Thursday, 9 February 2017

My parents are #goals

My parents are a huge inspiration to me in more ways than one, but now that me and Chris are soon to become parents, it's made me look at my relationship with them even closer.

I've been looking around at those I consider to be my "role models" and I can honestly say, my mum and dad are hands down "parent goals". Of course, you always look to your parents for inspiration or to do things differently to them as you haven't had the best upbringing. And now is such an important time for me to do that. I hope I can follow in my parents footsteps to bring up the happy, lovely, well-mannered children they have (or maybe that just counts for my brother!)

You can always rely on me

Since I can remember, my dad has always said to me "You can always rely on me. I will never let you down". I can actually hear him saying it in my head as I write this because he's said it so many times! But it never ceases to touch me. And he's never failed to stick by this word.

I still always questioned him and he'd simply respond "If I said it will work out, it will. Have I ever let you down?" The answer was no. But every time there's something that I feel he can't possibly fix or work out, HE DOES. And every single time, I'm lost for words.

The point is not that my dad done everything for me, but that I knew I could always rely on him. For example, I needed a new car. My dad didn't "fix" the problem, by buying me a new one, but he helped me get my funds together, figure out what I could afford and found an ace car for that price (and even knocked down the price by a few hundred so I'd have enough to pay the extra insurance costs). It's something about him always protecting me, looking out for me and doing everything in his power to make me happy that is so special.

Similarly, it was this attitude that he had that "everything will work out in the end" that actually pushed me to work harder to reach that end goal. Take my exams for example: I remember being in tears to him because I was so sure I was going to fail an exam. He'd simply say: "No you won't. I know you won't. Am I ever wrong?" And that was just the little boost of confidence I needed to stay motivated, work hard and study. And I never once failed (then we'd both be in balls of tears at the sight of my results - it was so special).

You're so spoilt

Over the years, I've had a few people call me "spoilt" because of this relationship I have with my parents, especially my dad. But I think it runs so much deeper than being spoilt. There was a rocking horse I wanted so badly as a child, but we simply couldn't afford it and I needed to learn how to ride a bike. So, they let me choose my own bike (with loads of pink and purple sparkly tassels and a little horn - it was so awesome). If I was "spoilt", surely I would have got both?

But you see, it's not about getting everything I want. It's about knowing in my heart, that I can rely on my parents with my life. They will do their very best to make me happy, in any way they can. And instead of bringing up an ungrateful child, who gets everything she wants and then suddenly when she doesn't, she throws a strop, they brought up a forever grateful child. I feel blessed every time my parents do something for me to make me happy, safe, protected or content.

Love and Support during a breakdown

Another aspect of the love and support my parents give me is linked to my mental health issues, which they help me with on a daily basis if need be - especially my mum with my anxiety and panic attacks. She is so amazing at calming me down and making me feel safe and happy after a panic.

When my mental health issues first hit the surface, I'm sure it was such a struggle for my parents, because they couldn't simply fix me (not that I or anyone with a mental illness needs "fixing"!!). But I'm sure they felt absolutely useless. But all I really needed was love and support, so that's what they done.

My mum was literally my rock! She came with me to every single counselling, psychiatrist, doctors or hospital appointment. She even went to family therapy on HER OWN (because I refused to go, obviously). She was the person who managed to get me to see the best psychiatrist I have ever had, which subsequently led to my stay in a private psychiatric hospital. She was just always there for me when I was feeling down. I could just splurt everything that was in my head to her, and she didn't judge. She just listened. It actually brings tears to my eyes even writing this because of how truly amazing she was, when she probably felt like she wasn't helping at all.

I really felt the unconditional love they had for me. I felt worthless, unlovable, a failure, a let down, but they still continued to show they loved me, each and every day, even when I was a total bitch.

Loved unconditionally 

It's funny, but I remember as a child when I'd done something naughty, my dad would tell me off and send me to my room, as parents usually do. But a few hours later, he'd call me downstairs. He'd call me over to him and give me the biggest hug and kiss and tell me loves me and he's sorry for shouting, but I was naughty and shouldn't do that again. And I think that instilled one of the most important messages of all: I love you unconditionally, but when you're naughty there are consequences, but it doesn't mean I'll ever stop loving you.

And in doing this, it actually made me feel worse about being naughty. Because even though I'd done wrong, he still wanted to give me a kiss and a cuddle and show me he loved me, even when I was a brat. This empowered me each and every day to make him and my mum the happiest and proudest they could be. But the message was still there loud and clear:  I love you whatever you do, whatever you say, but remember the consequences.

Overall, they've taught me that being a parent isn't about showering your child with the most luxurious things,  but it's about unconditional love, support and them knowing that they can rely on you with their life and you will do everything in your power to make them happy. If your child feels loved and protected by you, has good morals and manners and knows they can rely on you, I feel you've done the best job. 

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