Isn’t being a parent fun? This past week I had to take a pack of cigarettes away, reiterate that permission is needed to come into my bedroom and conduct a manners lesson about talking with a mouth full of food. All that was just with my 75 year old mother!
I always swore I would never move back with my parents. Now my mom lives with me. How did that happen? It is a bit surreal to tell you the truth. I love my mother but I don’t “know” her. My mom went through a 20+ year depression. During that time, I grew up, got married and had two children of my own while working full time in a law enforcement position.
Fast forward to 3 years ago. My 94 year old stepfather got sick and my mother broke her shoulder AT the hospital. I was already handling their limited finances and at the time there was no other option than to have her come live with us. What initially started temporary turned permanent when my stepfather passed away. They call it the sandwich generation. Mine must be made out of bologna.
If my 15 year old daughter sneaks cigarettes into the house - I can ground her. If my 13 year old son comes into my room without permission, I can give him extra chores. If either of them continuously talk with food in their mouth, I can send them away from the table. I can’t ground my mother. She doesn’t even drive.
I have tried to talk to her about not smoking in the house (she is careless), not just walking in my room (one time my hubby went to work late - I am not about to be caught by my mother at my age - ewwwwwww!) and I have asked her not to talk with food in her mouth so that I can understand her. She always says “ok” or “I know”. Then she does it again. *Sigh*. Yes, at least I have my mother but at times it gets very frustrating and confusing.
Is it that she still thinks of me as a little girl and not a grown woman? Often she acts like a child herself and I wonder if she is in early stages of Alzheimer Disease or something (we are going to have an evaluation done). It is weird to be my mom’s mother when I didn’t have her as a mother for myself for such a very long time. Now it is like there is just an older stranger living at my house. She's my mother but I am mothering her. I know she didn't choose to go into a long, terrible depression but when I could have been learning from her about how to be a mother, she was unaccesible emotionally.
It is what it is. I try to accept that and I punt a lot. I do know that I want/need a different relationship with MY daughter. So I am trying. I know I have to be her parent and that is fine but I am also attempting to do more than that. One thing we have connected over is a guy named Clay Aiken. We both love his singing. We love going to his concerts and she doesn’t even make me drop her off at the gate so she doesn’t have to be seen with me. Hey, she is 15 years old so that is BIG!. We are making memories together. Something I didn’t have with my mom.
My mom seems to like Clay’s voice too. Maybe that is a starting point. It’s worth a try.
In the mean time - pass the chips - they go pretty well with bologna.
Families make good stories. Check these out: Hobbies and Sally Rand McNally