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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Do you ever wonder what it must be like to be your parents?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25799 points ) March 30th, 2014

I’m not asking whether you wonder what it’s like to be a parent.

I’m wondering if you’ve ever imagined yourself in your parents’ shoes.

As my parents age, I talk to them on the phone, and they will say something about looking at pictures of themselves at younger ages that are displayed in their hallway. They often remark how amazed they are to be their advanced age.

I think about their lives. I have heard about many of their experiences. I wonder what it would be like to be in their skin when those momentous events occurred.

What do you imagine it would be like to be your parents?

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11 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Both my parents are dead, but…I really identify with my father most. I inherited his personality style and have made a lot of posthumous connections. He was an INTP architect literally and I am an ENTP. Got the extroversion from my mother but not her overly sensitive feeling function. haha
A few years ago I surprised myself upon discovering my talent for design work and realized I inherited this from my father.

I have pondered some of their life experiences from what, I imagine, their perspective, but mostly I just find the DNA to be very interesting in how it has shown up in me, the offspring.
I do think it would have been fun to know them as young people.

anniereborn's avatar

Yes, I have done this quite often. If I hadn’t I would have never made peace with the memories of my deceased father. And I wouldn’t have found my way back to loving my mother with all my heart.

Aster's avatar

No; I knew them all my life so I think I always knew what it was like to be them. I turned out to be a lot like my father with whom I was never close. Amazing. He liked the outdoors, fishing, gardening, avoiding surgeries as much as possible, country living. My mother just went along with what he wanted to do and stayed inside. I’m not like her. If we could only live in the country my resemblance to him would really stand out. I learned a lot from him but only realized this within the last few years!

Symbeline's avatar

Being my parents must feel like eternal shame and contempt. :D

Seek's avatar

I don’t know if my brain is capable of that kind of insanity.

ucme's avatar

My mum brought up three boys as a single parent & suffered the tragic death of a daughter at just six weeks old due to being born with a faulty valve in her little heart.
I wonder what it must have been like all the time & am left in awe of the woman, happy mother’s day mum…love ya!

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, I have thought about it. I think they really had a lot of fun with my sister and I when we were very little. We were smart and fun and overall good children. The teenage years another story.

I think my mom and dad both did a lot of things they didn’t love doing, especially my mom. My mom never loved working, and she was a slave in some ways to her husband and her children, like so many women in her generation. Now I think she is relatively happy being retired and for the most part doing what she wants to do.

When I think about how old they are, well, I am sure my dad feels like he is living on borrowed time. He had his heart bypass at age 46. He had one carotid artery completely tied off in his early 60’s. He had a stent put in a heart artery last year. He is 71 now. I think my dad feels like he did get to accomplish many of the things he wanted to. He wanted to travel the world, and he has seen a lot of it. He wanted to have a million dollars. He doesn’t have a million, but he has a really good savings and no money worries. He got his PhD, which coming from his impovershed beginnings is a real accomplishment. The one thing that tortures my dad is my sister has cut him off from her life, and he will likely die with him thinking she thinks he sucks as a human being. Moreover, he worries her attitude leaves her unhappier than she needs to be. I think my father also wishes he had had grandchildren.

dxs's avatar

I used to do this a lot. It’s probably why I don’t want to get married.
I’d dread living their lifestyle of constantly being in a messy, always cluttered house of useless things. But they seem to like their jobs. I could live doing my dad’s job.

Adagio's avatar

I often think about what it must be like to have an adult child with a debilitating illness (me), I imagine they feel totally helpless. If I think about my daughter being in my position I would feel sad and guilty (for what exactly I don’t know but trying to be rational doesn’t always prevent feelings like that) and helpless and wish for all the world I could swap places with her.

Cruiser's avatar

I have asked my mom this very question many times. I have 2 boys of my own and know all too well how tough a job that is….and she gave birth to 5 of us and when I asked her how on earth did she raise that many kids she replied….I didn’t raise you….you all raised each other. So I guess I have had the advantage of on the job training since I was 2.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Oh god, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. My father died when I was young and I became a real wild child after that. I would have shot me if I was my parent.

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