I feel like I am living in a generation where the financial crisis and the fast, action packed technological advances has left a 20 something, a 30 something and occasionally a 40 something generation still dependent on their parents.
I am single parent with two kids, middle income earner and most recently I had the embarrassing moment where I had to turn to my father for financial help and support. It is not because I am frivolous, on the contrary, however one burnt appartment, thanks to one graduated 18-year-old son, meant I had to move homes quickly. Additionally, I live in one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Paris and a teacher’s salary that supports two kids does not stretch far! However whilst this, (I suspect), is a generational thing, what really struck me, after negotiations with my father is that he will never turn me away. Afterall, I am his daughter.
This willingness of my father to give and support others has frustrated me on many occasion, especially as I watched him support my older brother through a variety of life choices that have had a negative impact on my brother’s life. My brother, who is in his 40’s is on his third marriage, whose temper has got him into trouble with the police etc has angered me, yet my father has always silently managed the situation and supported my brother.
And then I thought of me ex’s family. As a teenage pregnancy, my ex’s parents continued to support him through medical school, they supported us financially when we were married and they continued to support my children until our divorce. My ex’s parents continue to support him in his life choices whether they agree or disagree with actions.
This has made me examine my own parenting, will I ever abandon or not support my kids?
My son, who was in some way responsible for the fire in my apartment, has had some other problems and most recently lost his bank card, left for his graduation holiday in Spain this morning. This week he had one task: to move all our clothes and books and paintings to our new apartment. He failed in his task. You can imagine, I was furious. I felt he was irresponsible and lazy and selfish. And then his side of the story, whilst part of the above is true, he also did not have the courage to actually say, ‘ I can’t do this on my own’. And his pride meant he was setting himself up to get into trouble. If he had spoken to me at the start of the week, a solution could’ve been found. I hope he has learnt the lesson to speak up quickly when he is overwhelmed, rather than deny the situation.
And whilst we have had raging arguments this week and I have threatened to ‘disown’ him. The reality is: He is my son. No matter what he does, the umbilical cord, although has physically been cut, the metaphorical cord cannot be broken. I will always support him.
And I realised I was just like my father and my ex’s parents, and I am sure many other parents all over the world. My love for my children means I will always be their support whether the support is harmful to them as growing individuals or beneficial or even detrimental to me. We, as parents, continue to protect them, it is our parental instinct.