As far as I can remember, I had a love-hate relationship with my father. He was from the ‘old guard’ type of father, whose children were meant to be seen, not heard. Fathers who were emotionally distant, if present at all. The workaholic fathers who would come home at the end of a long day’s work and bark orders at everyone. You weren’t a kid, rather you were the tv remote and the personal servant that got snacks and drinks from the kitchen.
I remember trying to form a bond with him, only to have him say something hurtful that made me dislike him. And in time, I stopped trying. And then he passed away. I never really mourned the loss of him, but instead, I mourned the loss of ever having the opportunity of forming the father-daughter relationship I had always dreamt of. Sometimes, I look back and think, could I have done more? Did I give up too soon?
While I can’t fix things with him, I have resolved to making sure my boys have a better relationship with their father, because I don’t want them to have the same regrets as I do. That means helping my husband avoid the same mistakes my dad made with me. And teaching my kids that it’s o.k. to not like their dad, or me, sometimes, as long as we always keep the lines of communication open. Because as parents we’re going to step on their toes, push their buttons, and get on their nerves. And most of the time, it will be unintentional. Mostly.😇
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