When Your Parents Are Your Co-Parents
My parents worked hard all their life to provide for their children. Now with my child, they were determined to do the same.
Just as no little girl grows up dreaming of being a single parent, no parent would ever wish that their little girl would one day be a single parent. Co-parenting might be a way of sorting things out.
Yet when I announced my pregnancy to my parents along with my shaky relationship status, they rolled with it. They proclaimed that my unborn child was a blessing. There was no question of giving the child up.
This was a great relief to me, as even though it is 2016, girls are still disowned by their families for choosing the wrong guy, for getting pregnant out of wedlock. I never felt more grateful to my parents than when they wholeheartedly embraced my baby and me.
Growing up under their doting eye, I never wanted for attention. They committed significant time and energy to my brothers’ and my care and comfort. They were the type who worked hard all their lives to provide for their family.With my child, they were determined to do the same.
My dad told me to save up all I could from the job I had when I was pregnant, and then quit to be a stay home mom for my baby’s first year. He supported my breastfeeding journey wholeheartedly and told me not to worry about returning to work.
My mom cooked all my favourite foods when I was pregnant, and took on the task of being my confinement lady, researching the best foods and herbs to make. She takes the baby off my hands for an hour or two when I need to rest or take an appointment. She knows my baby’s schedule nearly as intimately as I do.
Of course we still get frustrated with each other and fight. But when I was younger, we used to argue about my all night partying. My spending on things that I didn’t really need. The minor car accidents I would get into.
When she takes a tumble and knocks her head. Or sustains that dreaded mosquito bite. Or if she is crying and we can’t figure out why. No matter what, they will insist that baby comes first, no matter what.
My relationship with my parents has evolved significantly with the newest addition to the family. While they would joke that being a grandparent means you get all the fun moments and none of the tough ones, the reality is that my parents go through the same stressful stuff that I go through.When baby or me get upset, they get upset.
I now understand what it means to be a parent, and that has brought me closer to them. When I was young and single, it was easy to assume that they were being draconic and old fashioned.
But a parent’s decisions are always made in their child’s best interest.