Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Guess I'm One Of Those Moms (How Did That Happen?)

   I am a total, panic-attack, helicopter mom, and I really don't know where this tendency came from. My mom was not inclined to panic at all. I fell of my bike once when I was a kid, landed on my face, and everything was all swollen and bleeding and there was my mom saying, "You'll be fine." If my daughter had done the same, I would have called an ambulance, the fire department, the police, and I would have done my damned best to press charges against the effing bike; I'd do all this knowing, knowing, that I was being a complete moron, but that knowledge still wouldn't have kept me from going over the bend. And my mom would be right there next to me, rolling her eyes at me for all she was worth and telling my daughter, "You're gonna be fine." So with my mom as an example, I don't know why I seem to be wired to be this type of mom. You learn from example, right? Apparently, wrong.
   Growing up, I never wanted kids. I had Barbies, sure, but I spent my Barbie time doing things like drowning them in the tub, flushing them in the toilet, burying them in the backyard, and painting their faces with war paint because they were gonna go slaughter the cabbage patch kids, who I painted green, because I wanted them to be aliens and had to improvise. I didn't tenderly rock baby dolls to sleep because they freaked me the hell out (still do), and I didn't want them in my bed. In fact, the very fact that dolls were in the room with me often led me to go get in the bed with my sister (sorry sis). I've just never trusted those dead-eyed little creeps.
   I was the girl who put spiders, frogs, and lizards in my pockets,causing my mom to fear laundry in a way that I never will (even though I do despise that chore). I was the girl out catching grasshoppers, and that tea set -- well the teapot made a perfect grasshopper cage. When my dad was wondering how in the hell all the grasshoppers were getting into the house, well, he never checked the teapot.
    I got older, and nothing changed. I never wanted kids. My friends started getting pregnant young, the youngest at age fourteen. I was never gonna have kids, nothing that any of my friends went through made having kids seem like a good idea. To be sure, kids with kids of their own is never a good example of what pregnancy and babies should be like (although all the ones that I am still in touch with are great moms, even if they did start young), but those where the examples I had. The area that I lived in after we moved to Mississippi was predominantly poor, and in neighborhoods like that, you tend to see a lot of teenage pregnancy, along with a bunch of other things, but the pregnancy scared me the most. I didn't want babies. They were freaky, poopy, loud, they were always wet at one end or the other, and they smelled funny. That did not appeal to me at all.
   So when I got pregnant (I was nineteen, and one of the oldest of my group to not have a baby) all my friends rubbed my dislike of babies in my face. Now what was I gonna do? Not gonna be able to run from a poopy diaper when the baby the diaper belongs to belongs to me. I'd refused to even hold many of their babies, so my pregnancy was sweet revenge (since it all worked out for the best, I forgive all you grudge-holding little asshats.)
   Well, the rest is history. I avoided the whole teen mom thing, because I had a birthday in the middle of my pregnancy, which means I was twenty when I gave birth. You may not be prepared to have a baby, but if you find yourself in the position of having one, if you are any kind of a decent person, you step up to the plate and take responsibility (whether that means keeping the baby and learning to be a good parent, or adopting the baby out because you know you won't do that, or whatever), which I am proud to say I did. But given the fact that I never liked children, you would think that I would not be so helicopter-y. Except I do like my child, and I hover around her like she has a gravitational pull specifically tuned to me. Since that is not really that healthy, I force myself to back the hell off of her, because I am trying to raise an independent, capable child who can function in society, not a spoiled, mommy-does-everything-for-me, entitled brat. I think that I am doing well in that regard... but I still don't know where I got these helicopter tendencies. You would have never guessed, in my early years, that I would be one of those moms. But I am a helicopter mom, and I can get really brag-y about my kiddo, and I can overload my facebook with statuses about my kid and a zillion pictures, but there you have it. I guess we never know what kind of parent we will really be until we give it a whirl.

(Disclaimer!!! --- But please, don't actually be so callous, I'm just being a little flip here. Parenting is hard work, and takes a lot of commitment; parenting is not actually something you should do to just 'give it a whirl'.)

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