I have a friend who took her two sons on a first-ever “just them” vacation recently. She says she learned two things: 1) She loves her kids deeply and loves being a mother (they’re officially both adults now), but 2) One of them is not nice to her (as a matter of fact, he is borderline verbally abusive and downright disrespectful). When I heard this, I was a little shocked because really, the guy is a pretty cool dude. But apparently, he simply will not accept his mom for who she is and he is pretty damn insistent that unless she change some pretty significant things about who she is, they’ll never get along …
Suffice it to say, she’s not loving spending time with him. She even said “I just don’t like him.”
Know this: She was extremely upset and hurt over this. It really broke her up… because, well… how could a mother not like her own son? It made her feel embarrassed and ashamed. But in the end, she was pretty much “done.”
Does this make her a bad parent? I think not. We are not required to “like” everyone on this planet — even if it turns out to be one of our own offspring. It is sad to think it’s possible that after we pour so much love, blood, sweat and tears into someone, it is even remotely possible they could turn out to be a person we don’t want to invite to the next event. But you know, at some point we still have only ourselves to take to the grave … and we must stay true to *that* person.
Gone should be the days of squelching our true selves, sweeping our loves, interests and wishes under the carpet, or changing and adjusting goals or desires because someone else thinks we should (or they simply can’t handle the healthy choices we’ve made for ourselves). Rest assured, we are not talking about the need to abstain from alcohol or drugs around someone who struggles with substance abuse, or anything similar to that. This was a personality trait that one of her lovely boys would like to miraculously disappear. And it is a trait, (or a way about her, I suppose), that I happen to personally admire in this lady.
When all is said and done, I always come back to this:
Choose to surround yourself with people who want to be around you, and who will work as hard as you do at accepting others for who they are.
What are your thoughts on this?
Image credit: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/human-rights/images/33280878/title/human-acceptance-photo