I Am My Mother
How many times have you caught yourself saying the same thing to your kid that your mother said to you?
The thing you swore you would never say to your children when you had them.
The word or phrase or lecture you dreaded to hear when you were about to walk through the door after a late night.
The words you would repeat in a mocking tone as you walked away from her.
I consider my situation to be unique in the sense that there weren’t a couple little things my mom often said that got on my nerves. Instead, there were just a couple of things that didn’t.
There was no “tisk tisk tisk” with the finger shaking back and forth coming from this woman. There were no idle threats of “telling my father” when he returned home from work. None of that crap was happening at my house, growing up. What was happening usually consisted of my mother bitching endlessly about all kinds of shit I didn’t care about. She always had this stick up her ass and nothing was ever good enough. Worse, she bitched about the same things over and over again – then she’d bitch about having to bitch about the same things over and over again.
What the hell, right? Like I was asking her to say the same shit 400 times.
Looking back, I guess I can see that it may have had something to do with the fact that I did not do whateverthehell it was she was asking me to do while she was bitching. That could have been because I stopped listening when she started ranting, or maybe because I was so busy thinking about how I would respond to actually hear the desperation in her voice when she pleaded with me to just do the simple things she asked me to do.
"I told you 4 days ago to put your shoes in your room!"
Yeah, maybe. But I wore them the last 4 days, so technically I at least got them out of the living room for the majority of the day. Can’t you ever see the good things I do?
"If you’d just do the damn dishes every night, you wouldn’t have this pile up at the end of the week!"
Sure, but then I’d miss Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place. Not to mention the absolutely necessary 3 hour phone call with my best friend even though we just spent all day at school together.Why are you so worried about what I do? Don’t you have enough to worry about in your own life? Jeez, Mom.
"I’m not going to tell you again!"
"I am so sick of repeating myself, I could scream!"
That’s pretty obvious, Mom. And for the record? I’m sick of hearing you repeat yourself, too. Just do us both a favor and stop already.
But now, with a defiant child of my very own, I can understand the torment and frustration my mother felt during those times. I can honestly say that I feel sorry for what she had to go through with us kids. She always felt like the “bad guy”, but the truth is that we forced her to play that role. My boy does the same thing to me on a daily basis. And I hate it. I’d much rather he did what I asked him to do the first time I said it so I didn’t have to punish him or get on to him with the “scary voice” it takes for him to actually hear me.
I’m so sick of repeating myself I could scream!
I absolutely refuse to tell him to do the simple things I need him to do again!
He’s walking a fine line and I’m guarding the border.
He has to listen because I’m the mom and I said so.
I will give him something to cry about.
And it will hurt me more than it hurts him.