When my husband and I shared the news that we would be parents, we received the standard well wishes and congratulations. My mother, however, was the exception. “Payback is a bitch, my dear,” she said with all the love and sincerity a mother can give. Having been accustomed to my mother’s dry and sometimes wicked sense of humor, I took her comment with a grain of salt. Things will be different I insisted.
Here we are present day. “You are not fair, Mommy! You always say NO to me.” …..and more recently, “You just don’t get me.”
How is this possible? You see, since my children’s birth, I have prided myself on being a stern, responsible but “cool” mom. I make sure they eat their vegetables and wash their hands = stern. I also let them stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve = cool. I read them books and make sure homework is completed and done before 7pm = responsible.
So why would the children think that I am SO unfair? I enforce certain rules so that the children can learn responsibility and accountability. They are just beginning to understand what is good for them and learning what is right and wrong.
And that’s when it hit me. I sound like my mother.
Payback IS a bitch the moment you realize you sound like your parents. Ironically, it’s your very own children that rudely awaken you to the fact that you are not laid back, and this silly idea that you can be a “cool” mom is nearly impossible if you plan to raise civilized well-adjusted people.
Ironically, upon the moment that I realized I was a grown up, I was not dejected, but accepting. Later that day, I called my mom to apologize for the years of torment she and my dad endured at my hands.
…..And perhaps Karma will be kind to me, now that I have made amends.