Saturday, November 22, 2014

Writer's Workshop - Different than my parents


Mama’s Losin’ It

List 5 ways you are different as a parent than your parents were...

1) Modern technology... my parents parented me before YouTube, social media, texting, smart phone apps, video game consoles, tablets, laptops and cable. If they wanted to find me they had to yell. If I was out of earshot they'd have to come find me. If they wanted to know what was going on with me at school they would have to ask. My kids, as soon as they were old enough to be out of my sight for extended periods of time have been reachable by modern technology. If I need to know how they are doing in school, their grades are a few clicks away. I sometimes feel sorry for them.

2) I think, no, I know that I am more open than my parents ever were. My kids and I have open discussions on just about everything. There isn't anything one of them could bring up (as long as they were serious about it) that I would "not" discuss with them. My parents were very secretive and wouldn't talk openly about most things. I don't know if it was out of fear or just the norm to not discuss sensitive topics with young people.

3) I laugh about it now, but my parents (especially my dad) were very racist. I didn't realize how narrow their viewpoints were until I went out into the world and was exposed to so many other viewpoints. My kids, on the other hand, are bi-racial. Their dad is Hispanic and I am Caucasian. Because of the area we live in they have grown up in a cornucopia of diversity. Not because I am into new-age philosophy or have some rainbow agenda, it just worked out that way. I think my kids were exposed to every race, religion, economic class, sexual orientation and ethnicity before they could walk. They have a deeper understanding and tolerance for others that, not from a lack of trying, I don't think I will ever attain in my lifetime.

4) Pets! What did I ever do without pets? We weren't allowed to have pets growing up. Personal taste of bot of my parents. My dad used to chase dogs out of our yard on a daily basis. Never cared for them, never cared for the mess they made. He didn't care if the owners were right there watching, he would pick up a rock and throw it at any dog that wandered into our yard. As soon as my kids were old enough and shortly after we bought our house we got a dog. I love that dog and nearly two years ago we adopted a little friend for him, so now we have two. Some of my fondest memories are watching my boys interact with those dogs.

5) We are a two income family, my husband and I both work full-time. Growing up my mom worked as well, but part-time and with my dad at their auto part store. She was usually home when we got home from school and was always available. I'm not sure if this has been a dis-service to my children or not, but it would have been nice to experience being a stay-at-home mom.

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