- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice»
When Your Kid Suddenly Hates You
My Dad Was Also My Mom
I was once a happy kid in a complicated world but my dad filled my childhood with good memories. It has been 4 years since my dad passed away but I still remember that time when I was 9 years old. That time when I would cry every time my dad would go on a trip without me so he ended up taking me on a 4 to 5-day sojourn, whether it was summer vacation or not. We went to Vigan, Batac, Laoag, Subic, Clark and just about anywhere in the Philippines but my favorite place was in Baguio, where we always stayed at the Teacher's Camp despite the ghost stories. My dad had a travelling agency with the students and teachers as his market. His tour packages were made specifically for an Educational Tour, inclusive of recreational and fun activities so as not to bore the participants and to make sure that it would be the best experience for everyone. I can still remember everything during those trips because every trip, every package and every place was very memorable. Those were the happiest days that I had with my dad.
My dad was a people person. Hence, he was loved by everyone and I was daddy's little girl. Before he put up a travelling agency, he was a Principal and a Professor at a renowned University. When he resigned from his position, he was very successful with his travelling business because his market was growing and all the schools inside and outside of our city knew him as a good speaker, writer and instructor on Oratorical and Declamation Contests. He was a well-respected man and everyone knew him as that.
He wasn't all about being serious and being responsible though. He was also a fun-loving person. I had really good memories for every Birthday, Christmas and New Year celebrations that we had because he liked to watch people playing games, winning, losing and trying again. All parties that we had were too fun that nobody would want to go home or sleep. He was such a great host.
My childhood was really filled with such good and fun memories of my dad and all the great things we did together but sometimes, I would think hard and ask myself "Why don't I have any good memories of my mom?" I couldn't even begin to think about how I should be describing my mom because she wasn't there for me when I was a kid. I don't remember her fixing my hair or putting some makeup on me whenever I had school activities. I don't remember shopping with her or talking to her about about a boy. I don't remember asking for her advise when I had issues in school. I don't remember asking her for help. I don't remember wanting to see her or wanting to be with her because I was used to her absence at home. She was just not the type that I could refer to as "motherly." The only memories I had of her were the drastic bickering, her incessant badmouthing of my dad, her complaints and her tendencies to be violent.
All of the bad memories of my childhood had memories of my mom in them ----- locking me in my room when she's tired to look after me, dragging my hair when I call her by her first name, getting mad at me when she has to drop me at school and pick me up because the driver is unavailable...I have endless bad memories of my mom but I never regretted my childhood because my dad filled all the bad memories with too many good ones. My dad was my mom and so I promised myself that when I become a mom, I will do everything that I can to raise my kid and I will fill my kid's memories with nothing but pure love and devotion. That was a promise that I made to myself even before I became a woman.
My First Born
I wasn't raised by my mom and I didn't have any good memories of her so can you imagine how it felt when I found out I was going to have a baby?
While my childhood had more happy memories than the bad ones, my teenage years were the hardest. My dad was overprotective and I had no mom to open up to when I had issues that any teenager was experiencing. I didn't experience prom and I didn't attend any parties. We were wealthy and we had more than enough because I got everything that I wanted like Vogue magazine collections, CD collections, Nancy Drew pocketbooks, Sketchers shoes and all the flashy material things that any teenager could brag about. But then despite having all of these, it felt like I was behind bars. I was bottled up with a lot of issues and with me being deprived of being a teenager. I became a rebel in College.
I was fearless, spontaneous and mischievous. I was a rebel. I cut classes, drank with my friends and even gave my dad too much of a hard time when I ran away from home for 9 days to forget about him and my entire family. I did a lot of bad things, not because I was seeking for attention but because I was craving with the excitement of being free to do anything. Instead of me getting matured as I have luckily graduated from college, I became worst. I did not give a damn about anything or anyone in the world but myself. I did not even know and care about the value of money. I did not fall in love with my boyfriends. They were all just boys to me and I never cared about how much I hurt them by leaving them without giving any reason. I didn't give a damn about anyone's feelings. I was heartless. I was a monster until I found out that I was pregnant.
