This year, I’ve been learning some hard truths about myself- you guessed it- the hard way. Many traits and coping mechanisms that I’ve been trying to unlearn, a lot of them stemming from childhood, my past, and my culture.
I think there’s so much beauty in this challenge of learning to love and heal myself while raising a little human. It’s tricky because she’s absorbing all I do and it’s building her foundation, but it’s also a very genuinely raw process as she sees that life, love, and parenting are not linear or perfect in any sense.
I hope it teaches her that it’s okay to make mistakes, that she’s worthy of love and it’s okay to let go of people who fail to understand that. I hope it builds an open communication and honest relationship between us to grow and discover life’s ups and downs together.
I love my parents with all my heart, but I did recognize a lot of cultural issues that I’ve picked up on over the years. In Asian culture, it’s not common to discuss ‘taboo’ topics openly during dinner or at any point in time. My sex education was summed up in one word: DON’T. (We all know how that turned out 😃) I see my grandma exemplify some of these issues while in communication to my mother, and then the domino effect with her communicating towards me. Control and restrictions are somehow supposed to transfer into “love and care”. With all this passing down of information, I want it to end with me. I want my daughter to feel safe and comfortable talking to me about relationships, sexuality, sex, drugs and alcohol, addiction, and all the issues we have in the world.
As a Communication major and advocate for mental health, I think the most important thing in relationships is learning how to express yourself genuinely and feel heard, accepted, and validated. Let’s raise children who don’t have to recover from their childhoods.
As a parent, I’ve been learning to apologize when I’m wrong, and helping my daughter realize that none of us are perfect and I’m not above her as a parent. This displays healthy conflict resolution and shows her I’m human at the end of the day, just as she is.
It’s not easy but if you’re a parent, you don’t have to be perfect. And that’s okay, because all your little one needs is you. You’re doing the damn thing.
What are some things you’re unlearning or teaching yourself now as a parent that’s different from what you were taught growing up? ❤️