Sep 11, 2022 News
==The Creators’ Coven==
By Zena Henry
I am in my mid 30s with no children, and although plans were afoot for that to happen in the not-so-distant past, unfortunate circumstances did not allow it to materialise. But that hasn’t stopped many from making their calls to see me with a baby bump. Over and over, I hear people saying to others, especially young men and women, that they need to make kids; as if this somehow is a hallmark of being alive and being grown.
I’ve heard and seen people make jokes against those without children and even mocking them as barren and wasting time here on earth. But, you know what always gets me, the ease with which these people say these things, as if having kids is just a stroll in the park; with little to no responsibility attached to it; as if it does not require commitment which for some, literally means the rest of their life dedicated to another human being or just conscious that they exist and they are forever attached to them.
I have never seriously told any male or female that they needed to make a child. And for the simple fact that I understand and accept way too much what that parent job entails, and have too many examples of what one failing at that job could look like. I also joked about my life being over if I were to have kids because I strongly feel like all my time and attention would be devoted to them. What I really mean by this however is me taking full responsibility and applying all efforts to ensure I do my best in raising and providing for my children. I mean, I want to be there for their first step, their first word and everything that comes with having an infant. I don’t want them in a preschool because I believe that for the first few years is for me to bond with my baby and instill in them the early teachings of life that I want; not for someone else to do that or for them to assimilate what lessons the environment has to offer.
But how am I supposed to do all of this if I still have outstanding dreams, when for me, I have not achieved my desires and am not ready to let go of a life that does not serve the interest of my kids. Now, I say this to highlight the urgent role that responsibility plays here. Many fathers and mothers produce offspring but are not ready for it; not ready to let go of the life that is not conducive to their parenting. Some of them walk around upset and bitter, no at their kids, but at the fact that they had them when they were not necessarily ready for them.
It’s unfortunate to say, however, that in many of these cases, the kids end up feeling the squeeze for their parents’ decisions, because they were not ready to care for another human and more importantly, not ready to give up the life free of such responsibility. In the process, you have all types of human beings now coming forth; some with characters that can’t even describe a pig. And for me, all of this is the result of the parent who was not ready for parenthood. No, we are not talking about the “own-way” children, we are talking about parents who were not able to put their best foot forward because they did not take responsibility for the upbringing of their offspring whether it was planned or not.
This is a big example to highlight the importance of responsibility/accountability, and a most fitting one because taking responsibility for one’s life continues to be the greatest gift that someone could give themselves; and I am speaking from experience. My last two columns have been talking about owning up and taking responsibility for your life and actions. We know for one thing, that when we own up and take responsibility for our lives, we tend to achieve more and are much happier because we are doing what we want and seem to have much control over that.
Let’s look however, at some of the reasons why we find being responsible and accountable for our actions so hard. ‘Living well with Sharon’ has noted, however, there are many psychological reasons, in particular, why we have difficulty owning up. Trauma is one reason; it was said to have serious effects on how one responds to what they are responsible for. Avoiding responsibility can be a response to trauma and some people who experienced painful abuse, criticism, betrayal, rejection, or other trauma, continue to see themselves as victims; they are so focused on their own emotional pain that they struggle to see how they harm others. Others have traumatic memories of being severely punished, blamed, or ignored when they made mistakes as children, which understandably, makes them reticent to admit when they’re wrong now.
It said that where perfectionism is concerned, people who expect themselves to be perfect or have impossibly high standards also have trouble acknowledging their mistakes and shortcomings. Perfectionists base their self-worth on their performance and achievements. So making a mistake—and admitting they are less than perfect—is especially painful for them. And all-or-nothing thinking magnifies small mistakes, making them seem like major failures to a perfectionist.
Shame is an overwhelming feeling of embarrassment or distress, Sharon pointed out. She said when people feel ashamed of their behaviour, they may “shut down”, deny, hide, or lie about their behaviour in order to save face and lessen the distress they feel about it. But it is even worse with an inability to change. Research about taking responsibility shows that when people believe they can change, they are more likely to admit their mistakes. This makes sense because taking responsibility for our mistakes is usually the first step in changing our behaviour.
But feeling entitled is a serious challenge regarding accountability. Some people think they’re superior to others and therefore are entitled to do what they want without bearing the consequences. Often, this is an unconscious attempt to overcompensate for self-doubt, low self-esteem, or insecurity.
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