Monday, May 12, 2008

Mommy and Me

With Mother’s day said and done I began reflecting on my relationship with my mother and how it has changed throughout the years. In the beginning there was only Mom. She was the primary caretaker whatever she said was the law. My Dad also had to abide by the law, because as he said Mother knows best. So listening to my mother is something that has been ingrained in my psyche.

Of course things change during my teenage years I had ideas of my own. When those ideas didn’t coincide with my parent’s there would be the threat of mutiny. However that was rare I was fairly docile and quickly returned to the fold once I was told that my privileges would be revoked. (It’s no fun not having a car or a house to sleep in)

Then I grew up. I became a mature adult. My father began to see me as a man and treated me as such. Apparently my mom didn’t get the memo. In her eyes I am still a child finding his way in the world. That’s sweet, as I still need my mother’s love and support. But for the most part I am on my own. I don’t need her to hold my hand each step of the way. That is something she didn’t realize. Which caused conflicts.

The past couple of months have been quite disruptive as we each adjusted to our new roles. My mom is getting old. White hairs are already creeping in and she isn’t as alert as she used to be. I am also guilty of not seeing the changes my mom is going through. I too picture her as she once was. The wonder woman from my childhood, who knew all and saw all. And so I asked for her advice in areas that were not her expertise. She desperately wanted to help so she said whatever came to mind. I would soon learn that her words were indeed fallible.

That meant that I was truly the adult. And now I had to take care of my mother. The woman who brought me into this world, raised me, loved me, nurtured me was now in need of the same care from her offspring. I have my own style of doing things. Whatever I commit to eventually gets done. Otherwise I would not have made the promise in the first place. I believe in working smart not working hard. Anything that can be delegated, automated by machines or what have you should be done. My mom knows she needs my help but when she sees me working smart she thinks I am being lazy and ignoring her.

Again an old image of me is still in her mind. So she begins to nag. Which is something that really gets to me. I have no defense mechanisms against my mother’s nagging. It quickly and utterly disables my cognitive abilities reducing me to a raving lunatic. My explanations of how I am in fact doing what she has asked are viewed as excuses. Accordingly I need to be taught what to do which requires even more nagging. We were caught in this vicious cycle for quite a while. Things got pretty ugly pretty quickly. I still loved my mother but I couldn’t stand her and the feeling was mutual.

Then I had an amazing revelation. My mother is a woman and should be treated as such. Now the question was how. Around this time a good friend of mine introduced me to this guy:

His humorous insights made a lot of sense. Afterwards I kept quite during the nagging sessions. Which was amazing because afterwards my mom would realize she was wrong and that I was right all along! That was something that hit me like a ton of bricks. My mom started trusting me in my new caretaker role. And nowadays she is quite content and proud of me. Sure there is still the possibility of returning to the vicious cycle but we’re both smarter now and won’t let that happen.

So here’s to my mom the best mom a guy could ask for. My sister and I took her out to lunch for mother’s day. She had a blast hanging out with her kids.

What did you do on mother’s day? And how’s your relation with your mother. Tell all! I won’t tell anybody else I swear ;)

1 comment:

Michelle K said...

You're very lucky, and I'm glad you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

My relationship with my mother is very complicated and usually unpleasant.

I always try to remember that I can change only myself, and if someone does not like me the way I am, that is their problem, not my problem.

In general though, it's a good thing to remember as you go through life.