Mothers...we're well meaning, aren't we?
But, sometimes...okay, often...we don't know when to stop. We're full of all kinds of healthy tips, life altering opinions and smart, timely advice. We foist our hard earned wisdom onto our kids at every opportunity. Lucky them.
I don't know about you, but I'm frankly shocked - stunned - when my "graduated from the school of hard knocks" pep talks aren't embraced with evangelical fervor by whichever kid I'm bestowing them on.
Then I remember my own mother. Ouch.
She'd call and say, "Hi honey, how are things?"
Clearly, the woman antagonized me at every turn. I could barely keep a civil tongue when she unleashed insults like that. Then I got to thinking...
Every Mom/Kid duo has a code. They undertake conversations that look perfectly harmless to the unseasoned observer. But anyone with a mother knows when she says things like "Just calling to check in," she really means "I had to call because I'm sure your husband's left you and you've gotten fired." Every inane sentence is loaded like Courtney Love at an awards show. Like:
When I said to my son the actor, "You really do need to go to college so you'll have something to fall back on, for the security." He heard, "You have no talent, so don't think you won't have to get a regular job like the rest of us schlubs."
When I said to my daughter, "You might consider..." well, it doesn't matter what words finish that off. Any sentence that starts with "you might consider" is a minefield of underlying criticism. At least to the recipient. They hear, "Whatever it is you're doing now is so, so wrong. You need to do this instead. And by the way, I don't know how those kids will survive with you as their mother."
So, here's the thing mom - shut it. Really. It is possible to have an unexpressed feeling. I've heard.
I know, I know, you've been there done that and got the free steak knives. It matters not at all. If you haven't noticed that your kids do a pitch perfect Helen Keller imitation almost every time your gums are flapping you need to take a closer look.
The world has a way of letting everyone, including your kids, know if they're doing it wrong. They will figure it out. They'll live to have kids of their own to heave unwanted advice on. So, the next time you feel near to bursting with helpful tidbits, don't. Do what mothers have done for centuries. Pour yourself a glass of wine, get on the phone, and bitch about your kids behind their backs to your friends. God knows said kids are doing the same for you.
And here's the thing. While you are fairly certain your kids are careening to ruin, maybe they're just fine. Maybe they're right and you're...not.
Like that'd happen.