This I Believe

Nicoletta - Livonia, Michigan
Entered on June 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Child Rearing

I believe that child rearing should be less of a romantic idea or image and should be seen as more of a huge responsibility and life change. People really need to think about parenting before they jump into having kids because some never realize that you will never be number one again. It will never be “me” your me time will be their time and THEIR time is what matters the most.

I am now nineteen and I have long realized that child rearing should not be taken lightly thanks to my parents. I was born in 1989 into a family where my mother was twenty one my father was twenty five and my sister was three. We had lived happily until I was the age of five. My parents had eloped due to grudges among their families when they were three years younger. At the age of five my father had left us a week before Christmas and us had a new meaning because I had a newborn brother.

Throughout my childhood I had dreams of gripping onto a man with a suitcase at the door. I later learned that that man was my father. I had vague memories of hiding in cabinets while my parents cried and threw plates at each other. I grew up traveling to Grosse Pointe every weekend to go visit my father. When I was seven my mother had gotten remarried to Claudio. We moved into his house soon after the wedding.

I lived there for seven years and during those early years I had seemed to forget all the terrible memories of screaming, fighting and pain. In 1997 they had my youngest brother Antonio. Soon after Claudio would have more than one glass of wine at dinner and my mom would stay out later than eleven, the time she would come to our beds every night to tuck us in.

The fighting erupted there too. My sister left and moved into my grandparents house and my older brother with my father. It was Antonio and I always waiting out the storm. Like my own father, Claudio left.

By my early teens I could do whatever I desired. My mother started locking herself in her room for days on end. The only thing I could recognize on her anymore was the nasty smell of alcohol and cigarettes. I would watch Antonio during the day and at night I was free to do whatever I wanted. My dad would stop by everyday at seven to see if I was okay, but that was the only guidance besides school I had. My father for a half hour at seven, how ridiculous. When he left that’s when I would call my friends to come over or when I would pack a bag and spend the night somewhere. That somewhere was usually a friends house and we usually were only there to pass out after a party.

It was fun for awhile until my grades started to drop, I became skinny, depressed and sleepless. I would often have mental breakdowns trying to pry my mother out of bed or trying to get my little brother to listen to me. I couldn’t keep the house clean anymore. My world was crumbling underneath me.

After an ulcer and a couple trips to the hospital with my mom due to overdose or alcohol poisoning, my father had decided it was enough. By the age of sixteen I had out lived myself and had to start over. Three years later I am better and starting to get off depression medication. I don’t even know if I would like to ever have kids.

Knowing someone could ruin a child’s life is too much to bear. If I ever have kids it will not be until I am in a secure relationship with a husband who will not leave. I would make sure to NEVER neglect my children. So please, before you ever have children please think of them and what their life will be like. If that’s not enough, think of me.

(sorry I didn’t know where to shorten it, thank you for reading my essay.)