There’s only so much a parent can do

Anonymous.

I come from a family of five. I have two siblings and I’m the only daughter. My parents tried their best to give us a good life and provide us with a quality education. It’s only now that I’m married and have a child of my own that I can fully understand what a difficult life my parents had. I now understand their struggles and feel so guilty for the childish attitude I had at times.

My dad worked two jobs, which allowed him very little time for himself or even to get a good night’s sleep. My mum used to help my dad with his second job, thus giving her no time for herself. Luxuries where few and far between but they always provided us with the best they could and even took us on a few holidays.

“Our family is a circle of strength and love. With every birth and union, it grows. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger”.

My siblings have been making bad decisions and they seem not to learn ever from them, disappointing my parents most of the time. My eldest sibling was in a good relationship and had a good job but after five years of being engaged and planning their wedding, his fiancé decided to end things. I don’t think my brother has ever recovered from that trauma and while his ex has moved, got married and had a baby, he is in his 30’s, can’t keep a job and hangs around with the wrong type of people.

My youngest sibling was so eager to leave home and experience the independent life that he got a girl pregnant – a child himself now has a child. His wife has a child from a previous marriage and, unfortunately, my brother and his stepchild often argue. Moreover, his wife’s parents haven’t accepted him as their son-in-law. He does have an adorable two-year-old, however. My parents were all set to pay for his tertiary education when he finished school but he was not interested and now he blames my parents for his poor life choices. Of course, my parents are disappointed, but they still offer my siblings their support and guidance.

I have tried my best to help them but it has come to a point where I need to start focusing on my child and husband. Every day I ask myself how I can raise my child to make the right choices in life and not to disappoint us. People always blame the parents for the wrongdoings of their children, but I don’t think that is fair. From my experience, my parents are really good people who always go the extra mile and always offer support and positivity in any situation, and I’m so blessed to have them in my life! All I can do now is pray to God to give my parents the strength they need, and to give my siblings the strength and wisdom to change their ways and follow the right path in life to make my parents proud of them.

Life is not easy but it does help to remain positive and to have a good support system. Parents, don’t be so hard on yourself for the choices your children have made. You have done your best. Rather than offer a helping hand, a warm hug or a listening ear, others may gossip or criticise you – but they don’t know your struggles. I live by the words: “Our family is a circle of strength and love. With every birth and union, it grows. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger”. Thank you to BabyYumYum for offering me the chance to write this … you will never know how much you have helped me.