“Wait Until You Become a Parent”

When I was growing up, I vividly remember my parents telling me, “wait until you become a parent” when I would do something they didn’t like. Of course, I never understood at that moment what that meant until I actually became one.

Griff-Observ-3.23.13-O&K-101In high school and a long time after that, I used to get myself into all sorts of trouble. No matter what, though, it could never top the things my brother did. My brother, who I love so much and is my best friend, has now almost completed his 10th year in prison.

My parents were very strict with us. When my brother turned 18, he went out of control and did everything he couldn’t do, including drugs. I remember my mom crying almost every night, wondering when my brother would come home. When he did, he would be there to sleep, steal things, then go right back out again. He fooled my parents every time he came back. And every time, they fell for it.

I used to fight with my parents about my brother and the decisions they made with him. They always used to say, “you just won’t understand until you become a parent yourself.”

Now that I’m a mom, I have all kinds of fears about what should or could or would happen with my son. Having him is the best thing that’s ever happened in my life, but at the same time, the fears and pain I know I would go through if anything horrible ever happened to him is too much for me to even imagine.

Now I know exactly what my parents meant when they used to say, “wait until you become a parent.” Decisions are definitely hard. Anybody can tell you what is right or wrong according to them but reality is, your child is your child and you are the person responsible for raising them into the person he will be in the future.

I know my parents did what they thought was best for us at the time, but unfortunately it all turned out wrong. I know I would absolutely die inside if I knew my son had to go through what my brother goes through now. If anyone else I love ever has to go through it. From the stories my brother tells me, “survival of the fittest” is exactly that.

I’m a parent now and have no more waiting to do. Now it’s my turn to help my son become a good man. Sometimes children can take their experiences learned during childhood and apply them to situations in their own lives. I do have resentments, but now I can take all those feelings and harness them into something good so that my son, my love, my boy, would never have to feel them.

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Lexie Lane

Lexie Lane is the creator of voiceBoks.com, co-owner of The Social Media Panel, LLC., and co-author of the book, The Blogger's Survival Guide Tips and Tricks for Parent Bloggers Wordsmiths and Enthusiasts.
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  1. says

    Thanks for this heart felt post! I feel your pain.
    By way of background, I am a seasoned pediatrician who helped my wife raise 4 super-wonderful kids. They are grown now and have college kids of their own. Actually, we have 14 grandkids from age 13-22. What a great crew!

  2. says

    Being a parent is the hardest duty…
    Especially being a mom…
    We are the person who handle all…
    Raised our kids, teach them if what is wrong and the right…
    Guide them everytime and to all the time…

    But being parents and a mom is the important rules of our lifes…


  3. says

    I am one of 4 kids. 3 of us were fairly straight laced and 1 got into a lot of trouble: alcohol, drugs, issues with cops. They didn’t necessarily treat us different. It’s hard to understand how different parenting affects different kids, but all you can do is try to love them the best you can.

  4. says

    You reminded me of a conversation I had with my Dad a few years ago. I was telling him how painstakingly difficult it was to paint the 2nd hand cot we’d bought for the our daughter. The round poles needed sanding, 2 undercoats and a final overcoat. Not a quick or simple task.
    And all my daughter did was just sleep in the cot…blissfully unaware of all the work I’d done.
    “Children just don’t appreciate parents, do they Dad?”
    “No Son, not always…”
    It was a wake up call for me to show more appreciation to my parents now I’m more aware of what they’ve done for me!

  5. says

    oh I completely agree, even as a teenager babysitting you would think “oh parenting is going to be easy” yeah…. it is soooo very different. good article

  6. says

    I have been a young parent with my siblings because my mom and dad need to be away for work though they never told me that but I already been.

  7. says

    It all really does change when you become a parent. I had my daughter later in life than most, and I wonder sometimes how well I would have fared at the job if I had my daughter in my 20’s

  8. says

    My mom would say the same thing when I was a kid. My parenting style is not at all like hers, I believe I’m more hands on and want to learn from my moms mistakes and keep a good relationship with my child.

  9. says

    “You just wait until you have a teenage daughter!!!” Those are the words that my mom used to tell me all the time when I was acting crazy! ….exactly why I didn’t want to have girls! lol

  10. says

    Don’t worry Well It’s Only Normal To worry But We ALL Have These Fears As A Parent You Do The Best You Can With What You Think Is Best That’s ALL You Can Do!! XO :)

  11. Shauna says

    My parents were the odd ones who never said anything like that to me, but my MIL says things like, just wait till your little ones are teenagers… if they are anything like your husband you are in trouble.

  12. says

    It drives my kids crazy when I say that to them — but it’s so true! Guess it just gets passed down from generation to generation because no one can really know what to expect until they’re right in the middle of it!

  13. says

    That’s such a touching post :) I understand the worry too. But I think you sound like you’re going to be fine :) You obviously love your boy, and it shows :)

  14. says

    This really is so true! No one ever really understands how other parents feel towards their children until they become parents themselves. I am a mother of four, and I constantly try, hope and pray that I am doing the best job possible to raise my kids to become responsible adults. Above all, I want them to be happy.

  15. says

    So you have to wonder if you will tell your son the same thing. I do remember hearing the same thing as well. I have consciously made some decisions different than my parents, but some are the same.

  16. says

    Touching post…I remember hearing those words many times as a young person…now as a Mom I too understand more—but I’ve seen the same thing with my brother and I –we had the same parents -they used the same methods in us both (VERY STRICT) but we followed different paths–I was the troubled one for a while, but thanks to my parents ~who still stood firm in their beliefs but relizes I was an adult and had to learn from my mistakes and WANT to change~ things did get better. I try to remember that with my children and YEP I’ve found myself saying the very same word to my daughter already =]

  17. says

    My sister and I went down a very similar path as your brother did when we hit 18. Well, I started at 15, my sister started at 16, and we both heat our peaks of terrible at 17. In both of our cases the culprit turned out to be a mixture of a very traumatic upbringing and two different mental illnesses. We’re such a similar yet varied couple of siblings. Looking back I can see how I would have done certain things differently and question what choices I would make as a parent. It’s tough!

  18. says

    Parents do the very best they can and all make some mistakes but they try their hardest. Unfortunately their methods backfired with your brother. And yes, he is still their child and your brother and is loved by you all no matter what. Just do the very best that you can and try to learn from the mistakes the parents made. Sometimes being too strict is not the best way with some personalities. With me it worked. Of course I lost my Dad (who was strict) when I was just about 16 and went into shock for 4 or 5 years.

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