Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)
Even when they are grown up, they are your children. Mine will always be my baby. I know. I hated it also! My mom would tell people I was “her baby” and I immediately corrected her by saying “youngest.” Now, I get it. It doesn’t matter too much at this point. My daughter understands since she is my one and only, she will always be my baby. Even when she is married and a mom herself. She gets it. In this instance, she is more mature than I was at her age.
That being said. I am still trying, after 21 years, to get her to understand a couple of things we do as grown ups. One, when you are going somewhere, you tell your parents. Not to the store or out for dinner with friends, but leaving the state for more than a run across the border in a day kind of traveling. My daughter shares her calendar with us so we don’t call or text her while she is at work. We want to be professional and give her space to do things she has to do. My schedule is online as well so she can see when to call me and not interrupt my work day unless it is an emergency. So I knew she was flying to Florida for a wedding this month. I did not know she was leaving three days earlier to drive to Pennsylvania with her friend (whose mother is getting married). She did not leave an itinerary, no flight numbers, nor hotel name or room number, nada.
I have tried to instill in her the knowledge that you have to prepare for emergency situations. You make plans, just in case. I guess the two years of Girl Scouts did nothing at all. She used to be a planner. Like me. Yes, I like my lists and plans and all of those very OCD kind of things. Order makes me calm and feel like I am in control. Yes, I know I am not really in control and this is a game I play with myself. I thought I taught her to plan and implement.
In many ways my daughter is like me. She has picked up many of my good habits. Unfortunately, she has picked up a few back ones, like worry and stress. But she has not learned how to prevent some of that stuff. She has learned from her dad that it is okay as long as we a re having fun. That may not be a fair statement. I will give you an example of what I mean. My husband is the put off chores and lets have fun now kind of person. You know, “It will still be there when we get back” kind of person. He never understood when I would respond, “I know, that is the problem.”
My daughter has become that kind of person. Fun first. The difference is, she freaks out later and does the “Oh no! It is a problem now because I did not plan for …” and calls me to help her plan her way out of a problem she could have avoided on the front end.
So, her not letting us know she had left the state and was flying out of a different state, does not seem to be an issue for her. This is her dad’s way of thinking. I can just imagine his parents trying to raise him. It must have been terrible trying to keep track of where he was and who he was with at any given moment. I think they may have given up. They had other, more responsible children. I have one. She is my only child. I cannot give up. I will not.
So, I try humor. “You have to let me know where you are and where you are staying just in case I decide to die and Daddy has to let you know.”
Unfortunately, she is a chip off the block. “Sorry, I did dnot know you were planning to die any time soon.”
“No, it was ‘just in case’ because you never know.”
“Mo-o-om.” I can see the eyes rolling as we text.
Maybe I am a bit more OCD that I should be but it is because I live in a much too non-OCD world where it is okay for people to come and go and no one knows where you are. Maybe I should work for the government. I could teach mom’s how to indoctrinate their children into accepting the “motherly” hand of “Big-Brother.” Hmmm, a whole new career option just opened up for me.
Must run and explore that line of thought and make a plan. See ya’.
- Mothering with OCD (scarymommy.com)
- Life Doesn’t Come Easy (walkingthoughthedark.wordpress.com)