A Recipe For Loving Your Parents

Stir in 20 teaspoons of maturity. Wake up one day and start to feel terrible about all of the times you called your mom a bitch. Realize that you should love your mom because she carried you in her womb for nine months. She endured weight gain, bizarre hair growth, and the most insane pain of her entire life so she could bring you into the world. Maybe her body was never the same afterwards. Maybe she had a caesarean scar that made her feel ugly. Maybe she had to look at a tabloid cover with the headline “How I Lost The Baby Weight In 2 Weeks!” when she was still unable to fit in her jeans. There were things she had to grieve in order to be a mother. And she did.

Drizzle 1 long hard look at your iTunes library. A lot of your best music was introduced to you by your parents. Joni Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane, Cat Stevens—these were all bands you were embarrassed to like in middle school and now can’t get enough of. Play “The Wind” by Cat Stevens and picture your father carrying you to bed one night. You pretended to be asleep so he could tuck you in and make you feel safe. Now you’re not sure if anyone has ever made you feel as secure as you did in that moment.

Slather on Deep in Thought sauce. See yourself as being either your mother’s child or your father’s child. Watch yourself developing habits like theirs. Wonder if everyone truly does just become their parents.

Question the people you’re attracted to and wonder if your romances have ever resembled the dynamic of your parents’ relationship. Are you essentially just dating your father (ew) over and over again? If so, how can you stop it? Like now?

Chop up 5 slices of Regret. Think about the time you made your mother cry on a long car ride and all of the times you ignored their phone calls, only to later come running when you needed their help. It was all so unfair but you figured that they understood. In the beginning, you needed them to live and now you’re just starting to only need them for love.

Everything is on your terms now. You choose how big of a role your parents play in your life. Once you start making your own money, you’ll no longer depend on them for anything other than support. This is something that’s scary for all of you. As much as they act burdened by your crap, parents like feeling needed; they like doing your laundry on the rare occasions you come home. They dedicated eighteen years of their life to you and now they have to remember what it was like without you. It’s not easy.

Loving your parents makes you feel grown up. Forgiving them for all of the damage they may have done to you and accepting them as the flawed insane people they are shows real growth…or something. You’re just tired of being angry, tired of keeping score, tired of blaming them for the things they got wrong. It got you absolutely nowhere besides the inside of a psychiatrist’s office. Granted, your parents weren’t perfect. In fact, they may have been horrible, but you’re the boss of you now. You make your own bedtime, you make the rules, which means you also have the power to love the parts of them that make sense and delete the parts that don’t.

When it’s done cooking, serve this dish steaming hot on a plate of No More Drama. TC mark

image – joshparent

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • Bethany
  • http://twitter.com/andeenero Andee Nero

    Now… how do you make a plate of “No More Drama”? Because I think that would go with a lot of other main entrees…

  • tz


    You pretended to be asleep so he could tuck you in and make you feel safe. Now you’re not sure if anyone has ever made you feel as secure as you did in that moment.” Yes

  • kzspygv

    I haven't been enjoying the glut of touchy-feely stuff on TC lately, but this is real shit. Thanks Ryan.

  • soulunsold

    Teary-eyed here. My only regret is that this wasn't longer.

    The Carpenters was my main musical take-away from my parents. Thanks for the reminder, Ryan.

  • Eiya Abrenica

    you nailed it :) … just said good night to my mom.

  • http://twitter.com/nanabuuui Anna B

    Love this. Sadly, I'm the one lecturing my father to eat healthy to avoid getting diabetes. And he yells at me for it :[ it used to be the other way around. It's harsh when the roles are reversed.

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