It took a long time before I realized that I was pregnant. It didn't sink in that easily though it started with a cold-turkey quitting on smoking. I smoked a lot and I was a drunkard, a woman of twenties who kept on partying and making a hell out of every guy I met. Just like the first and 2nd boyfriend, I didn't love my 3rd boyfriend either. I just liked the attention and gifts but this 3rd one introduced me to his family and proposed to me after 2 months of dating. I was shocked. I wasn't ready for marriage so I didn't say yes but then I got pregnant and it was something that I couldn't run away from.
Despite the fact that I didn't want the dad of my kid, I was actually excited about my first child. I changed a lot. Just like the obdurate shrew named Katherina in Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew." The only difference was that I had no mischievous nobleman to trick me and I wasn't tricked at all. I was tamed because I found out that a baby is the most manipulative living thing in the whole world. I remembered my promise to myself when I was a kid. I promised to make sure that my kid will receive pure love and devotion. Sure there were crazy times when I didn't know what the hell to do because it was my first time to be a mom, but one of the most unexpected things happened --- my mom suddenly became a mom.
The woman who never gave me attention and was never a mom to me, became the biggest and most important part of my baby's life. She was a happy grandmother. She loved my first born just like it was her own and all of the things she missed out and didn't do for me were compensated through the love and devotion that she had for my baby. It was an amazing thing. How could two unfathomably careless women change in just one loud crying from a newborn? How? This is life's biggest miracle - Motherhood.
My Baby, Her Needs & My Needs
March 30, 2006 was life-changing. For the first time, my mom made the right decision. I was 8 days overdue and there was no progress to the centimeters needed for me to go through normal delivery. I didn't understand everything that the doctor said as I was half dead, but all I could remember was when she said I would've been 100% dead and my daughter would've been at 50-50 if my mom hadn't decided to go through a caesarian operation. My daughter had a cord-coil and I heard something about my placenta being too deep and that I was in a critical condition. My daughter and I were both really lucky that day because we both made it.
I quit my job when I was pregnant due to the complications of my pregnancy. Consequently, it was a big advantage for my baby because my focus was only on her. I was hands on --- feeding her, changing her diapers, bathing, etc. We were having a blast, despite those crazy sleeping cycles. I was a full-time mom for 1 year and 6 months but then it was time to face reality --- I had to work. My dad wasn't in a good condition and the travelling agency wasn't doing good due to the economic crisis. People had no extra money to splurge on for travelling so my dad's business went down big time and he was losing his savings as well.
I worked full-time as a customer service representative to a green campaign. After 6 months, I got into a QA apprenticeship program then became a Quality Analyst. There was too much workload then all of a sudden, I was working both as a QA and a Trainer during the ramp season. My work was getting piled up and my job role was getting bigger. As my expenses got bigger, my responsibilities at work got bigger too because I was determined to give the best for my baby. I tried very hard for my baby to feel the love that I had for her though I had to split my attention between my baby, our financial needs and my workload. Along the way, I met someone who was willing to be a dad for my kid. He even helped me out a lot with my baby's 2nd birthday as it was my first time to cook and prepare for everything. My dad liked him so there was no hindrance for me to date a new guy. Soon, I realized that I was juggling a lot of things all at once --- my baby, our financial expenses, my workload and my new boyfriend. I went crazy. I went completely crazy.
Somehow I did want daddy for my baby and I did want a family but I didn't realize that the time and attention in juggling all 4 things at once would be such a disaster. My intention was to give everything that my baby deserves. My baby's needs were also my needs. Her happiness was my happiness.
When Your Kid Suddenly Hates You
Okay. So motherhood changes a lot of things. It changes your approach, your perception and how you deal with everything in your life. But what if while you feel that you are doing everything that you can, you realize that you are losing your kid?
Having found a new daddy for my first born, this resulted to having 2 more kids. The hardest thing was realizing that I didn't love that guy enough to stay with him. You can guess what happened next --- I quit, just like the other relationships because I'm a relationship quitter. I ended up being a single mom again and I was in the middle of a financial crisis when that happened. I became a Manager but while the salary went up, so did my responsibilities so my time for my kids was less than I have ever imagined. I worked like a horse to provide financial support but it was hard to do that all by myself. My priority was my youngest because she was the most dependent and she was the one who needed me the most. I didn't realize my eldest felt like I didn't care about her anymore because though I was fulfilling my obligations financially, I wasn't there as a mom to her. I was always at work and I only had my spare time taking care of my youngest.
