I've often talked with my mom about memories that children have. Every child seems to have a couple memories that no one knows what they are referencing. My theory behind this is that some things stand out in one person's mind more than another's because it affected them much more deeply. I vividly recall certain things that were said to me growing up because they affected my development as a child into who I am today. Remember to choose your words wisely. As Frederick Douglas said, "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." This is so true (just ask all the therapists and psychiatrists paying their mortgages with your brokenness!) That's why child development/psychology is extremely important to me and I try my best with my children so that they don't become broken.
Anyway, this post is about bitterness and misconceptions. If you have siblings, you grow up with different versions of events than they do, because obviously you are seeing things through a different pair of eyes, that connect with nerves to different brains, with different personalities. I also believe that parents have favorites. If they say they don't, they are lying to themselves. You can love all your children the same, but still enjoy one's company over the other... be more proud of one than the other. And that's okay... repeat to yourself... that's OKAY! Just don't tell your kids, cause that would be a big no-no in their development and might cause some extra trips to the therapist.
So, growing up I felt like my parents had favorites. Up until middle school, I kinda thought I was my dad's favorite. And up until he graduated college, I thought my oldest brother was my mom's favorite. I don't agree with either of those now, but I'm not going to give my opinion on who I think their favorites currently are, because I don't want anyone to feel jilted or sad sap about it.
I guess I am fortunate to have two mental illnesses that give me the ability not to feel certain emotions. It's too bad when it comes to not knowing what it feels like to be loved, but it's good when it comes to not letting things hurt my feelings.
Our siblings move away, marry, have children of their own and change their ideals in life, along with occasionally their personalities. You could have been best friends with one of them growing up and feel like total strangers as adults. Whatevs, that's life. The only life I need to worry about is my own and those I care about in that I try to treat them well (except my poor husband gets the brunt of my mental issues. Poor guy!)
So here's where the bitter misconceptions come in. Growing up thinking my oldest brother was my mom's favorite, did it bother me? Not one bit! I had better things to worry about and I wasn't treated like dirt because of it. My sister is seven years older than me and I think she still thinks that I'm the person I was in high school, but that's her prerogative. Does it bother me? Not so much. I often brag about her intelligence to people and I think she actually has a funny, witty personality. Just don't tell her I said that. But what my siblings think about the past and present is not my problem either. But when they throw it in my face, I object.
Again, these are MY perceptions, so I shouldn't be faulted for it. My brothers moved away. They CHOSE to move away. I chose to live close to my parents because they are important parts of my life and I want them to be important parts of my kids' lives to. Growing up, WE always had to drive to my grandparents' houses to visit them. They RARELY (if at all) came to our house to visit. If you think about it, don't they deserve the comforts of their own home after spending decades working and supporting their children? I think so! So if I didn't care that much about the bond with my parents and my children, I'd move away... but I don't... for that EXACT reason. So, when my siblings think that my kids get to spend excessive amounts of times with my parents, they would a) be wrong, b) need to realize that they CHOSE to take their kids away from my parents to see them. I would NEVER ask my parents to babysit in my house because it's not fair to them IMO. I don't even like sleeping at other peoples' houses!
Anyway, I feel like my brother is bitter that my parents see my kids more than his do... again I go back to that he CHOSE to move and he RARELY visits. So you know what that means? I RARELY see my nephews and my children RARELY see their cousins. That also means I RARELY see my brother, but we aren't close anyway, so I know neither of us care about that. So when my brother insinuates that my children can't be around my parents when HIS children are because they "never see them," seems a little bit selfish and un-Christian. Again, whatevs. I'm happy with my life and comfortable with the decisions I have made and continue to make, but I know that I would never be that much of a horrible person to say something like that. But then again, what do I know? I must have a misconception about the whole thing.
No hard feelings! It's no skin off my back and I'm comfortable knowing that I'm a good person and people like me.
That is completely selfish of your brother to expect that your children, his niece and nephews, not be at your parent's house while his children are there. I will second the unchristian statement as well. And it puts your parents in a potentially awkward postion to have to hold that line or cross it. It also sounds like said brother that doesn't live close expects babysitting at his house from your parents. It blows my mind how unaware and selfish some people can be, especially when family is involved. I may be judging, but I own it.ReplyDelete
It also makes me feel like he thinks my family is trash and he doesn't want them to co-mingle. Luckily I know my kids are awesome, well-behaved and that my family is NOT trash.Delete
Thanks for the comment- you seem quite astute, lol. Hope this type of thing never happens with you.