Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Am My Mom - Argh!

Visiting a friend, a mother of three children and a new puppy, our conversation turned to mothering.

"I picked up the screaming child and just held her until her mother could get to her. When I got home, I worried that maybe I had stepped on my sister-in-law's toes by not asking if I could help before scooping up my angry niece."

Heather called later to apologize for her action. Of course, the sister-in-law was thrilled to have the help. However, my friend needed to it for herself.

"I know I did something my mother would have done. It bothered me."

Oh, do I know that feeling. How often do I just dive in when not asked? I mother when mothering isn't necessary. I step on toes without thinking. I think I'm helping when in essence I'm not trusting the judgment of my children; I'm assuming I know better. I am my mom. There I said it.

By living with my daughter and granddaughters, I have become even more aware of my place and my 'duties'. My daughter will be 40 in a couple of years. If she doesn't know what to do by now, I'm certainly not going to tell her....or I try not to tell her. Since this is my house as well as hers, the lines are sometimes fuzzy.

My mother was just like her mother. She had an answer for everything and a better way to do it. We didn't do much right as children and seemed to do it worse as adults. I wonder that my children turned out to be such wonderful adults. It's difficult to change yourself when raised as such. The work on self is much harder.

Slowly I am finding contentment in sitting back. I don't want responsibility of anyone else. I don't want to be a referee, decision maker or planning chairman. I'm tired. I raised my children. I trust them to survive their mistakes and mine. I trust them with my grandchildren.

Just one problem.....sometimes they tell me what to do. Hm.

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