I swear I am not as crazy as my mother. This was the mantra that got me through high school. Then I have kids and realize, we are not oceans apart, but puddles, only puddles. Must be the history or shared genetics (whatever), but I usually understand where she is coming from. Which is a MAJOR upgrade from high school.
Fast forward XX (not to be disclosed) years since high school and my kids are spending the summer at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm. The boys are in heaven. Dirt to dig, baby goats to hold and bunnies to pet. Not to mention, swimming in the old horse water tanks. Then, I bought tickets to visit and bring my kids home. I planned to spend a whole 10 days of sleeping in bliss, cooking I don’t have to do and playing time with the kiddos (mine, not the baby goats).
That is, until I got a phone call from my dad. He told me to shop my resume around their town to see if I wanted to move there. (I have no idea WHY he ever thought I would want to move to Nebraska because I don’t.) His reasoning, if I moved to their town in Nebraska, they could see the kids every day, and I could have more time with the kids. My response was to tell him that I didn’t need to move 1/2 way across the country to spend time with my children, I could move closer to my job or find another one closer to my current home. Either way, this would work as well.
Then he dropped the bomb… he said my kids need a parent. As if, by working outside the home, I lost the right to call myself a mother to my children. When they are sick, I stay home. When they have a field trip, I schedule a day off. When they have track meets, and school programs, I leave work early to attend. Yet, I am not a parent. I pack their lunches, follow up on homework on the weekend and teach them how to vacuum so their future spouse will LURVE me. Yet, according to my parents, this is not enough. It is not enough to provide food, clothing, shelter and love – but I must also provide shorter working hours and easy access to grandparents.
Nope, I have lived in this state longer than they have lived on that farm. They want access to the kids, come visit – or wait for me to save up /help me to pay for plane tickets for them to visit you. So, I changed my reservations.
Now, instead of spending 10 days having fun in Nebraska with my parents and my kids, I am spending 3. After I called this last week and one of the kids was napping till 7pm and didn’t go to bed till 10pm, I realized I would need that extra week of leave, at home, to de-grandmatize my kids. Otherwise I could never get their schedules re-aligned and their gastro-intestinal habits used to eating vegetables again. And possibly, burn my ears over the inevitable, “that’s not how grandma does it” or “I like grandmas food better”.