I hate my son. No, I’m not being rhetorical or metaphorical; I literally hate him. I love him too, but probably not enough to rub out the hate. Here’s why…
Have you ever, as a mum or dad, dedicated your life, hope and dreams to a child’s development and wellbeing? Ever spent sleepless nights thinking the worst, wiping your tears away and getting up to check on said sprog, just in case they stopped breathing in their sleep? Well, I have. I am the tiger mom, the infernal nuisance at schools for all teachers and teaching assistants – I am the complainer that worries whether he received his coat on time for breaktime, his forgotten lunch box before lunch or his meds if he’s had to go back to school before I think he’s well enough. I’m your worst nightmare as an educator. At least, I was. I have changed as my sprog has gotten older. I’ve lost my sense of purpose, my fight, my passion.
Instead, I’ve been introduced to my worst nightmare, a creation of my own volition: a free thinking individual who has the intelligence to question me and my morals and call my up for my shortcomings. I have a person who refuses to be dominated by others, who does not buckle under peer pressure and who assumes authority in the household – my household – anytime I’m not around to rule the roost. I hate him!
He is the epitomy of everything I am not; he has the capability to stay true to his course when I flail about, thinking I should give up. He shows strengths in my weaknesses and makes me feel incompetent in my education. In other words, I feel dumb around him. Yet, I created this wonderful monster.
So, what do I do?
Is it a case of inflating his ego further and telling him I am proud of his existence? Or do I belittle every little fault I find, exploding at every mistake made and celebrating every time he doesn’t reach a goal? What would you do with something like this living in your house, eating your food and making you feel inadequate?
Anyone else here hear my ego taking a beating?
Well, I do what I assume every other mom does, I just give up! I take a step back and let him lead when he needs to. Right now, he is standing over my two other sprogs, perfecting their piano pieces so that they don’t embarrass us (the family) at their next piano lesson. He walks into the kitchen and mutters a belittling remark about the curry I’ve cooked because he doesn’t like curry anymore. His personal beliefs refute the fact that he is part Goan. In his mind, he is British.
I ignore the remark and think of how he is helping the other sprogs, what an inspiration he is getting all A’s and finding maths easy at A level, unlike me. But, as a parent, I can’t ignore the snarky remarks that make my older daughter cry, the continuous abuse of power because he is the eldest, the strongest and the most likely to outhink all of us who are too tired to fight. I think of the days when he disappears into his cave (bedroom) and refuses to eat family meals. And I hate him.
As a mother, it is hard to admit that the child who makes you feel the most is the one that hurts you the most. I’m hoping, no I’m praying that, in the future, he will return to the sweet little boy I protected and nurtured many years ago.
But, am I hoping for the right thing? Am I actually celebrating the fact that my child does not do drugs, has a good sense of what’s right and wrong, and abuses it at home, but is there for us when we need him. Am I hating him for all the wrong reasons?
What do you think?