Saturday, May 05, 2007

Visiting Parents

I think I've determined the reason that visits from parents when one is an adult are so frustrating. It's because when they show up I feel like I'm grounded, in the way of being 15 and grounded for the weekend. Not allowed to go out with friends, not allowed to talk on the phone, not allowed to do what one wants to do but instead subject to the whims of one's parents.

Needless to say, this makes me feel quite petulant and like I want to sneak out after they go to sleep to ride around in cars, drink Strawberry Hill Boone's Farm wine, smoke contraband cigarettes, and have premarital sex with boys of whom they would not approve.


Doctor Pion said...

I hate to say this to someone I barely know through a blog, but it sounds like you are not yet an adult when around your parents.

It can take some adjustment. When we visit them, they still play parent (breakfast places set out) but within limits. When they visit us, they play guest. It helps that my mom is a very polite guest. It also helps that she knows her son is a slob, so she doesn't blame my wife when our house is not as neat as hers is!

And we relish every minute we have with them.

Dr. Crazy said...

Dr. P, point taken, but I just want to draw your attention to the "we" in your post. It's a lot easier to be an adult when your parents see you as having your own family - not as still a part of theirs. Second, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that you are male. Mothers and sons may have their things, but they are not identical to the things that mothers and daughters have.

I love my parents, I think they're great, and I'm very close to them. I'm really glad they came to visit this weekend. But I'll be glad to see them go, too, and that's totally ok.

Also, I think that the whole "we relish every minute we have with them" statement, were I to repeat it to my mother, for example, would elicit a comment from her that went something along the lines of, "yeah, right" and then she would burst out in sarcastic laughter. That's just the kind of people we are, Dr. P.

helenesch said...

This post reminds me of one clear benefit of living just over an hour from my parents: a "visit" from them never involves an overnight stay!

medieval woman said...

Why is it the *wife* who always gets looked at (either askance or with praise) whenever housework is involved? Wait a minute - I already know the answer to that.

Dr. C - I'm with ya. I love my parents, too - but I will always be a kid to them. "Mom, I'm buying a new computer." "That's good, dear, but make sure that you get one that does *everything* you need it to and has enough memory, etc." "Really? That's a novel idea, mom. I was just gonna buy one off the back of some guy's flatbed Chevy. But now that you've mentioned that..." :)

AcadeMama said...

Dr. C, you hit the nail on the head in the response to Dr. Pion. The mother-daughter dynamic is one ENTIRELY different than the mother-son dynamic. I'm both a daughter and a mother to two girls, the oldest of which is a mini-me. My brother, who's younger, is treated in a completely different way by our mother. Note that I didn't say a "better" or "worse" way, just different. There are a thousand things my mother would have no problem complaining about to me, and she never hesitates to tell me what I need to do/not do with my money, my credit card, my (insert anything here).. With my brother, not a word. She just cares that he's taken care of, healthy,happy, and fulfilling his lifelong dreams.

Point is, I could be 60 years old with a dozen grandchildren, and she'll still be treating me like the daughter I used to be (living at home during college, staying out late, and dating lots of guys of whom she didn't approve).

Doctor Pion said...

You know the saying about walking a mile in someone's moccasins ... which is why I hesitated before posting.

Dr. C: You are definitely correct about the spouse, but that seems more appropriate as a comment to your very interesting followup article.

First child, or first son? Close or far? Too many variables. My younger brother and his wife have more issues even though they are the ones that supplied grand kids. Is it because eldest can do little wrong? (could be) Is it because we are 100 times further away? (could be) Is it because of the siblings our parents had? (could be) Makes physics look simple.

But my closing comment is not about a conflict-free visit. It is more about me (and they) being 20 years older than you (and your parents). We take the good with the bad.