The great parenting paradox

This is something that I have thought about for a long time and it is still a mystery to me. When I was a child, it was such an emotionally crushing time of my life. It really wasn’t anyone’s fault and I am not trying to place blame. It was just the circumstances of my life and really Paul’s too. We both grew up in very difficult situations. So much so that we would do almost anything to give our children the “perfect” childhood. The childhood that we never had.

There were times that I didn’t think I was going to be strong enough to make it through my childhood. I emerged as a healthy adult, but not without battle scars and wounds. I don’t think that I will ever be able to outrun my demons. We have worked incredibly hard to provide an ideal childhood for our children.

However, surviving through difficult times has made me the strong person that I am today. It has given me the courage, the determination, and the grit. I am not a superficial person. I am raising children that I did everything I could to make their life like mine wasn’t. Parents always seem to want things for their children that they never had. I am raising children who have sharing a room with their sibling as their biggest hardship. I have no sympathy for that. I am happy that I feel successful in giving them a great childhood. Yet at the same time I feel resentful. Am I raising healthy kids or spoiled brats?

I sometimes wonder if I am like a parent who grew up hungry overindulging their children with food. Or a parent who grew up poor overindulging their children with vast material wealth without them having to work for it. Is too much of a good thing a bad thing? Will shielding my kids from stress and pain allow them to handle it better when they grow up?

So the question still remains in my mind. Am I doing the right thing? Would I be a better person if my childhood environment was ideal? Would I be able to appreciate the good things in life without experiencing the bad? Sometimes with parenting, there are more questions then answers..

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