Archive for February, 2016

05
Feb
16

Me a Pushy Mom? Surely not!

I know that if I have any followers still out there that they probably just did a spit-take to see me posting my first blog entry in a year and a half! I know I need to do some updating about me and MY love life, but I decided to go with a topic that I’ve been pondering today: my life as a mom.

It’s a bit of a weird thing being a mom of adult children. You want to give them their space, freedom and autonomy, but you also want them to call and come over for dinner. You want them to hug you and say I love you. On some level, you also want them to appreciate you! I mean, you did devote your entire life to them, right? Not to mention the baby weight, stretch marks, wrecked vagina and the hundreds of times you picked up the tab, bought them shit, slipped them a few bucks for gas, helped them move and supported them without question. It’s what parents do and I have no regrets, but when I divorced, relationships changed. Holidays changed. Traditions changed. Even though they were adults, the divorce impacted my children.

So I went from having daily contact with people that I shared a house with to having them live in different cities. It’s an adjustment. Also, the longer that I am apart from my ex, the more I notice the qualities that I don’t much like about him. (You know, the stuff that led to our divorce!) The little ways that he overreacts, how he can be narcissistic and selfish and how he often ignores the suggestions, opinions and feelings of others – including myself and our kids. Recently, I have noticed some of these qualities in one of my sons. Neither my ex nor my son is a particular asshole – they are both pretty decent guys in general. Lately, however, my son has been really short with me and get a lot of reactionary attitude from him. It’s like he’s become the moody teenager that he never was as a teenager. We haven’t had a major fight or anything, but there have been a few times when he has said something to me that seemed unnecessarily harsh and stung.

His hostile remarks seem to be inconsistent too – which makes them all the more hurtful because they are unexpected from my normally happy-go-lucky man-child. In general, we have a pretty good relationship, but I think that I sometimes need to realize that because I am MOM that my words carry more weight than just a friend. Comments that I would normally make to friends and other people may be more cutting and impactful because I am the mama. And I guess that’s because I’m important which is cool.

Several months back this particular kid had a rough split from his very long-term high school and college girlfriend. Interestingly, he found himself in a very similar situation to what mine was a few years ago – having been coupled since teen-dom and not having dated in ages. I’ve watched him through his recovery from the break-up. I’ve tried to be supportive without being intrusive and I have been delighted when he has wanted to share tidbits about his feelings. He struggled with finding out that his ex was dating a mutual friend of theirs and then he struggled with dating. He was seeing someone for a little while but admitted that he was having intense feelings for her far too early in their relationship. We talked about how all he had known his entire dating life was how to be in a committed, monogamous, long-term relationship. I told him that there was nothing wrong with being loyal and committed but that he didn’t know how to date casually because he had never done it before. I told him that I understood because I had been in the same place after his dad and I split up. I encouraged him to talk to the girl about it. I suggested that he use his humor to say something like “you’ll have to forgive me and maybe we need to have a signal if I get too intense. I was part of a couple for so long that I need training in how to just chill with someone…” We had some good talks and he was really positive and receptive about my suggestions. Yay!

I work really hard not to overstep boundaries with my kids. I am learning that just because they are adults now, I can’t apply the same degree of raunchy flippancy and sarcastic humor to my conversations (and texts) with them as I would with friends. Coming from mom, sarcastic becomes “passive aggressive” and cheeky becomes “guilt-trippy” and anything remotely racy becomes “inappropriate” or “God, mom! No!” I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but not a lot. As I said, I try to keep that parental impactfulness in mind and tread lightly most of the time.

The other day, however, I forgot to use my filter. Alcohol may have been involved. So here’s where I need your option of how horrible I am on the parent scale. Because I feel like I went full cliché on the meddling mom scale. I was out at a bar where my man was shooting pool with his team which includes a younger gal that I’ve met a couple of times but never really talked to. That night we sat at the same table, talked a lot, hit it off, laughed. She’s super cute and near the end of the evening I asked her how old she was. She told me and then said “why do you ask?” I said I wondered if she was an appropriate age to fix up with my son. (She is – she’s 3 years older than he is.) I basically said that I thought that they would hit it off and before I even showed her his photo she wrote her number on a bar coaster and gave it to me (adding to the cliché,) and suggested that the four of us should go out sometime. She even told me what days she has off. I was mostly just curious about her age, I didn’t have any big plan in mind, but when she responded so enthusiastically, I was whipping out my phone and showing pictures and talking about how tall my kid is. After sending him three texts about it on the way home, I started to have that “oh shit, what did I do?” feeling…

What do you think?

Am I the worst mother in the whole entire world?

 

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