Look Out Baby, I’m in a Dangerous Mood

30 Sep

I have written several articles for Boomer Café, the online baby boomer magazine about the joy of parenting adult children. This post finds me lamenting, even complaining a bit about this role.

As a mother I am, of course, quick to point out, I’m crazy about my kids (Tracy 30, David 27) and am exceedingly proud of them. They are virtually launched and almost off the family dole. My daughter is a high school English teacher with benefits, a pension plan and a condo she is paying for. My son has attended some of the best universities in the country and is in the process of completing his Ph.D. program in Counseling psychology. Thus, I am abundantly endowed in the bragging rights department.

But…..do they call? Not enough! Do they visit? Not frequently enough! Are they ever going to move back to their home town? Of course not! If they have children, will I be able to dash over and see my grandchildren? Hell no! Am I bitter about this state of affairs? Of course not….well, maybe a bit. My husband (their step father), their Dad and I all encouraged them to spread their wings and fly the nest. Now, I don’t completely regret encouraging them to travel and experience new places and cultures. But I did think maybe they would want to share these experiences with their parents.

We currently have a texting relationship and, most of the time, I’m grateful for these scraps of affection bestowed upon me. Today, however, was just one of those days, I resented the distance and lack of attention. As one of my husband’s favorite Blues song title says, “I’m in a dangerous mood”.I start thinking of the many thoughtful acts we bestow upon them- checks and gift cards in the mail; care packages filled with treats; flowers for special occasions and personal victories; car insurance payments; air plane tickets; Netflix subscriptions; and cell phone service. (That one makes me the maddest. I pay for them to have a cell phone and they don’t use it to call me? What is wrong with this picture?)

I think Boomers are in a weird “tween” position. As 50s and 60s kids, we sought our parent’s approval and felt a need to “please” them. (Episodes of AMC’s Mad Men confirm this supposition). Now, as parents, we find ourselves in the position of trying to “please” our kids. We want their approval and to be liked by them”. Why are those of us in this “Tweener” generation such pleasers? If anyone has a clue, please share it with us below.

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2 Responses to “Look Out Baby, I’m in a Dangerous Mood”

  1. Kathy October 7, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    I definitely admire you as a parent and can relate to your situation in many ways. Both of my children are grown, my daughter is, 37, and my son, 25, and “yes” my husband and I are proud of them, also. Of course, I, too, feel somewhat left out when I don’t receive visits and phone calls from them. Although, at the same time I would want them to enjoy their life’s to the fullest; and live everyday as if it were a gift, which life is. And, I believe you are happy that your children are doing the same—making the best of their life. However, from reading your article I can see that you have placed your identity in them, which is so common for many parents to do.

    For the past 6 months, my father has been in a nursing home. I’ve met many of the people, who are in this nursing home; believe me, it’s so sad. Most of their children hardly come by to visit them—if at all. These people are so needy and neglected, so I’ve become their friend and do whatever I can for them. By doing this and other volunteer work, it has given me such a purpose in life….When we place our identity in Jesus Christ and try to fulfill his purpose for us “thinking outside of the box.” Our life will become more content and meaning full.

  2. Joe Grillo October 20, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Your kids are still young and the last thing on their minds is calling mama, Once the grand children come it will be a whole new ball game because they will once again need you to help baby sit, They may even decide t move closer to you so that they can enjoy a kidless date night once in a while.

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