“Big Hearts Little Tears” Status Symbols
This Chapter touches several subject topics. As a child growing up in the 50’s & 60’s, I wanted to touch on some more tabu subjects not talked about or rarely referenced.
The subject matter will include Status Symbols, (how having children) was mandatory for status, acceptance and survival of reputation. I will also discuss how some parents tend to live their dreams and goals through their children, and discuss Role Models.
I can remember as a child, hearing women talk about having babies, and what it meant if they did not.
In upper class neighborhoods women felt it was a necessary element to acceptance or to be respected. Being pregnant was like a sport, who could get pregnant first, who had the most kids, who had the perfect families. The draw back was, once the children were born, the drama begins on how to take care of them, and what is it doing to my body, my time and my social life.
No longer a size 3, how do I shop in my local boutique without someone seeing me? Will they notice my hips have gotten bigger? My waist is no longer 18 inches? “Yes, back in the 50’s, it was not uncommon for women to have 18-22 inch waist lines.”
Always putting up a front in the presence of others of being content, happy and fulfilled. The reality was, NOT.
My own Mother, though she said she tried so hard to have me, in the real world, she really hated what she had to endure and became after I was born.
Her 18 inch waist line was gone, her time to be a social lite was diminished, and her patience to render tender loving care was growing shorter by the days and months that followed. You have to remember she was a Model, Ms.Curity, Movie Extra, and Officer’s wife. How dare a baby do so much damage….
For a short time, she hired a Nanny, I still remember vaguely this full figured lady of color, bouncing me on her knee, providing hugs and kisses that were real, not fake and cooking for me. She was my rock as a small child, and the one I admired and looked up too.
I only remember my Mother during my first few years either yelling at me, or patting me on the head when her friends were around. I was never allowed into the living areas of our home when they were entertaining. I had to stay in my room. Or if I did get to come out, it was only after my Nanny dressed me up like a Barbie Doll, to show off to our visitors, then quickly shuffled off to my room for the rest of the evening.
It was also back then that parents had strict rules about bedtime. I had to be bathed and in bed by 8:00 p.m. only exception was some weekends or holiday events.
One day My Nanny said she would take me for ice cream and go to the park. That was the last time I remember seeing her. I was heart broken, no one told me what happened and when I tried to find out in my small way, I was told to be quite.
It was after that, my hell started as an abused child. I was the blame for anything and everything that went wrong in our home. I was constantly being verbally abused by my Mother, and by the time I was 5, the physical abuse started. She had hit and slapped me before, but never really beat me until then.
I think what is so sad, is I had no one other than the Nanny, I could count on, or look up too. My own Grandmother on my Father’s side disowned me because of my mother. She did not approve of my Father’s choice in a wife, she did not come from an affluent family with money, so My Grandmother never liked her, and therefore never liked me either. So visits to Grandma’s house was never enjoyable. The only fun I had, is if my cousins came over. They like me where to young to understand bias, or being prejudice regarding social statuses or wealth.
The other challenge to growing up with a parent who wants to compete or live through their children by insisting they pick up where they left off, in the goals and dreams department. This is one area that has continued through even today’s society.
Parents who have either failed in reaching their goals, or suffered a major change to being able to achieve them, have a tendency to go one way or another with their children.
One side of the coin is, they tend to discourage or talk down to their kids if they show any interest in something they do not understand or believe in. Using language like, “You will never become anything if you pursue this” or “Are you crazy? get a real career.”
The other side of the coin is, they tend to push their children into things they either use to be good at or wish they would have been. Sports and Professional White Collar careers are the most prevalent. And, some even in Blue Collar fields like Large Manufacturing or Union Type jobs. Does not really matter what it is, it is all a push to keep the “Blood” flowing in the same direction.
If we can not continue our dreams and goals, why not live them through our kids?
Stop the evil cycles, usually when this happens it is because it started with their parents. And it continues to plague future generations.
Encouraging your children to live their dreams is what we should all want to do. Supporting them in what THEY want to do is far more important, and will build better confidence, than trying to push them to something you want.
Obviously, I am relating to moral and ethical type careers and professions. If they want to be a hard criminal, we would do all we can to stop them, but it starts with how we raise them.
When I was a child I had all kinds of aspirations of greatness, wanting to be all kinds of different things, from a nurse to a big singing star..never really ever reaching my initial desires, but did manage to gain from my own efforts, and self support. Never ever did either of my parents or family encourage my dreams, just the opposite, I would hear things like “You can’t make a living doing that, or Are you Kidding, you are so silly.”
Kind of like the person who invented bottle water, people probably thought they were crazy too…
My goal in this Chapter is to shed some light on these subjects so we can make change, make a difference and help our future generations feel better about themselves and their right to pursue their goals and dreams..
We also need to pay closer attention to our children’s actions and to their mental states. No one ever wants to accept blame for what their children do, and granted, by age 5, most children’s minds are set on how they grow into adults.
At some point, we must accept responsibility for some of their actions.
Raising children is almost like molding clay, as long as it is porous, it is easy to mold, but once it starts drying, it is not that easy to create new shapes. We must positively affect their attitudes and minds while they are very young.
Like Cancer, if we do not find the underlying cells that are causing the damage, it will continue to grow and affect other good cells, then it becomes to late to fix. Do not let this happen to your children. Build and support them, teach and love them. Happy and well supported, loved and educated children will grow up to be Healthy happy Adults.
“This Chapter is dedicated to my first great grand baby, Macie born 11.30.12”