Friday, May 7, 2010

Not your typical Mother's Day post

I hate clicking on a link to a blog-- that's linked at an aggregation site, so theoretically they want to be found-- and it's 100% password protected. Hey, I have no problem with wanting privacy. But then perhaps you should have that link taken down.


Childbirth class is over. Now I just need to practice the relaxation techniques. The instructor says to practice every day. I'm going to be very, very happy if I practice five times a week!


At lunch with a friend last weekend, we were talking about my impending parenthood, and our parents. This friend has a somewhat troubled relationship with her mom, so one of our topics when we get together one-on-one is often our dynamics with our mothers.

My mom and I have had a fairly stable and generally good relationship for years, but my pregnancy has definitely upset that particular apple cart. She's thrilled about the baby, which is wonderful. But her excitement has led to what I can only describe as something that looks a lot like mania: she wants to talk, all the time, about everything. Everything, anything. Constantly. In monologue format; there's very little actual conversation. No detail is too small to obsess over.

They live out of town, so in the past we've talked on the phone once a week; maybe twice if something specific comes up. She's now calling me far more than that-- not every day, but close. And after me being in the workforce for more years than I'd rather count, she still doesn't understand that when I'm at work, I don't have 20 minutes to talk about where everyone will be sitting at the shower. (And even if I did have 20 minutes, I don't care, though I'll be polite.) Despite conversations repeatedly over many years about how I'm at work, she still gets insulted that I keep the conversations short.

She also calls in the evenings, when the last thing I want to do is talk on the phone after a full day of... talking on the phone for my job. And if she calls and leaves a message and doesn't hear back quickly, I get multiple messages in That Tone Of Voice. (All you daughters know the Tone I mean.)

So it's a whole thing. I've been trying hard to approach this with empathy: she's thrilled. She's just got me, and had more or less given up any hope of a grandchild, and here one comes. I'm so happy she's happy. I'm lucky she's happy and supportive. But I am what I am.

Long story short, I was talking with my friend about this. I didn't realize, I told her, how this was going to change my life. And not in the way I expected-- obviously, being a parent is a massive, massive change I probably can't even imagine.

What I didn't realize was how my parenthood was going to open my life up to my family. And not always in ways I like, or am comfortable with.

I'm already changing my life for my daughter, and I am ready and willing and excited about it. But I don't think I can change for my parents-- at least not in the way I think they want me to.

This baby is not going to turn me into the daughter of my mother's dreams.

I'm still going to be the vaguely crabby, flamingly liberal, not Catholic any more single daughter who just isn't like all the other daughters of her friends. I'm not likely to suddenly start living in a four-bedroom house with a two car garage, 2.5 kids and a membership to the local country club.

And I'm not going to ever be the daughter who calls her mother every day.

For the record, I hope my daughter isn't either when she's my age. I hope her life is full and rich. I also hope that she thinks of me-- and calls me every so often. For a conversation.

Because she wants to.

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