It’s funny how we carry a sense of ownership towards people. That’s MY son. That’s MY mommy, that’s MY daddy, etc. We do this in all our relationships it seems. That MY girl, that’s MY friend and so on. It goes on and on.
It gives the impression that people are possessions, especially in the context of our children. How can we not think of them as ours. We seed and give birth to them, we take care of them, teach and guide them the best we can. We invest ourselves into them as we do in our other relationships. So it makes sense that we feel a sense of ownership and entitlement. Although that is the unspoken truth we never say or admit out loud, or even to ourselves. Yet our words and actions communicate that is in fact, what we do think and believe.
So it is no surprise when we feel rejected, hurt and betray by those we consider ‘ours’ whenever they assert themselves and do something against our wishes or expectations. How dare they walk around, doing what they want with no regard to my desires. They are ours, after all. LOL
With subliminal thoughts like these, it’s no wonder we experience jealousy, when our loved ones choose to act in ways other than what we’d like. Lately, I’ve find myself quite jealous of my son and his mommy. I mean, all that I pour into him, all that I give to this kid… Yet, for him, Mommy is his favorite! Lol … I know it’s totally ridiculous. I, a grown man, hurt by a four year old and jealous of his relationship with his mommy. Sad, Zay… Just sad 🙁 Logically I am aware that we are all mamma’s boys at that age. Yet I sometimes catch myself feeling that I’m the cool dad that does so much more of the fun stuff. The independence and self development encouragement stuff, and the hands on teaching stuff with him. Still at the end of the day, mommy is the preference and I catch myself feeling slighted. Why? Because somewhere deep down, he is “MY’ boy, and I think I own him.
After recently talking with a friend of mine, I began thinking more about this. She is dealing with her own issues in child rearing. A single mother of 3. Her oldest, an 11 year old, expressed his desire and intention to go stay with his daddy for a while. Although she says she is open to it and will allow it, she admits, deep down it is killing her. As she has stated herself “That’s MY baby, I raised him day in and day out”. Now, she is stressed out, hurt, jealous, and all sorts of upset. Understandably so too, I am not knocking her feelings in anyway, as they are very valid and legitimate. I understand that the two situations aren’t comparable, still there are some similarities in the feelings and mindset there. Her feelings are just a more extreme version of the silliness that I feel, in my own scenario. Feelings shared by all parents, and people at one time or another.
I am reminded none the less, that regardless how much we love, give and do for someone, we truly do not own them. This seems especially so for ‘our children’. We can not control them. Nor make them feel, do or say what we want. We may try, and even succeed with force, but even then, any appearances of ownership or control is an illusion. It’s not real, nor should it be as we ourselves in most cases refused to be controlled and treated as possession as well.
So, that leaves me where… It is human to feel these things. There is no point in judging them. So the only way that I can come to terms with the fact that I can’t control my son… The fact that mommy is his favorite at the moment (lol), is simply to accept it. Accepting him for who he is, regardless of the lack of control, his insistence to do his own will… Is simply acceptance. Not always easy… But it is just another way, that I may express that love.