Tuesday, October 1, 2013

52 WOBWAP: How my childhood impacted who I am today

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I remember being a child. About 5-6 years old. Being nurturing. Caring for my younger cousins and neighbors. I loved it. I always knew that someday I'd be a mother. A great mother. It was in my nature. 

Fast forward several years later. We moved to the United States. My mother, my brother and sister, and myself. My dad was unable to come because my parents weren't legally married. It was then when I was force to grow up faster then I had hoped. My mother was a single mother with 3 children to care for and bills to pay. She worked at a factory your regular 8 hours shift and I remember her doing a double from time to time to help ends meet. It was rough but she had me. She also had family but sisters that had their own hands full with their own family to care for. 

I learned to cook at age 11. Not your regular boiled egg or sandwiches. I was cooking rice, chicken, fried food, etc. she worked 2-11p so I was responsible for coming home and feeding my siblings with the food she had left us. When she did a double she would leave me notes on what to do/cook or the food half prepared so that I can finish it. I remember sharing a room with my brother and and having my sister sleep in my twin size bed with me until my mom got home, then she would put her in bed with her. Now don't go thinking my mom was irresponsible or unfit. She would have a neighbor keep an eye on us while we were home and put us to bed. Plus I was very responsible and mature for my age. 

After she switched to a day position we moved to an apartment where my brother had his own room and I had my own room. Until my youngest sister was born and then she slept with my mom and my middle sister slept with me. In a bigger bed this time :) Here I was responsible for helping her get us to daycare and school in the morning and get us home in the afternoon. This was at age 12. After my younger sister was born my responsibilities increased a bit more. I was like a second mom to her. She was my doll but in human form haha. 

That's how I grew up. Since age 11 I was always helping my mother around the house, caring for my younger siblings, growing up way too fast while missing out on my own childhood. Translating for her to the best of my ability when we had appointments and were out in public. I never thought I was missing out. I didn't know any better. She would walk us to the park on the weekends, birthday parties from friends from work, if we wanted something and she had the money she would get it from us. She tried as hard as she could to give us what we wanted. Most importantly what we needed. I can honestly say that a meal was never missing in our home. I didn't know what I was really missing until later in my teens and even now. Which i like to think it wasn't much. Reading and learning about others childhood makes me wish I had one similar. More fun. With less responsibilities. Yet I don't regret the one I had because that childhood impacted the woman I am today. 

For starters I appreciate my mother so so so much. She worked her butt of to raise 4 children on her  own never giving up and surviving on little food and lack of sleep to make sure we had what we needed. We didn't have it all but we had enough. All thanks to her hard work. 

I grew up knowing exactly what to do different so that my children have a better childhood. I learned from her mistakes. I may have flaws but those flaws teach me robe a better person with each passing day. 

I learned early on what it was that I wanted and how I wanted to be. 

I learn to have a different respect for all mothers out there. Even more for those raising kids on their own. 

I may have a childhood full of gaps of things I may have missed. I may wish I didn't have these gaps. But the important thing is being able to appreciate at least having a childhood. Whether it was full of responsibilities or not. Because even if I did have to take my little sisters with me places, I can still count the amount of fun I had and the memories made. 


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