Your parents are not responsible for making you happy
The simplest task of a parent is to basically Not kill their kids, to say it dramatically, and with a wink, right? Their primary functions seem to include feeding and clothing their children, to keep them healthy and safe, so they can grow up into an adult without much physical damage. Then you say: what about the child’s emotional or cognitive needs? Well, I say it’s great if a parent wants to meet those. But many parents can’t or have no clue, or do it in a way that makes no sense to the child, or actually damages them anyway. Unintended. It happens.
So beyond the physical needs, everything else a parent intends to give their children besides no killing them I find is rather a bonus. 😀 And true, most of us have benefited from the bonuses, sure. Except for some extreme cases, we were mostly not only fed and clothed but also loved, fostered, and cared for, got hugs, presents, compliments, swimming or piano lessons.
Now to say something even more provoking:
1st. I seem to be incapable of protecting my kid. No matter what I do she ends up hurt in one or the other way (at school, friends, my impatience),
and 2nd, we parents just might have the purpose to hurt our children. It’s set up that way since it is inevitable (as established in 1st). So the question for me is, how to minimise the risk of traumatising and utterly damaging my child? 😀 Well, how would I want to be treated?
And so guilty as charged. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a parent and because I had parents that basically had not much of a nurturing idea and did only cover the sheer basics and packed in a few traumas), I do know what it means to go further than ‘Not killing’.
As a mother of my own, I do go beyond that what is necessary to know my child is indeed happy. But am I responsible for her happiness?
I do it because I benefit from it. I am selfish. It makes me happy to laugh with my daughter, to understand her confusions and shed light on the bottomless mysteries of an almost teenager. I learn the most when I lose my temper and then figure how she pushed my buttons and apologise for it (to then later do it all over again because I am a slow learner).
It gives me pleasure to create a relationship with my kid that is based on trust, love, teaching each other to be independent, authentic and generous, but I certainly wouldn’t go to all that trouble if I would not benefit from it the most. I am doing all that not because I am a parent, but because I am a human being. On that level we are equals, and she deserves my friendship, respect and love, as everyone does.
And besides the caring for my kid’s physical needs, our relationship will go on, into the forever.
Once she moved on and leaves me behind, not needing me anymore as a parent we then might solely be friends (and hey, friends do cuddle and listen to one another, right?). Then and now, however, her happiness is rather not my business. It’s like biting out my teeth on that one if I ever tried. And I tried.
So maybe instead of running after her needs and moods hoping to make a difference for her (and my nerves), I can foster her awareness towards listening to her own drum, and she can make all the choices to make herself happy on her own? I’d prefer that.
Wouldn’t that be the best friend ever, one that doesn’t need me but shares the same values? Which happens to be one I groomed from the cradle…
So, if I were ever to think I am responsible for any other human being’s equilibrium, their happiness and their balance, phew, then I would be doomed to slavery.
So you ask, why would I make my parents slaves to my needs? I am perfectly capable of making myself unhappy, all on my own… and right you are. But many still play the child, ask for confirmation, need approval, don’t dare to stand on their own worthy feet and do not cut the naval chords.
Now that, however, is worthy a good murder.
Let’s cut them loose, those parents, free them from their slavery that they need to do anything to contribute to our happiness and let’s get on with it. Let’s kill our need for them to say sorry, to approve of us and to pad our backs, or we won’t do and achieve anything in life (and now that’s an idle threat and should be on our killing list).
Let’s cut the weight and let the balloon fly. And if you find a parent sneaked into the basket anyway, then kick them out to their certain death.
After all, we are adults.