The Strange Science Behind Families

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

A friend of mine once confided that she didn’t necessarily always like her child. She loved them dearly, of course, but often found them irritating, annoying and a bit “high maintenance” for her taste.

She continued by crying and adding that she was ashamed, feeling like a very bad mother for the admission .  Why be ashamed? I asked.  I have three children of my own, and I vary from day to day as to who is more tolerable.  I find this to be normal.

I then posed the question to her:  Do you feel like we have unattainable expectations to ALWAYS LIKE and LOVE our children? She urged me to continue.  It is like a strange science experiment, I added, where we mix DNA over and over again, getting very different results and yet are expected to LIKE each outcome each time.

When you think about it, our children are the science experiments of our lives.  We blend genetics as parents and create and raise very different offspring.  Raised by the same “scientists” that created them, and with every attempt at making things FAIR, they still turn out different each and every time.

We LOVE each outcome, love their differences, their unique personalities, and quirky characteristics, yet we cannot deny to ourselves that each creation has a different capacity that makes them LIKE-ABLE.

If we really LIKED every member of our own families, we would have not need for friends, hence the term “Friends are the Family you Choose”.  We are born by scientists, and often raised by those scientist who created our siblings as well.  Yet as children we learn quickly to adore or distance ourselves from our siblings.  We pick friends and begin to run in different circles.  We are not judged by this, in fact, it is a point that most people have in common:  sibling rivalry.

We are not judged when we make statements such as “I don’t like my sister, she can be such a *#@*” or “my brother and I don’t get along, he is a real #@!*%”.  These comments are accepted and can often lead to some interesting conversation at dinner parties.  Yet as parents, are we shunned to admit our occasional DISLIKE of our own children?  Or do we just assume we will be judged, therefore chose not to share this controversial information?

I encourage parents to be more open to this idea and share.  Be tolerant of other parents and the science they have created and are trying to live within.  Do not shame a parent who cannot always like their own child.  We never truly know the laboratory mess they are in.  That is why they have friends too. To feel normal in their own experiences.

I for one won’t judge you and I have a friend who won’t either. We are all in the same laboratory of life together, just trying to figure our the mystery and science of our own families.

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