I’ve always considered myself to be a little bit of a rebel. Probably more than I actually am, at least now anyway. Always trying to question the status quo and making decisions I thought were the “right thing” to do, regardless of the consequences. Then I decided I wanted to have children and everything changed. When I was being treated unfairly at work, I did not do anything to stop it. I stopped interfering with things I found unjust if it wasn’t my business. Stopped questioning things like I used to. I didn’t question relationships, life, politics, anything. At least not outside of my immediate safe circle of people. All I could think was “it’s not just me anymore”. I had to make sure I would be able to provide the life for my child I want him to have.
What is being a “rebel” really?
While that is true, it started to dawn on me that I also have to teach my child to become the person I hope he can grow to be. Being a rebel in a situation that is wrong and needs to be changed is a positive thing. Did I really want that person to be someone who just accepts things no matter how wrong they might be? Someone who doesn’t question what they are told to do before doing it? A sheep who is herded in with the masses that are too scared to rock the boat?
The resounding answer was, no. Absolutely not. I wanted him to be empowered. To question everything. Not just be willing to rock boats, but to sink the damn ships if he believed in his heart that is what was necessary and right. The only way he is going to be able to develop the confidence required to become that person is if I instill it in him. I cannot do that if I am tiptoeing around myself.
That’s when I decided it’s okay to be a rebel and a parent. I’m not talking the kind of rebel who fights every single thing and ends up destroying their whole life. I am talking about the kind of rebel who demands respect for herself and everyone around her. The kind of person who has educated herself and isn’t bullied into believing or supporting anything just to get ahead. If my boss says something that isn’t funny, I won’t laugh. If someone talks down to me, I stand up for myself. And if anyone ever dares to harm my child in any way, I won’t feel hesitate one bit to give them exactly what they deserve.
Why it is okay to be both.
Being a rebel and being a parent do not have to be mutually exclusive; despite what I had been told my whole life. Moms especially are always given the impression they should quietly take care of the house and family, and to not cause any problems. Well that’s too bad because that’s not the person or the mom I plan to be. My family will be taken care of. I will also be the rebel I have always been when that needs to happen for both the sake of staying true to myself and for my child’s sake. We will both be better people for it.
With all the chaos in the world today, the need to be strong and raise strong children is more apparent than ever. I know my child may decide to not share all (or any) of my beliefs, and even in knowing this, I still want to make sure he is strong enough to be a rebel for what he believes is best. To go ahead and upset some people. To tell people no without having to offer an explanation. Even if that person is me. People in my family have always told me they hope I have a child just like me so I know what it was like for my mother having a child always questioning things and causing trouble. In this aspect, I hope they are right. I hope he is a rebel like me.
What do you think? In what ways is it okay to be a little rebellious while still being a responsible parent? Let me know!