I Hate You, Parenting Articles


parentiung

I read parenting advice from all different perspectives. And with each paragraph I read I shake my head and realize I’ve been doing it all wrong. At the end of the article I’m convinced that one of my children may turn out to be a serial killer. Who knows, maybe both will.

Why are there so many methods? How do I know which one will work?I believe that  all these different theories were written by people who think their own parents did it wrong. After years of trying to fix themselves they believe they’ve come up with the right way to raise a child.

I want to know how their children turned out…or better yet if they even have children. And if their children did happen to turn out to be brain surgeons or violinists or CEO’s of big companies – I’d like to know what these successful people really feel about their childhoods and how their parents raised them. I wonder if they gave me the password to their computer if I’d find a file with 52 pages of a book they’re writing about parenting and how to do it right.

I hate how these articles make me feel. I hate that I’ll always feel inadequate even when I’m doing an okay job. I hate that I question everything:

  • Did that three-day potty training week from hell scar him?
  • Is he going to marry a bitchy woman because I yell at least twice a day and he’ll find bitchy women to be comforting and familiar?
  • Will he develop a tick when he sees blueberries because of that morning we had a power struggle over eating two more blueberries before he was allowed to leave the table?
  • Will he be behind in kindergarten because he’s home with me and not in daycare like many other toddlers? He can only count to 14 and not 31, maybe I should put him in preschool twice a week.
  • Will he develop OCD because I try to pick those boogers out of his nose every chance I get?
  • If I ignore this tantrum right now will he grow up to be resentful and angry because I’m not validating his feelings?

No matter what I do I’m questioning myself, doubting every decision I make. And as if my own fears aren’t enough I read parenting articles that confirm them. The articles make it official – I’m doing it wrong. Well guess what parenting articles?

 

cat

Have a nice day 🙂

 

Father’s Day


me and daddy

My father migrated to Canada in his early 20s from Italy. He left the life he knew, his parents and siblings to marry my mother and try to build a life. He didn’t speak a single word of English, had a little money that he saved up working as a tailor in Italy, and had a heavy heart as he left his family behind to journey into the unknown.

Once in Canada, he continued his trade for a while and tailored suits. But eventually he moved on to work in a factory that made different food products. It was there that he swore his children would never drink juice.

Later on in life, he went on to work for the Toronto school board. He made those terrazzo tiles you see in many elementary schools. It wasn’t easy work. He was on his knees a lot, and always hunched over. I can remember all the evenings he’d be in so much pain on the couch. But every morning, he still got up and went to work.

My father did what a lot of Italians did, he followed something…hope. He wasn’t following a dream. He had no idea where he was going or what to expect when he got there. The only thing he knew was that where he was going he could find work. He could attempt to make some kind of a life. He had hope. And that’s all he needed.

He worked so hard. He saved all he could. He sacrificed a lot of things, did without the luxuries he would have enjoyed just so he could provide for his family. And he has. He’s raised my brother and me into two successful adults. Sure, he was hard on us a lot growing up, but as adults we can look back and see the fear that drove him to be so strict. To push us to be our best. To accept nothing but our best efforts. As children, we couldn’t have understood how hard he worked to give us all we had and how important it was to him that we take advantage of all the things he was deprived of: education, opportunity, a chance at a good life. But now, we can look back and see how lucky we are that he took a risk, and followed hope.

I remember when he used to tell me how rich we were every Christmas at the dinner table. I used to look around at our narrow kitchen, small living room and then towards the driveway with the single vehicle he and my mother shared. What the heck was he talking about? He used to tell me that I’d understand when I grew up and had my own family.

He was right. I understand. We are rich. Ridiculously rich. Out of this world rich. I know what he means now. And I’m so glad that he is the kind of man who knows what it means to be rich, and made sure his children knew the difference.

On Father’s Day, I’m reminded of how much my father has done for his family. His life was hard. But if I were to ask him what he’d do differently, I know he wouldn’t change a single thing. He accomplished exactly what he came to Canada to do. He followed a little light of hope and built a simple life.

I love him.

I’m still his little girl.

I always will be.