opposite. I’m finding that the older I get the more I appreciate and am beginning to understand how hard parenting is and how lucky I was to have such great parents.
When I was younger I thought I knew everything. I thought I was an adult, that I could make good decisions and that I was right pretty much all of the time. Oh how I was mistaken.
I could only imagine what you thought of me as I made wrong decisions, disobeyed your rules and often got myself into bad predicaments that I later regretted. You, parents, who are older, wiser, and much more experienced unfortunately watched some bad train wrecks. They included broken hearts, issues with friends, and even fights with you. It didn’t matter what you said to me or how you said it, I didn’t think that you knew best. You told me that I would understand when I got older and that you couldn’t wait for me to be a parent and understand how difficult it is. How I would also make mistakes with my kids and live with many regrets and learning curves. I didn’t believe you then but I do wish I had now.
I’m sorry for so many things that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m sorry for the nights that you stayed up late waiting for me to come home. I’m sorry for the stress that I created when I didn’t listen to you. I’m sorry for not realising how hard it is to be a parent. As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to realise that you aren’t perfect and that you’re only human. Parents make mistakes and feel horrible about them. Sometimes even carrying a little guilt for the rest of their lives. Every time you saw me hurting, you hurt too. You did your best raising me and I understand that now.
Thank you. Words can’t express how grateful I am to have a parent like you. You put me first and above yourself constantly. You took me to all of my sports games, clubs, and any other extracurricular activity that I decided to join. You let me go to sleepovers, of course only after you checked that their parents would be home. Thank you for checking. I know that you only wanted to keep me safe. You always only wanted to keep me safe. When you told me I couldn’t date an older boy, when you told me I couldn’t drink at a party, when I wasn’t allowed to hang out with a friend who we both knew was a bad influence, you only wanted what’s best for me.
You supported, loved me and tried your best to understand what I was going through and be there for me. You would have done anything to make me happy. How did I not see that growing up? How did I not notice all of the sacrifices that you made for me and my siblings? Was I that self-centred? Maybe it just wasn’t on my radar but it is now.
After reflecting on all of the amazing things that you have done for me over the years, I just wanted you to know that I have a better understanding now and that I’m proud of you. You were and are a great parent. You did your best and although you didn’t agree with every decision, I turned out okay. Actually, I turned out really good. You taught me morals and values which I have carried into my adult life and which have made me a genuinely good person. I would not be who I am today without your large influence on me.
So remember, parents, although your child may not understand now how amazing you are and how much you love them, they will. You’re doing a phenomenal job. So let this be a letter to all parents. Thank-you.
By: Cortnie Dawn