Judging other …. maybe too harshly

I have been a bit hard on my mom in the past.  I think I judged too early, and judged too harshly.

I think as time has passed, and maybe I have gained a different perspective, I start to perceive my mother in a less harsh life.

I am not quite at the point of “ahhhh shit happened” but I do think that contrary to popular belief I have mellowed a bit.  I feel less of a need to stand on my soap box and brandish a tune.

I think a contributing factor is that when you have kids, your parents get a do over.

The somewhat incompetent and rather neglectful parents they were to you, gets to be done differently to your kids. I do not think you consciously step out with this thought process, but for me, my mom was a hugely better grandmother/’annie than she was a mom.

Contributing factors was that she had my brother at 17, and her third child by 23.

My father was an absolute waste of skin, and trying to raise three children unaided, whilst having a husband who appeared to be consciously working against what was best for the family was a bit of a challenge.  Add rampant unemployment and drinking (father dearest) and you would pretty much have the gist of the situation.

I am pretty sure my mother dealt with her own portion of depression, and with no support structure – physical, emotional or financial, she was working two or three jobs and attempting to parent three children without the necessary skills.

Added – and I kid you not – we as kids had unlimited and unsupervised access to gunpowder, ammunition of guns of varying caliber.

We were constantly shooting each other, shooting at the neighbourhood kids (we weren’t particularly good at aiming), making home-made bombs with real gunpowder and were constantly running rampant.

I wish I made this up.  Really I do.

I was previously judgmental that my mom did not make the best decisions, and I still support that statement.

But …. I would have done far worse, at 23, with no finances, no support, an abusive and alcoholic absent husband – odds are that all three kids and I would have been drowned in the family porta pool (is that even a word?)

Anyway I think that as time goes by you start to view your parents/mother through different eyes.  I do feel that my mother did the best she could with what she had at her disposal, I would have done far worse — far worse!

So there we go – you live, you get older, you realise that maybe other people had it far worse than you and maybe you need to adjust your perspective.

{I exclude my father from this process of not judging too harshly – he was a total twat.  Maybe I need another 10 or 20 years to mellow about what a shit he was.}

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4 Comments

  1. Alexandra

     /  August 8, 2013

    I had a stable and fairly classic middle class childhood as I remember it but my relationship with my mother was never good. I doubt I said ten words to her through high school. While we had obviously matured and the relationship improved on the surface once I had left home, it wasn’t until I had children myself that I fully appreciated my mother. And at that point became much closer than we had ever been before. Something about being a mother yourself puts things in perspective.

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  2. I think it’s a parent-child thing that we all go through upon having children of our own, or when we reach a certain point emotionally.

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  3. I cringe daily with how I treated my parents and am astounded at how much love and patience they showed me. If I had been my own child I would have been hard pressed not to send me boarding school or just leave me on the side of the highway.

    I am fairly sure my kids will look back and have plenty of opportunity to point out where I went wrong. Thing is, I now realise there is no sure fire recipe for child rearing. Hopefully we all do the best we can.

    Not all of us do obviously hence that dreadful Polish couple in the UK who killed their beautiful little boy. They deserve every horrible punishment there is.

    Reply
  4. Tania

     /  August 2, 2013

    Quite an awakening for you! Congrats! I’m not there yet with my mother. My aggravation and hurt only exploded to its fullest 2-3 years back, yes, it took me nearly 35 years to wake-up. The person she is, digging in her heels, not interested in admitting any fault or guilt, I don’t see things changing which is so terribly sad as she’s not getting any younger. Enjoy your peace of heart and mind, you surely deserve it.

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