SAUCE FOR THE SOUL
A PARENTING PARADOX or A PARENTING QUAGMIRE
Within this global metropolis of experts, pretenders and self-professed masters of all things that are to be; many of us would like to think that we are parental “guru’s” and that we have cornered the markets and are possessors of that often elusive, ‘skeleton-key’ of which gives us the rights of passage to all doors that were assumed to have been and remain safely, secured and locked, eliminating any concerns and fears of being or becoming an ineffective parent, guardian, or caregiver.
This euphoric belief provides us with unsubstantiated but comforting thoughts that; entry into this sacred “room” is only granted to a minimal number of individuals that have, somehow; been permitted to attain the intricacies of “flawless” parenting and are proud holders of this elusive but exclusive key.
My latest publication; “Mothers And Their S’Men” An Introspective Look At Mothers Rearing Their Sons, has put forth two very poignant question for all parents.
• Am I my mother’s son or my father’s mistake?
• Is dad in the house but he is not home?
This author is not oblivious to the fact that these questions may offend or cause painful consternation for some of our readers, however; please understand that it is not our intent nor our motivation to upset, offend, or alienate anyone, we are simply making an attempt to address that ‘SECOND’ elephant in the room, that is crushing the very life out of many mothers of this hemisphere.
The dynamics of these questions gives rise to the very ideas that mothers and mothers alone are ultimately responsible for the successes of their sons, regardless of any and all mitigating circumstances. While fathers are given a pass as it pertains to the son’s lack of various humanistic traits, including, but not limited to;
• Sensitivity for women.
• His inner personal understanding of his role as a ‘whole-man.’
• Personal responsibility for his action, i.e., “boy’s will be boy’s”
Obviously, we can amass an exhaustive list of misnomers and innuendos when describing the “true” and uncompromising responsibilities of parenting according to their gender roles and then significance of such when rearing children, particularly our sons.
Where exactly do we draw this proverbial, invisible line as we ignore that second elephant in the room, all the while ignoring that very visible quagmire that sits on our parent’s chests like those elephants?
Yes, we are fully aware, that, we have many great and magnificent fathers, both physically located within the homes as well as others residing at different addresses other than those of their children/sons and that they are very prominent in the lives of their children/sons, however; mothers are the focal point of this conversation.
Our parenting lives are often paradoxical, we allow this invisible line to be drawn when it meets our convenience levels of owning and embracing our responsibilities both to ourselves and to our children. This is and can be incredibly challenging for parents. Many are faced with personal situations and circumstances beyond their control.
This assertion has been drawn to bring light to that second elephant in the room that we comfortably ignore to avoid assuming responsibilities, i.e., when our sons are deemed; respectful, successful, law abiding, etcetera., the credits both spoken and unspoken is overwhelmingly given to the father. Contrarily, if he is nonproductive, non-law-abiding, obnoxious, etcetera., it is often attributed to the mother’s inability to rear him appropriately because the father is physically absent or because dad has chosen to be intellectually absent and non-committal to the overall parenting process of the ‘whole-child.’
Is it safe to say, that, we, as a civilized society, invoke convenient amnesia when it meets our needs to deny and refute holistic responsibility for rearing our children? It is too painful for parents to face and to adhere to societies expectations and requirements of appropriately rearing our children, when both we and they are viewed as failures?
Have we held genuine, sincere, non-threatening conversations with our mothers relative to their overall feelings of having to wear a ‘billboard’ across their chests and having to live with the world’s pressures and expectations of them, relative to their children’s, positive or negative actions being on full display for the world to see, do we realize that, moms are relentlessly; judged and unapologetically questioned by society as they are often inundated with remorse and fraught with guilt of being possibly viewed as an “unfit and ineffective parent?”
As intelligent beings, we are all cognizant of the fact that in all situations there are mitigating circumstances that will clearly reveal that some of us are just not up to the task of being effective, nurturing, loving parents.
Just a little something to consider while traversing this conversation. Please indulge me and process these thoughts, because; most, if not all of us view ourselves as effective parents. Is there a line to be drawn in the sand, does this paradox of being that flawless, perfect parent rest at your doorsteps, does untold confusion, lack of support, human frailties, and our Broadway worthy performances that we so indelibly, perpetrate for our neighbors, friends, and colleagues in our quest to receive public approval? Does it blind us all to life’s challenges, are we privately existing in a cesspool of dysfunction and family atrocities, which are mired in and created in despair that manifests into an invisible quagmire that we all so desperately want to avoid?
Melvin Casey Lars 6/30/2022 ©
[Submitted by MELVIN LARS]