So I understand it when a UK mother writes a viral article on how she regrets having children. Well I understand how she didn't want them at first, but I don't understand why she relented to pressure to have them and then refused to open her heart to them. Isabella Dutton, wrote things like"
- I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.
- Quite simply, I had always hated the idea of motherhood. In that instant, any lingering hope that becoming a mum would cure me of my antipathy was dispelled.
- I felt precisely the same indifference towards her (daughter) as I had to Stuart, but I knew I would care for Jo to the best of my ability, and love her as I'd grown to love him.
On top of this she is resentful that her now grown daughter has MS, and is not too happy about being a grandmother either. Then she has the nerve to go about telling parents how to parent correctly... Can you say narcissism?
This makes me sad... for her kids and for her.
When I was 23 and engaged to be married, I took a part time job at a department store to help pay for the nuptials. While working there I met a woman in her 60's who had pretty much the same amount of bitterness. She was upset that her kids, (a grown Doctor and a Teacher) who would visit her at work and seemed perfectly pleasant, had taken away her life. She was even more resentful that her husband had become ill, and she now had to provide for him. Her life had not panned out as she hoped, and she was not shy about talking about how getting married and having kids had taken away her freedom. I vowed then and there, that whatever adult decisions I made about having a family, would not be followed by regret. I married later that year, and had two kids over time, who, if you follow this blog, you know probably more about than they would like you to know. I have loved every minute of it (OK... not every minute, but you know what I mean). Because I have enjoyed parenting them so much, I believe they have enjoyed being parented. That is why I am sad for Ms. Dutton and her kids. She was only looking at what she was giving them, and completely missed what the kids have to give back. She thinks they gave back nothing, but my kids-and their friends too, have brought me so much joy and happiness, that I feel only the coldest of Grinch hearts could not absorb this wonderful gift.
And so what if she didn't love having little kids around because they can be true energy-suckers... how could she not find joy in the teen years, or the twenties?? I am personally in awe and wonder as I interact with my teen kids and their friends. Just this week, one of my daughters friends felt he had let me down as he could not complete something (electronic related) he promised he would do for me. It was a bit disappointing, but his sad face and eyes and wonderful spirit left me consoling him and counseling him to keep trying, and not give up working on the skill he was building, and to try again soon. I got more joy in making him feel good than I could have gotten in having him being successful. ... and that is what parenting is about.
If a person like me who sees a little kid coming and wants to run in the opposite direction can connect with my kids and other young people in a meaningful way, then there is hope for Ms. Dutton. Sure she screwed up with her kids because of her cold and hard heart, but here's to hoping that she finds some joy in her grandchildren. If she cannot, I would recommend that her son keep her at a distance from his kids.