I’m moving in exactly 11 days into a new house in a new “town” (I put town in quotations because it’s technically not even a hamlet it’s that small). I am ecstatic about it for several reasons, mainly that it’s a bigger house that I foresee as our forever home. One that we can have start a family in, raise kids in, and retire in. I’m quite happy about it all. We’ve been working our behinds off getting it fixed up to move into. It was a foreclosure so it was in rough shape for a 4 year old house. We had the carpets replaced and the whole place painted because the walls and floors were so gross. The family before us had 5 kids and essentially let them do as they pleased in there. During all the hours I spent cleaning the floors and walls and every square inch of that place, I thought alot about how I’m going to raise my kids. These things come up as you’re cleaning toothpaste that’s been on the grout for who knows how long and permanent autographs off your solid oak cabinets
Part of me worries that I will be what I call a Nazi parent. You know those parents. The one who’s kids aren’t allowed to do anything for fear the monsters will mess up their home or embarrass them in public. My dad was a bit of a Nazi parent. His famous saying was “Remember who you are and who you’re with”, which was his one-line reminder for us to not embarrass him while we were out. He also instituted things like an 8 pm curfew when I was 13 and only being allowed to go to places that a had a land-line to call him at once we arrived. Looking back, I appreciate his fervor for discipline and well-behaved kids, however it was a bit mislead perhaps. He took things a little over the edge more often than not, but I know his intentions were good. My mom was almost the exact opposite. She was more relaxed, more laid-back and generally just didn’t care about appearances as much. We appreciated it and loved her for it because we felt we had more freedom and I personally felt like I disappointed her less. That being said, we used her for all we could get. We knew if we just angled a request the right way we could eventually get anything we wanted. We understood that we could get away with murder if we wanted to and often took advantage of that. My teens were spent pretty well doing what I pleased, when I pleased, with no one to answer to. I went through grade 12 with a curfew of 2 AM and no groundings despite coming home drunk and harboring my under-age drunk friends as well.
I love both my parents unconditionally. They are human and therefore do everything in line with their own upbringing, experiences and personality. I could not have had 2 more opposite parents. They disagreed on everything when it came on how to raise us. Everything. One would say one thing, the other would contradict it. Dad was the disciplinarian who never let us do anything and Mom was the friend who would say yes if we just whined enough. What worries me is that people say you end up becoming your parents. I honestly don’t want to be either of my parents when I have kids. I can see the positives from both, but I know the negatives and don’t believe that one was ever more right than the other.
So as I get my new house ready for a home and dream about filling it with little monsters, I still face the question: What kind of parent do I want to be for my future kids? It’s a big question but one that I know God will give answers to. Hopefully I can figure it out partially before I bring any kiddos into this world.
Real gold fears no fire,