I’m glad my parents were hard on me

My mother used to say a phrase I’ll never forget.

As a teenager, there were times that I would refuse to do as she asked, would stomp my feet in anger, or argue that she didn’t love me. But she would always reply, “Wait until you’re a mother and you’ll see why I worry about you so much.” After becoming a mother three times over, I practically laugh when I remember those words. I know what she means.

My parents always wanted the best for us four children. They tried their hardest to provide for us financially, keep a comfortable roof over our heads, give us the education that we deserved. We were pushed to understand the value of a dollar, the value of family, the value of hard work. We weren’t allowed to talk back, we had to respect their authority at all times. I wasn’t allowed to drink until I turned 18, and I wasn’t allowed to date until I was out of high school.

At the time, I hated it. I hated the power they had over me. I hated the restrictions they had over my life. I hated the fact that they wouldn’t let me ‘have fun’. I thought all they wanted to do was control me.

I longed to have the lifestyle my friends had: going out on school nights, drinking alcohol at birthday parties, dabbling in dating, doing what typical teenagers did.

But I grew up and my outlook on life started to change. I turned 18, had a party with a few friends, had a couple drinks to celebrate, and that was basically it. I was busy studying at university, and having recently met my future husband, I didn’t wish for that life any more. I still haven’t changed, and it doesn’t bother me one bit.

However, I know that not everyone feels the way I do. Continue reading


Thuy Yau is a freelance writer.


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