I swear not to parent like my parents did!

In previous posts I have made it very plain that I have very ambivalent feelings towards my parents, in particular my mother, so when I decided to have children I was determined to do it differently. And by differently I meant better of course.

20 odd years later I look back and yes I have done things very differently in many ways, but have I done it better or have I just made different mistakes?

I like to think I am a fairly realistic parent, I love my children dearly, but am absolutely not blind to their faults, particularly those that mirror my own! There have been times when I have cheerfully wanted to strangle each and every one of them, difficult teenage times when I have struggled to like the persona they adopted for a time (I have always loved them, but liking is so hard sometimes). There have of course also been many times when I have been so overwhelmed with love that you cannot describe it.

I am now looking forward (hoping desperately!!) to the imminent departure of at least 2 of the 3 children, as they embark on their own life adventure, and part of this process is evaluating how I have rated as a parent. My goal has always been to give them the skills and courage to attack their life, take it by the horns and carve out their own niche. I was raised to be in a constant state of fear and anxiety and this was the cycle I wanted to break the most with my own children. Have I succeeded? It is too early to tell at this stage, I see glimmers that give me hope and I will be doing my damnedest to fan those sparks.

I am sure that my children have their own list of parenting mistakes I have made, I hope they are not as harsh as those that I have about my own parents. I hope that they understand that I did the best I could under the circumstances and that I never, ever intentionally set out to hurt them. One thing I am confident of, is that my children know that I love them which is more than I had.

Has my determination to not be like my mother just created a whole new set of issues?

So is different better? Only time will tell.

Leave a comment


  1. I, too wonder about what my parental report card is going to be and whether my children will be fair markers. It’s hard to be objective. At the end of the day, I will consider myself successful if my children are engaging and communicating with me in a positive way.

  2. Hope you are well! Miss seeing you around. Have a happy weekend, ~ Lily

  3. The only thing I can do if my kids complain about my parenting is acknowledge their feelings and apologize.


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