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.
1/21/2015 08:53:44 am
This made my day.
1/22/2015 06:38:54 am
LOL. Your future! Oh...and your present since you have moms. Plural. Lucky, lucky girl.
1/21/2015 10:46:09 am
You couldn't have written this post at a better time (for me), Kathleen. Wow! :) Late next week, I'm leaving on a vacation to go visit my niece and meet my newborn Great-Niece. There are probably so many tidbits of advice that will spring to my mind while I'm there (as this is my niece's first child) .... but you're right - she really doesn't need to hear my 2 cents worth. I need to just zip my lips closed and use them strictly for kissing that baby while I'm there. Thanks for the great (and humorous) reminder! :)
1/22/2015 07:05:42 am
Well, she probably DOES need to hear your two cents worth. But, she won't want to! Therein lies the rub.
1/21/2015 10:51:45 am
Just what I needed to hear today, my 17 and 19 year old kids are driving me nuts lately. Every thing I say gets met with resistance. I'm going to take your advice and just ignore them, god knows it doesn't matter what I say to them anyway, they're not gonna' listen, so why do I bother? Much better to grab a glass of wine and bitch to my friends, or go to a movie and ignore them back. Thanks for the validation :)
1/22/2015 07:06:59 am
Wine is the cure all for all life's ills isn't it? What's a mom to do?
1/21/2015 10:19:46 pm
Hysterically, alarmingly true!
1/22/2015 07:09:21 am
Well, you'll have plenty of time to pass on your perfectly curated words of wisdom since you're a new Grandma. Won't Day be thrilled?!
1/22/2015 01:49:10 am
I don't have any of my own children per say ... but have enough neices and nephews to know that this is "spot on"! Loved it!
1/22/2015 07:09:51 am
No worries. I think this holds true for husbands too.
1/22/2015 07:24:57 am
Oh yes! I know so get this! And as I shared my hopes and dreams to my mother about the music, acting, photography, writing, (I stopped short of clown college) careers, she alway said one thing: "Have a back up plan." You know what? She was right. They/we always are. ;) But... I've also learned to step back and let my boys figure some stuff out for themselves. This mom thing ain't easy! Where's the manual?
1/22/2015 09:17:12 am
Maybe it's the kids that need a manual! I personally think Clown College is underrated. Everyone needs to know how to wear big shoes and drive a teeny tiny car.
1/23/2015 12:02:18 am
Oh my, yes. My mom still does this to me and I am on the dark side of 40. Worse, I find myself doing it to my preteen. Let me tell you it is not working out so well. It is so very difficult to listen and not preach. I'm trying to get better....but not promising anything
1/23/2015 12:56:03 am
My mom did it till she died! I was 51...so. And I still do it to my kids, try as I might not to. Oh well, we all need something to aspire to!
1/23/2015 03:21:50 am
Yep, my mom still does it and sometimes I listen... mostly I don't :)
1/24/2015 01:39:12 am
LOL. My mom did it till her last breath. I probably will too. Moms...whatcha gonna do?!
I'm doubling over with laughter at 'I could barely keep a civil tongue when she unleashed insults like that'!! That is so me!! And, yes, I do see my own words bouncing off the wall and landing in nothingness when I'm speaking to my kids!!
1/27/2015 02:26:37 am
Our revenge does come when they have kids of their own. Hee hee...I laugh and laugh now.
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