Parenting your Adult Child with Altruism & Reality
I am an imperfect parent.
I learned a long time ago what codependency was.
I also realized what control and fear looked like in parenting.
I have learned a lot in 27 years of parenting, and the learning continues to amaze me.
I see how to be a parent to my oldest daughter, is much more difficult, than being a parent to my two teenage sons, or even my other 20 something wild child daughter . It's not because of the difficulties of parenting them, it is that they are kinder to me. It is when they do screw up, and they do, they take responsibility for their actions most of the time, and I can communicate well with them; and they love me and they tell me so. I teach them, they teach me, I come clean if I was off, and they always know I love them through words and actions, it all works, mostly.
And so, with this in thought, having just been chastized by my daughter's boyfriend for being a - bad mother ,because I refuse to cater to a victim mentality and support a co-dependent relationship. This goes without saying that his own Mother, abandoned his family for a teenage boyfriend, yes, I suppose his perception of warped, is in fact warped. I suppose he forgets, how good food tasted when he had no money for rent; and within the last 2 months I have delivered hundreds of dollars of groceries to their door; taken my daughter to doctor appointments; treated her to manicures, pedicures and lunches, given her money without wanting it back, but yes, their truth is, I am a bad Mother.I have talked to her soul lovingly, supportively, encouragingly...but I suck once again, I am certainly not the Mother she wants, and it hurts.
I'm in pain, but my pain is not new. My child may love me deep down, but her behavior to me has been painful for a year now, and she blames me for everything she perceives as wrong.Some recent comments included complaints of hers seem almost incoherent, as she really is seeking reasons to detach, and I'm sure she has justified her reasons for doing so. I never should have divorced according to her; mind you she was already living on her own at the time, and has no idea what went down to support my decision; I shouldn't seek to buy land in NC. I control.I'm allowing my son to consider a college she thinks is too far, I'm not angry and should be that her sister is going away for a few months...and so many more inane blames I can't even count them.
So, I detached. Yup. I detached from my oldest child, her blame and anger and her accusations, and it hurts. I accept the areas that seem to affect her where I have not done,said or acted in a way she would like, but honestly, it was life.It wasn't dysfunctional or abusive , she was an oldest child and in many ways that child does become the trial child, where you learn the majority of your parenting pros and cons, and the mistakes will be recognized there, if you are lucky.
I let her know I love her always. I am always here for her if she needs anything, but I have decided that life is too short to be treated horribly by anyone, even my child. If she wants to heal this, the door is always open, but for now, I am healing. I am raw. I feel betrayed and accused, and I feel like I have no juice or desire to explain myself, because honestly, I simply don't care to anymore. I am exhausted by their constant drama. I am burnt out. I know I am imperfect, but I also know how valued my other 3 children have always held me, and I take comfort in their reassurance of my mothering and love.
I have not stopped loving my child. I am just waiting for her to come home to her heart.I have to be patient and unconditional.
I will pray. I will tend to my own heart and work on my own emotions,. I will tweak my own rough edges, and I will allow for the human condition to work itself through. I will work toward forgiveness and open up more unconditional love to explore and feel, and I will grow, through the pain; through the miscommunications; through the anger inflicted and the hurt felt; through the disconnect...I will grow, because I will never stop loving her.