Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Once a Mom Always a Mom

I had an interesting conversation with my neighbors the other day. They're in their 80's have raised four kids, have 9 grand children. Mrs. asked me "how's the book on parenting grown kids coming?" I replied, "we've got it written," or "we've got quite a bit of it done, we just need to hear what others' think." She stopped and then said, "you realize that once you're a mom you're always a mom. It's a lifetime vocation. Well, at least until you're about 79."
"79?" I asked.
And she explained that at about 79 the roles tend to shift and change or "at least you kids seem to think they ought to."
We went on to have an interesting conversation about how throughout each stage of life: school, real world, jobs, marriage, birth, kids', their schooling, their real world's, their jobs..." (you see a trend?) That with each stage comes a new set of questions, of comments, of consultation and advice. As parents, your "kids" are calling with their thoughts and questions, seeking your consult or advice, but somewhere along the way, 79 in this example, kids decide that they need to play a new role, more of a parental role.
I know in my life, with the sudden passing of my Mom at the age of 77, she was still very much my Mom. I hadn't done the role reversal, none of us had. I think back though and I think she was hoping we might have taken on some more responsibility, help lighten her load, but we didn't bite. Now my Dad shows no sign or interest in having his load lightened or responsibilities shift. But I do hear in some of my siblings' conversations a slight shift in tone....a "suggestion" that maybe it's time to have someone else take care of some things....
Back to my neighbors, because it's of course much easier to have this discussion with others than with your own immediate family...
I asked them if they minded the roles shifting? Mrs. responded with a smile and "we just ignore them." Mr. smiled.
I of course, holding onto the "Mom thing" asked if they really have stopped feeling like a parent or being a parent? Mrs. responded, "I told you, once a Mom always a Mom... and a grandmom, now that's the best!"
Agreed!   :)

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