It came to a point when I wanted to give up on the financial expenses because my debts were piling up and I couldn't even buy myself decent undergarments to replace the old ones. 2 of my old shoes already gave up and my pants and tops weren't a good fit for me anymore but I always have no extra to think about the things that I also need. I got tired so I asked myself, "Why do I have to be responsible for everything?"
One day, my eldest complained, telling me that I wasn't giving her enough money and that her needs are different now because she is 10 years old. Her tuition was also always late and her allowance wasn't enough. She whined about these things while I was struggling and barely had P100 in my wallet to get by. I was too haggard that day, deadbeat on the night shift work and I had no strength left to think about how I could survive with barely P100 in my wallet. I wasn't just down on financial aspect, I was down on all aspects and my eldest daughter had to pick a day when I had no strength to be a mom at all.
When my kid was 6 years old, her dad reached out to me via facebook to greet me on my birthday. Her dad is in Canada with a different family and could very much afford to support his daugher. He started providing financial support but didn't even last a year because he wanted for me to sign an adoption paper. He wanted him and his wife to take full custody of my eldest, removing me completely from the picture. I was tempted because the government in Canada is in full support of education. Hence, their education is free until a kid reaches 18 years of age. I liked that idea though my eldest didn't want that. I didn't force her to go with her dad to Canada but then now that she is 10 years old, I am in financial distress and this is affecting my relationship with her.
With my kid's endless complaint, I snapped. I told her to reach out to her dad and go with him to Canada. That way, she would never have any worries about her tuition and her allowance and she can have whatever she wants. I told her over and over to be with her dad so that we will both be at peace and we will both be lifted of the freakin' financial burdens.
She said, "I HATE YOU." This was exactly the response that I was expecting from a 10-year-old girl who cannot understand the real intentions that I have. I just want her to have a bright future but I couldn't phrase it like that when I was mad so I gave her an impression that I was giving up on her. Or maybe I did give up on her.
Kids are kids and their world only revolves around school, family and friends but they have no idea that life is a big struggle where money is mostly, always the reason. My kid doesn't know what I do for a living. She doesn't know I'm an Associate Manager but I am working like a slave and I have too many bosses. She doesn't know I am handling 2 programs, managing 7 Senior Quality Specialists and dealing with different Account Managers of different lines of business. She doesn't know I am juggling a lot of things all at once at work and that I am dealing with different clients everyday. She doesn't know that my life at work is a living helll. Despite my job title, I am a boss with a lot of bosses as well and I go home deadbeat, without enough strength to think or do anything else than take a rest. The problem is, since I need more money for my kids I don't get to take a rest at home because I still need to work for extra money. That's what life is and that is how life sucks. That's what my kids aren't aware of ---- their mom working like a horse to provide their needs.
Without my kids, I am nothing and I will have no purpose. This is why I am killing myself everyday by working. But now that I have come to realize this. This isn't what every mom in the world should be doing. Moms should live one day at a time and kids deserve ample time to be loved. While my eldest kid hates me, I won't stop loving her and I won't have to explain to her the struggles that I am going through. She's a kid and she deserves to be a kid. She deserves to have fun, she deserves to have everything that she needs in the world and I am in no position to complain. I brought her to this world and I had a choice to do that but my kid didn't have a choice to be brought in the world by a single mom who is always in financial crisis. It wasn't my kid's choice to have me as her mom so there should never be a day when she should feel burdened and there should never be a day when she shouldn't feel loved.
She will hate me more than anyone could imagine because she will grow up and she would need more attention. The expenses would also overwhelming especially when she goes to college. When the time comes and your kid suddenly hates you, the best reaction is to accept that this will come and to accept that your kids will hate you once in a while or even forever. This shouldn't be reason enough to stop loving them because this is what motherhood is --- loving unconditionally.