Parenting Tidbits: It’s Okay To Own Your Own Life

I’m up early this morning watching an old episode of Chelsea that is focusing on parenting in the 21st century. Namely, the episode interviews famous couples trying to find private schools for kids in New York and L.A., respectively, and a couple that has a gender non-conforming kid.

At one point, Chelsea is hosting a dinner party with a few different Hollywood parents,  Kate Hudson is at the table. Chelsea asks, “Don’t all parents fuck you up? I feel like my parents fucked me up a lot. They didn’t have a savings account and I just wanted to get out of there as soon as I could.”

Kate brings up a quote that, forgive me for chopping it up, says, “I want to damage my kid just enough to make them interesting.” That quote sounds more hostile than her actually telling (forgive me for being too lazy to rewind the episode).

Anyway, it has me obviously reflecting on my parents because I don’t want to have a kid anytime soon, not only because I’m young and broke and not into it but because of the bigger picture of the world we’re living in right now–who would want to raise a kid in this sort of hopeless, global hatred? I’d rather eventually be a foster parent or adopt a child who is not an infant and take care of somebody else who truly needs it.

I was sitting here sipping coffee and something hit me with remarkable clarity. I’ve always been extremely conflicted about essentially living out of state and far, far away from my parents, halfway across the country, for the past five years. I simply have felt guilty I can’t see them more. But it hit me, I don’t WANT to be anywhere near my parents.

I love my family a lot but hell yeah, they fucked me up–I’m not angry about it, though–and hell yeah, they still piss me the fuck off. Like all the time. They don’t even have to SAY anything–if they respond to something I say with silence, it causes irritation. Example: I totally push my mother and text her tirades about how John Kasich is a fucking bible-thumping republican asshole–she responds with silence or the ‘Ok.’ Annoyances with more longevity include that I wish my mother stopped trying to be perfect and I wish my dad read a book other than the bible. I wish my brother didn’t torch a bunch of brain cells with booze and I wish my other brother wasn’t a flippant douche and actually cared about communicating with me. But of course I love them, and I love being around them, and I’m just realizing I love getting away from them just as much.

In short, it feels rather revolutionary to comfortably say “I don’t want to be anywhere near my family because I want my own life.”

Why does it feel like that is something to be shameful for?


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