You destroyed my life!
Don’t blame your child for your own lack of fulfillment, suggests Masanda.
No child would want to hear these words being uttered to them by a parent but Khanya* went through that with her mother: “Child, you have destroyed my life”. Not an unusual story in South Africa, her mother had her when she was a teenager and, typically, her dad disappeared into thin air leaving her teen mom to take care of her. She had to leave school and become a full-time mother and that means she only had high school education.
All her dreams of studying further and making something of her life were shattered and, with her level of education, she only managed to do menial jobs. Khanya’s mom managed to send her to varsity and in all her life’s challenges, she tried to give her the best life BUT she constantly reminds her of how her life was ruined when she had her as a teenager. Now whose fault was that?
Every opportunity her mom gets, she reminds her of the sacrifices she made. How her childhood friends are in higher places, driving nice cars while she is struggling, what a scumbag her father is leaving her to struggle by herself. This also comes with an expectation that she must look after her especially now that she is working and has a good job. She tells her that she has to because a sacrifice was made. Come on - this is unfair to this young woman.
Speaking to Khanya she says that she has tried all she can to fill the void left by her mother. She has extended her house, buys her nice clothes, gives her money every month but still she does not seem to recognise her efforts – she is just not satisfied. She wasn’t there when she was conceived and it hurts her that she is reminded of this and this was between her mom and her father. She is not sure whether her mother regrets having her or what.
At times she feels as if her mom is competing with her and is not happy for her achievements- maybe she sees what she could have been. She has even decided not to share much with her and she know that one day this will come back to bite her. Comments like “now that you have a big car and a big house you think you are better” are not comments one expects from a mother but it’s what she gets. I can only imagine how hurtful that can be.
There are many mothers out there with unplanned children and that doesn’t give them the right to show bitterness towards their own kids. Khanya has had to deal with an absent father and to add a bitter mother to the equation is too much of a burden to bear. No matter how the child came into this world they deserve to be loved and protected. We cannot blame them for what happened to us as we are just as responsible. Love your kids!
*name has been changed
Do you ever blame your child for the way your life has turned out?
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Read more by Masanda Peter