Eventually, either when we’re young or well into adulthood, some of us realize our parents probably shouldn’t have had us. Our parents were ready for babies. They wanted a baby, and maybe even a small child, but they weren’t ready to raise a full-grown human into adulthood.
They romanticized the idea of a family, wanted a baby of their own to hold, and they did it. But then we grew, we asked questions, we needed help. They had no idea what they were doing and suddenly we were on our own.
We are the children of parents who probably shouldn’t have been parents. Many of us are wandering the world, lacking basic skills to connect emotionally. We’re not close with our parents like other people, because our parents weren’t the type to teach us about emotions. Maybe they couldn’t connect like that in the first place and that’s why they had us, hoping we would just naturally bond, not realizing some emotions need to be guided. Love, for example, while seemingly innate, takes some explanation when you’re five.
We don’t travel in packs, because we don’t know how. Our parents never taught us the significance of sticking together. Maybe they never showed us what it meant to be a family or how important family was. Or maybe they pressed it upon us too hard because they felt they were losing us and we felt suffocated, fleeing as soon as we could.
Growing up with parents who weren’t ready for you or lacked the skills to raise you was odd. It didn’t mean you didn’t have food or shelter. They could provide for you, but you were severely psychologically and emotionally malnourished. You raised yourself, reminding yourself you were worth something, and you were smart, and one day you would figure out why you were so sad.
You took solace in characters from books, movies, and television. To Kill a Mockingbird’s Atticus was your father and Marge Simpson was your mother. Dr. Seuss showed you what it was like to be kind and to stand up for the little guy, and the Tanners reminded you that families, maybe not yours, but some families hugged when they had disputes.
And while you had all of your physical needs met, you grew up wondering why your parents had you, and made mental notes about how you’ll do things differently when you have children.