One of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced is being a parent. It has at times been one of the hardest as well. I was a Mom at 17. My daughter was my world. Everything I did after I found out I was pregnant, I did for her.
I took very good care of myself throughout my pregnancy. I exercised, ate healthy, drank lots of water. Unfortunately a UTI set me into early labor. My daughter spent the first six weeks of her life in the Special Care Nursery. She had daily visits from my family and myself. She grew, got healthy and was finally able to come home.
Now my situation was not typical for a new Mom. I lived with my parents. So all of us made sure my daughter was well taken care of. I graduated high-school and earned an Associate’s Degree from a local Technical College. This meant studying. Lots of hours of studying. My parents (God love them) would be there helping with Kris so I could do what I needed to finish my schooling.
It wasn’t always easy though. My Mom still looked at me as a child. When I set rules down for my daughter as she grew, my Mom didn’t see a problem with undermining me. She could not see that in doing so, she was teaching my daughter to disrespect me. It was a constant struggle. It also hurt to feel I was being disciplined in front of my daughter for disciplining her.
My Mom will be gone a year this Friday. I miss her dearly. I do not mean to speak ill of her. She fought for us and loved us. The position she was in, could not have been an easy one. She was Grandma but was there every step of the way as was I. I think the lines got blurred. When I was working or in class, she was taking care of Kris.
Was it the ideal situation? No. But I thank God I had both my parents there. Supporting us every step of the way while I finished my education, so that I could care for my daughter.
I guess the point is, it’s never easy raising kids. When you are young and must rely on others, it comes with its ups and downs. Everyone wants what is best for the child. But it sure makes it difficult to establish yourself as the parent when you feel everything you do is being undermined.
I moved out of town with Kris for a short time. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. She only had me. I established myself as her Mom. There wasn’t anyone there handing her the things I was saying no to. There wasn’t any scolding when I scolded her. I established the respect from her as her parent.
Over the years this was an issue for me. Over time my Mom came to realize my position as I came to realize hers. Nothing she did was intentional. No malice was meant. She loved us and saw herself as my daughter’s Mom despite that I was always there. I look back and as I said I am grateful for everything my parents did for us. They sacrificed sleep, so I could study. Sacrificed time together to pick up Kris from school while I was working. They sacrificed.
When a village raises a child, there’s going to be ups and downs. The most important thing for everyone to remember is to work together in the best interest of the child. To be a team. The goal is to love, nurture and raise a well adjusted human being. It’s not a competition for likes. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about love, respect and working together keeping the common goal in mind, which is the child.