Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thirty...Parent/Child Relationship

30 day challenge, Question #3: "Describe your relationship with your parents."

I would describe my relationship with my parents as abstruse. “Complex” seems to be a good word to describe my life in general, so it only makes sense that my relationships tend to follow suit…

I use the word abstruse to describe my relationship with my parents because there has been a lot of back and forth, and of course with each parent there is a different dynamic.

My parents divorced when I was seven. Both my mother and my father remarried when I was nine. I was raised by two sets of parents; two “mothers” and two “fathers.” Truthfully I was not an easy child to raise…I know, you are shocked…I’m so easy to manage now  :)

Growing up my relationship with my mother was fierce…we argued constantly. My relationship with my step-father was strained…I overused the saying, “You are not my real father, and I don’t have to do what you say.” My relationship with my biological father was unbalanced, as my brother and I only saw him once a week and every other weekend if he wasn’t traveling for work. My relationship with my step-mom was distorted; my opinion of her was based on overheard conversations and bitterness.

After leaving my parents’ home and experiencing life on my own, the influences of the bond between my parents and I began to change. I married, had a child and then divorced. Experiencing divorce as an adult and in my own failed marriage was much different than how I had endured divorce as a seven year old. A deep and rooted anger and hatred began to rise within me. Jealousy consumed me and the once tolerable relationship with my biological father started to become intolerable. I think for the first time I realized just how damaging divorce can be…especially as I watched my then fifteen month old son being passed back and forth between his mother’s home and his father’s home…the confusion on his sweet little face. The questions I had as a seven year old watching her father walk away began to surface…”Why did my daddy leave? Why can’t we be a family? What did I do wrong?”

Whereas the relationship with my biological father had capsized, the love and respect towards my step-father began to float to the surface of my heart. As a twenty-something single mother I suddenly had the ability to look back and see how my step-father had come into my life and loved me despite the fact that I wasn’t his own. He offered an unconditional love, something I wasn’t familiar with and didn’t recognize until I had matured.

My mother and I had finally gotten past the point of mindless arguments over makeup, boys, clothing and people I had chosen to associate with…my teenage years were long gone and we were able to move forward into a woman to woman/mother to daughter relationship. Of course with any relationship, we still have our struggles.

Today, I am a thirty-something mother of three boys, a wife to an incredible and strong husband and a new Christian, stumbling in my faith walk but always aware that Christ is my Savior and my strength…

Along the path of my faith journey I have come to realize that the one facet that lacks within our family is boundaries. I am learning that boundaries are vital for people who desire to have Godly, healthy relationships. It’s frustrating to know that if I had known the importance of having boundaries…if WE (my entire family) had known the importance of boundaries…it could have changed the whole trajectory of my life!

…Throughout the years there are many words I could have used to describe my relationship with my parents; dependent, fatigued, damaged, egocentric, loving, nurturing



..I would describe my relationship with my biological father and my step-mother as on the path towards healing…

…my relationship with my step-father…rewarding.

…my relationship with my mother…blossoming each day


  1. Your boundaries comment is huge! Hopefully that is something that you can model for your boys and teach them the value of. I am trying to do that in my house as well, and just finished a really good class at church on boundaries! I am sure that God will use it often in the He already is.
    You are growing, girl! And that is important! You don't let yourself stay stuck, you keep plowing forward and relying on the God of the universe to see you through. He has all the details in His hands, as well as the healing! You are plugged into the Ultimate Source!

  2. There's certainly a lot to learn about this subject. I love all the points you've made.
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