Childrearing

My Mother Still Doesn’t Think I’m Capable Of Mothering

By  | 

motheringLast week, my daughter went on an overnight trip with her school for one night. My mother called the night my daughter was away and I told her that my daughter had an overnight with her class. My mother said, “Why didn’t you tell me?” as if I had forgotten to tell her that my daughter had just gotten into Harvard.

“Because it’s only one night,” I answered. “It’s not a big deal.” But that was just the beginning. My mother then asked, “Did you send her with warm clothes? Because it gets cold at night now.”

Of course I answered as any annoyed daughter would.

“No, I only sent her in a bikini,” I said blankly. Clearly I was joking and my mother understood that. But, still, she persisted.

“Did you send her in warm clothes?”

Of course, my answer again was, “No, I only sent her in a bikini.”

I don’t think my mother was too happy with me, but I’m sorry. I’m my daughter’s mother. What was my mother thinking? That I would actually send my daughter on an overnight trip late in September in Canada without warm clothes?

I was telling my friend this story and she said, “Well, I can beat you at that. My mother-in-law calls every night at eight p.m. to ask if the children have eaten dinner. As if I would totally forget to feed my kids.” My friend ranted that OF COURSE she fed her children and not only did she feed her children, she had fed them hours ago.

What is it with grandmothers? Rather, what is it with grandmothers who think their own daughter’s aren’t responsible parents, who know to feed their children and to pack accordingly for an overnight trip?

I suppose part of the reason is that even though I’m almost 40 years old, and have been a mother for nine years, I’m still my mother’s daughter and, I think, maybe she’s still looking out for me. This doesn’t make it any less annoying though.

I love that my parents are so involved in my children’s lives. In fact, I don’t think I could thank them enough for all the help they have given me over the years. I also don’t think they can help themselves. For example, I go to Miami about once every six weeks. Each and every time, without fail, my father asks me if I’ve packed my bathing suit and my passport. My answer usually is, “Nah. I’m not packing those things.” Ahem. OF COURSE I’m packing my passport and bathing suit. I’ve traveled all over the world for two decades and yet this is still the question they ask me. It only makes sense, I guess, that this weird interrogation of theirs passes on to my daughter.

But, like I said, give me some credit. Or don’t ask me stupid questions. Most mothers I know, in my opinion, are great mothers. Not one mother I know would send their child on an overnight trip without warm clothes at this time of year. And, not one mother I know, would not feed their children dinner.

There are a million other examples of my parents asking stupid questions. Like I said, I’m almost 40. But whenever I go to their place for dinner, and am about to leave, they STILL ask if I have to use the bathroom. I think, at my age, I know when I have to go to the bathroom, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, I kind of see all of this in my future. I probably will be the type who asks my daughter if she has to go to the bathroom when she’s 20 years old too. I suppose that’s all part of mothering: the good, the bad, and the annoying.

(photo: Nejron Photo/ Shutterstock)