For me, I’ve always wanted a family. When I pictured it as a small child I remember thinking a mom, a dad a few children and a happy home. From the very early years I felt like this image had been imprinted in my mind and heart. Personally, growing up my family life wasn’t so smooth or easy or like the picture I had in my mind. Yes I understand parenthood is hard and it’s a 24 hour job. My parents were very young when they decided to take on this role. By the time I was five my parents were divorced and my mother was the parent she knew how to be.
Years and years of emotional and physical abuse later, I met the man I am with today… who I will be raising my family with. I was 15 and he 16. We both felt like we met each other at the right moment of our lives. We’ve helped each other grow, love and heal. If we hadn’t met each other 8 years ago I really think we wouldn’t be the same people we are today.
He too didn’t have a very easy upbringing. Our memories of our childhood are unstable with chaotic plot twists. There’s somethings that our parents have done that would make others cringe. But for us, it’s where our motivation rises from. We both thrive to be what our mothers and fathers were not. The generation of our teenage parents are those who’ve known hardship; they too have been apart of a cycle without being aware of it.
The people who our parents were years ago- when we needed them as children, are not the individuals they are today. They have grown and changed and probably only wish they were the parents that we deserved back then, but time doesn’t work like that. I do not wish to know the regrets that I know our parents have with my own children. I know as parents he and I will break the cycle.
Holding strong to what we believe we should be as parents, our strong family values stem from what we both wish we had. Loving our children unconditionally, giving them a stable environment where they feel safe to learn, love and grow and doing everything in our power not to hurt them: emotionally, mentally, or physically. The strength we’ve managed to accustom wouldn’t of been possible if we both had a picturesque childhood. But the point of raising a child isn’t to raise broken adults who need to be healed.
Children may be “your children” forever but one day we will no longer need you like we did when we were small… We may forgive you but we will never forget our childhood. And someday, children will become adults, who will become someone’s mother or father.
My children’s lives start with me, right now. Consciously becoming aware of the parent I know I can be will give me the strength and endurance to overcome the cycle. And may I raise a family who will always feel safe and secure, loved and never broken.
“I have inherited a cycle of abuse and self sabotage from my mother, grandmother and great grandmother and goddamn it I am going to break the cycle. I am strong enough.” -Unknown