Sitting across from my husband and our daughter, while he was reading a bedtime story to her, I was reminded that my dad was not available to me in this way when I was a child. I distinctly remember a sentence he uttered when I was nineteen: “Your mother was responsible for the love in the house and I was responsible for bringing the money into the house.”
Parents are human too
Parents do the best they can with the resources they have at the time. They are not superman or superwoman. As I experience now, parenting is not an easy task, filled with challenges no matter how much I adore my daughter. I have an appreciation for what my parents offered us and I also have to deal with the shortcomings I experienced. One of those was my father’s absence.
Once you become an adult, it’s up to you to rewrite history. It’s never too late. Even though you can’t change the childhood you’ve experienced, you do have the potential to change what and how you like to imagine it could have been. Having children is a step in re-parenting yourself and healing your inner child if you choose to.
Rewire your brain
As I was watching my husband interact with our daughter, I found myself imagining being the little girl. I was smiling as I imagined being read to, having the attention, getting the story explained with patience and having the total focus on me. I didn’t move nor followed any complicated process. I simply smiled at the process of re-imprinting what childhood could have looked like for me, would I have had a father with more conscious awareness.
In no moment there was sadness at lost potential or upset at my father. I had dealt with that prior and forgiven my father for his shortcomings. He was unaware and non-intentional. What happened in the past, happened then. Now I was attending to my inner child, re-parenting it from the inside.
You have the choice in every moment to reminisce the good moments of the past, curse those moments that were not good or start taking responsibility in the present. Every time you remember something you slightly alter the memory. Why not consciously changing them to your advantage?
I am the parent now
If you want to take that responsibility now, start by taking an active role in parenting yourself as an adult. You do this by addressing your needs in a healthy, conscious way, looking after your wishes and self-reflect on what is supporting you now.
What if you could have the childhood you already dreamt of now as an adult?