I have been told a million times that I would be a joy to my mother even when I always saw the opposite. For so many reasons and none, I would act out and often made her miserable. I should be ashamed to admit that I was a problem child but I am not. Maybe because that part of my past was also a part of me.
The question: As a child, is it necessary for you to pay back your parents' laborious efforts even though it means you have to sacrifice your freedom?
The truth is you do not have to. Your parents have lived their lives and as many would say, they were obligated to provide and be there for you without expectations. You never asked to be brought into this world, did you? They just brought you out. Why though?
For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would want to do that. Just be responsible for someone else's life when they are taking the risk of not getting paid back their efforts. Why would I want to get up at 3am in the morning to tend to a baby throwing a temper tantrum? Why would I want to give up hours on end of freedom and dates with my girlfriends to stay and tend to a baby? Why, I wonder, would I want to give my all to a person who might not appreciate me one day?
I'll tell you why. It is love. One of the purest form of love is that of a parent. Because they do all those things without expectations. Their only expectations is that you become something of yourself. Mostly, some parents make the mistake of taking this to the extreme and may ruin their child's happiness and/or future.
But that is not a reason to write off the sacrifices they make. The whole truth of the matter is you don't have to. Looking from a technical standpoint, you don't owe them anything. They owe you for bringing you into this world without your permission, especially if your life must suck right now.
Logically and Morally, you do have to be there for them because it just makes sense. They did the same for you so you have to do it too. Even if you end up sacrificing so much you lose yourself and what makes you who you are.
But when if we take a step forward, we would realize that while we have the choice to say no and the choice to say yes, we also have the choice to Love. The work load I take on daily isn't just because I want to pay my mother back. The sole reason is that I have watched over the years how she broke her back to make me who I am despite the cruel, awful, and terrible things I have done and said to her.
She tolerated years of disrespect, arrogance and selfishness. She still does that and she earned my loyalty, respect and love. She may be a comfort but she's also the reason I grind as hard as I do.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
So, while you don't owe them anything (if you choose to believe that), they are the reason you are alive. You owe them your life. And while you are in-charge and the boss of your destiny, you also keep in mind that whatever you become is a reflection on them.
Some may say, "Oh but I was abused by my parents. They don't deserve anything from me." But they do. Even if they were terrible, they gave you this life you hold so dear. No one is saying to let them take control of your life, but pay them the respect.
I would not be who I am today if not for my Mother. I have made the conscious decision to stop her from working. Going under that sun and the rain. She needs to rest and I will gladly bend and break this young back for that to come true. Because she is my Queen, and while she wasn't able to give me the world, she gave me something more valuable. Her unconditional love and support.
So, I may not have to. I may decide to just forget I had something so rare and precious. But that would be suicide to me. And it would be the day I begin to die from within.