Monday, February 15, 2010

Moms will be Moms

In my last post I wrote about my middle son having surgery. Well.. tomorrow it's time for the eldest one to stress out his poor old mom. He is going in for knee surgery. Ooooh wait... Olympics has the ice skating on! My fav! brb...
Wow! that was gorgeous!
anyway... Do Moms Ever catch a break? My mom will be 81 this year. Thank-god she is doing very well, but BOY can she worry! When she worries, she has a way of bringing out the ABsoLUTE worst in me! and BOY does that make me feel so guilty! Do moms EVEr NOT feel guilty? Guilty when we are too tough! Guilty when we are too nurturing! Guilty we didn't do enough! Guilty we did so much we were enabling! Sheeeeesh ! its the toughest job in the world!
Back to MY mom... She will leave these RIDICULOUS worry-filled messages on my machine, when she knows something is going on over here.. (actually even when NOTHING is going on and she is just imagining that I may be having a rough time, because it seems like a long time since she's heard from me!! (a few days)
And if I dont' get back to her in what she considers a reasonable amount of time...The NEXT message (ONE hour later) is down right nasty and sarcastic! "LU.. IS something going wrong and you just don't want to tell me??!!! I don't like this!!! I am WORRIED!! I know you're busy.. but My god, you can't be THAT bust that you can't JUST call you mother and let me know everyone is okay!!! IT's not fair that I should worry like this!! CALL ME!!"
Of course when you are stressed out with kids with surgery or the other millions of things that stress you out or you're just having a ridiculously busy work day... the LAST thing you have time for is to stop and Call a crazy woman! Recently, she left THREE crazy messages before I had the time to pick up the phone.. Of course when I did....OOOOOHHH there was SMOKE coming out of my ears And fire from my sassy mouth! (I let her know that the pressure she is putting on my with these calls is adding MORE stress to my life and she has to STOP panicking that something is wrong! "If something is wrong, You will be The FIRST person I tell! Okay?!!! Stop screaming on my machine!!!)"
Then the guilt hits me. HARD! My poor mom is 81! I am so so lucky that she is still kicking, especially when so many friends I know have lost their moms at a much younger age. So would you like to Know what's going to happen next?.... I can tell you, because We go back and forth like this so often! It's a predictable dance, But a Dance that seems to be working to keep our relationship in tact.... I won't get a message from her for a long time. I will have to do the calling. When she finally leaves a message, she will be talking much slower than normal,
and she will say something sarcastic like this ... Lu? I'm sorry to call you.I know you don't want me leaving messages. I Know I must be bothering you. Your SO busy all the time, but I just wanted to tell you something.. do u think it would be too much trouble for you to call me?....
(the dance continues) ...

I call her back and TRY patiently to say something like " MOM... You KNOW u can Always call me! I WANT you to! It's the way you Yell and Panic and demand I call you right back, that makes me stressed and Angry! For goodness sakes, Just make a NORMAL caring phone call!! (this is my favorite part of our choreography!) For many calls afterwards I get these type of messages (I call them the SYbil calls because I just know this Is NOT my real mother) Mom becomes all sweet and loving and talks much quieter than her normal 'Screaming Brooklyn' tone. She lengthens all her words. For instance, sweet heart becomes Sweeeet hearrrrt.... I get messages like this one...(try to read it the way she says it) "Hi sweetheart, I am just thinking about you, DOn'T worry, BE happy! (soft giggles) if you're busy you don't have to call me back... I just want to say ...Love u! Tell the kids I love them tooooo! (and she usually not only lengthens but sings the ...goooood -byIIIIee) I can never call her TOO soon after I listen to the Sybil messages, because it takes me a while to contain my laughter!

How mean do I sound!!?? This was not intended to be a post where I crucify my little old mommy!!! On the contrary! I am beating myself up for not being even MORE patient with her.
When i feel guilty like this I try to do real nice things for her. When she called me to Thank me for the Valentines card she reminded me that I had written in it...
"To my Sweetheart"... BOY did that make her day!! She said 'LU! I'M YOUR SWEETHEART?? AWWW THAT WAS SO NICE"! I must have been feeling some guilt when I wrote out that card!
Either that or we were in the Sybil part of our tango.

So tomorrow as I take my son for surgery and probably say things to him, that I interpret as loving and helpful, and he interprets as annoying and ridiculous... I'll feel worried, I'll feel guilty, and I'll HOPE LIKE HELL THAT MY SON KNOWS HOW TO DANCE!
(OH! AND I will remember to CaLL MOM and let her know how he is doing!)


Giggles said...

Oh Lucy
This woman you describe is the universal mother, and that my dear is the dance of intimacy you have with dear old ma!!! Same that I had and many of my friends have, and sadly you may have with yours!! The first panic intuition....then mother guilting the child, which mothers have the uncanny way of doing... the silence, sarcasm,then their own guilt and sybilesc behavior and the beat goes on...sadly. We always expect our moms to understand us best.. but many don't.... We need to break the chain of dysfunction...if we can!!!
Great post....lays it all out on the table...the big TRUTH about guilt....women are controlled by it!! I once asked my partner if he was plagued by it, he didn't ...NO, A BLATANT NO was his answer....he never had guilt... EVER....Divided we stood....

Big hugs you are pulled in many direction, still you are doing a fabulous job!!!

Big Hugs Giggles

Granny Smith said...

I think some of us are just born to feel guilty. I feel guilty for doing things and for not doing things, my mother was that way and so is my daughter, with respect to both her children and me, her Mom.

Learn to live with it! Attempting to change it is futile!


Forgetfulone said...

Yes, I agree with Giggles. Here's a little tip from me. Turn off the answering machine. Do you really need it? Do you have a cell phone? If someone REALLY needs to reach you, can they? If so, then why do you keep the answering machine?

I hate messages. I don't have a home phone anymore. My family knows that I HATE voice mail, and not to leave it unless it is truly an emergency. And even then, I'd rather they just keep calling me. If they call, and I don't answer, the phone shows a missed call, so I can call them back. I hate those messages, "Hi. It's me. Just calling... " Duh! I can see you called. I know who called. I'll call you back when I can. Ugh! Gets me hot!

Anyway, I think moms feel guilty all the time. Too much. Not enough. Just like you said, And when we have to treat our parents like kids, it's a double whammy. So... no answers here, just empathy. Take care, Lu!

Bone said...

There have been a couple of times when my Mom called me, and I must have had a different tone or something, because she gets this concerned tone and is like, "Bone, is everything OK? Is somebody there bothering you and you can't say anything?" LOL Maybe we need a signal. Tippytoe! Tippytoe!

You are blessed to have your mom as your children are to have you, Lucy.

I've been seeing your Facebook updates and am most glad to know everything turned out OK.

Barb said...

Moms never ever stop worrying.

I read the post below and I'm glad your boys are ok and that you got your meatball and a loving husband as your valentine. They could be the same now that I think about it...

Forgetfulone said...

Hi Lu! There's something on my blog today that a student drew and it reminded me of YOU! So, I asked if she'd let me have it, and she did. So, I scanned it, and ... voila!