A BLOG ABOUT FAMILY FRICTION
I have just had a long conversation with a very close friend about the nature of family responsibilities. It was tough for her to hear my deep conviction that no matter what your offspring do they are still your children and you are still their mother and no bond on earth is stronger or more enduring.
Most mothers have seen their sons or daughters make disastrous mistakes, of which the mother does not, definitely not, approve in any way. Does that mean you walk away from them? Does that mean you deny them the right that you have yourself, to make your own mistakes however you wish?
We don’t have to approve of our children’s decisions. Heck, we don’t even have to like our kids very much when they play up. Heaven knows there are enough examples of ADHD kids that you would send to the funny farm if you could just to have a peaceful day, but you don’t stop loving them and telling them that your mother’s love remains no matter what they do, whether you approve or not.
Maybe the truth is we want to compel them to behave in ways we think they should? Maybe we want to show our deep disapproval of their way of life or their personality, and maybe, yes, we would have a more trouble-free life if they did not bring their troubles to our door. But isn’t that all about US and our peace of mind? But that is not really loving them no matter who they are.
Maybe we feel they do not deserve our love…..? Who are we to withhold it?
Life accumulates sore points and regrets over time. It is very important for our own mental health that we do not turn them into bitterness and a burden that we carry to the grave. We need to forgive, even if we do not forget. Let it go. If they are adults, we can say I respect your right to make this decision (drugs? Crime? Etc) and I will stand by you even though I hate what you are doing, but don’t ask me to condone it. I will always love you, but I cannot rescue you from your own folly all the time. Bear the consequences as an adult, but know that I still love you and I will be there for you when you come to me.