She looked at me enviously and said, “You are SO LUCKY you don’t have to watch your kids!” I was taken aback by the statement and said the first thing that popped in my head. “Well they were not born this age, I paid my dues. But don’t worry in ten years you can be just like me.” And I walked away laughing to myself. Later that afternoon another disheveled newbie mom told me the exact same thing. Could someone else actually be jealous of me? Did they know how much laundry I did on a daily basis? Did they get what it entailed to relearn equations and geometry? Did they know I had more daily mileage on my car than a NYC Uber driver?
But getting back to dues yes I definitely paid mine. I had premature twins born six weeks early and spent three months on hospital bed rest. I did not wear maternity clothes or have baby showers. I wore hospital gowns and was not allowed to shower. When they came home after two weeks in the NICU I could barely walk and needed a wheelchair. This was followed by the craziest first two years of babyhood…
So honestly my dear frazzled young mothers it gives me great pleasure to watch my children. And no matter how old our children get don’t we always have to watch and worry about them?
When the baby and toddler worries fade, new fresh reasons to fret will bloom. We are parents for life and it never ends no matter how old they get. When my parents come visit the first thing my 72 year old father does is call his 91 year old mother to tell her he has arrived safely. If I don’t call my own mother I get an earful and a true Jewish guilt trip.
As kids get older it changes from literally watching them to protectively watching over them. We offer guidance, advice, sometimes we push and sometimes we need to step back.
My twins are now thirteen and I have no idea of what to expect from these teenage years ahead. How do I watch over them and protect them in this crazy world?
And it does all come full circle. Sometimes I will enviously look at the older mother next to me with her 20 something child who treats her to lunch and drives her home. I can’t help but think to myself, she is so lucky…
Read more from her at her blog, Random Stupid Thoughts, a Mom's View of the World