Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Midnight - Because I'm a Mom

It’s after midnight and I’m waiting for my daughter to come home. It’s not that she has a curfew because she doesn’t. She’s 25 and can rightfully stay out as long as she wants. But, because I’m her mom and because we share a house, I worry about her when she doesn’t come home as expected.

It’s a point of contention between us as it was with my mother and me, but it doesn’t change the fact that I get concerned about her.

With my mother, it went a bit further than mere worrying. She’d try to deny me permission to do this, that and the other (you’re not going there, oh no you’re not, etc.) even into my late 40s, early 50s. It annoyed the hell out of me. But, one thing I always did was make sure she knew I was ok while I was out, even when I went out against her wishes (which was pretty much always after a while). I knew she’d stay up worrying if I didn’t let her know.

My daughter, on the other hand, refuses to check in to let me know she’s OK. She makes it clear that what she does isn’t any of my business (which it technically isn’t), but I’m not asking what she’s doing. I’m asking her to let me know that all is well; that when she doesn’t come home as expected, nothing bad has happened. I don’t think that’s asking too much. She demands to know why I want to know and there is only one answer.  Because I’m a mom.

I always gave her a lot of freedom, probably more than I should have. All I asked in return was for her to check in so I knew she was OK. But, to her, that’s like me trying to prevent her from being who she is, an invasion of privacy of the highest order. I don’t understand that.

So, I’m up late fairly often, waiting to know that she’s home, that she’s safe. She may not like it, but it allows me to sleep once I know. In most ways, my daughter is an amazing person. She’s intelligent (frightfully so), bright and personable. She’s got an excellent work ethic and there isn’t an employer she’s had that wouldn’t take her back in a heartbeat if they had the chance. But, at home, we butt heads like feuding elk or bighorn sheep. It’s draining, but I won’t stop worrying as long as we share a home and I don’t hear from her. Because I’m a mom.

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Blogger Joyce Lansky said...

I know what you mean. I think having adult children can be more difficult that teenagers because you can't tell them what to do. But what you can do is try to appeal to her adult senses. I can't sleep because I worry about you, so if you'll send a text--even a blank one--I'll feel a lot better. How about it?


July 19, 2011 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Oh gosh...as a young mom myself, I have all these high expectations of me being totally fine with trusting my daughter when she goes out someday. Then I realize I worry and need to control everything. There will probably be some butting heads. <3

July 19, 2011 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that even if you weren't her mom, you'd worry if someone you share an address with wasn't home when they normally would be, unless you heard from them. I'm sure that from her perspective, you asking for a quick "Just wanted to let you know that I'm okay, but don't stay up because I don't expect to be home before sunrise" call feels like you trying to keep tabs on her, but if for some reason YOU weren't going to be home before sunrise, I'm guessing that your daughter would be worried unless she knew not to expect you, too.

Hey, maybe that's the answer. Maybe you need to pull an all-nighter. :O)

July 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

wow. This hit home since I am on the other end of it. many of a time I have gotten the "where are you" call and since I am old enough to be out without answering to anyone I get annoyed and respond with the same response every time: "IM OUT" I will give no further details. But after reading your post I can now see things on the flip side and maybe I will cut my mom some slack next time :)

July 19, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Angela Parson Myers said...

My daughter finally gets this. She's 42. : - ) To me, letting family and/or friends know where you are (and who you're with) is an easy way to increase your safety. It's just logical.

July 19, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

My kids are still young--but I can see myself worrying when they get older too. I don't think it is too much to ask for a child, even an adult child, to just text something back to mom that says, "out having fun see you in the morning" Anything to just let you know all is well. Like you said, it doesn't have to give away the details.

July 20, 2011 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger Paula Martin said...

She will understand when she has children of her own!

July 20, 2011 at 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kids just have no idea how much we love them!!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

July 20, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Been there, with the adult daughter moving back in for financial reasons. We finally sat and calmly discussed the issues at hand.
The decision was that even if we were roommates, unrelated we would expect to know if either of us was NOT coming home all night. A simple phone call or text to say that plans do not include returning home tonight solves the problem.
I trusted her to make good decisions and she trusted me not to buttinsky.

July 20, 2011 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger JULIE HOYLE said...

This is a wonderful post, brimming with love. One day your daughter will realize how fortunate she is to have a caring Mom like you!

July 20, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Kathy29156 said...

A great post. Someday when you are gone, your daughter will realize how much she misses you caring about her whereabouts and what she was doing. There is no one on the planet that loves you or worries about your well being quite like your mom, unless maybe it is your dad.

July 21, 2011 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Brenda Stevens said...

don't you love challenges..like writing and thoughts defining reality..like how much you care!!!! MUAH! awesome

July 22, 2011 at 4:56 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

My daughter is autistic and a runner so she needs somebody with her to hold her hand at all times. I know I'll be relieved once she gets old enough to be able to "wander off" by herself, but it'll be sad too because my baby will be almost all grown up at that time.


July 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Langley said...

My mom still waits up for me if I'm visiting her and go out with friends... and I won't even tell you how old I am. This is a great post.

July 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ said...

My Mom wasn't the worrier....it was my Dad. Well into my 50's, I still knew to let my Dad know that I was okay after a drive home from his house. My sisters never "got" that, so they stayed in trouble with Dad. LOL

My daughters are getting mighty close to 50. I don't think I will ever stop worrying about them.

July 23, 2011 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Mojo Writin' said...

It simply takes some daughters longer to understand that mums will always worry, than it does others. Two of my daughters (aged 23 and 21) get it and will always let me know, because they are aware I will worry . The other (19) doesn't understand it at all, but I have faith she will, eventually, in her own time. Meanwhile, I continue to be a mum, and worry!
Great piece *smile*

July 26, 2011 at 7:28 AM  

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