I was recently home and I swear to God my parents still speak to me like I’m 4. Crayons and all. The barrage of comments started. Why aren’t you eating? Wait, why are you eating so much? Are you pregnant? Why aren’t you pregnant? You know, the usual. My mom hasn’t quite let go of the fact that I’m a mom and kinda-just-kinda know how to take care of myself.
But what mom recognizes when their baby’s all grown up?
Of course she’s going to pass a comment on how I’m still wearing dirty-snow-stained UGGs dating back to when I used to walk to work at the UN from my Upper East Side apartment. Please note that this sounds much cooler than it actually was – the apartment was a shoebox.
Anyways, moms are moms and that’s just what they do. So, these are just five of the 5,000 ways moms still mother us even though we are in fact moms ourselves. Ugh.
1. The Weight Assessment
With my mom it’s always an assessment of how my clothes fit on me. Specifically my jeans on my butt. She actually has a chart of “looseness” where she determines if they’re too tight, then she knows I’ve been eating too much caramel popcorn. If they’re too loose then she knows I’ve been surviving on one free patchi chocolate for lunch. And if they’re just right, well… you’d think that would be good, right? But it’s just a greenlight to move onto the next body part or area of my life to weigh up and discuss.
2. The “She will ensure I get all my vitamins.”
Don’t you love it when they order for us? It’s the 4-year-old treatment, again. I understand this is a reflex after years and years of looking at the kids’ menu or any menu for that matter and telling the waiter that I want the pasta but in the penne form with cream sauce and a side of fries. It comes without a second thought. Cute and what constitutes good mommy behavior back then, but now? Well, now it’s just downright embarrassing when we’re in an exciting restaurant and she looks the waiter in the eye and says, “She will be having the salmon for her hair with a side of broccoli because it’s good for her.” Yep, even in a 3 Michelin-star establishment she can rattle off what part of the body I need the nutrients for. Every meal is a personal mission to ensure I’m get all my vitamins.
3. The “Go to Bed”
There are moms out there still ordering grown adult daughters to hit the hay. Mine included. It could be at 7 pm for all she cares. If she thinks you really need a nap, she’ll voice it. Even after 35 years this habit of trying to avoid any sort of sleep-deprived tantrum is so deeply rooted that she can’t seem to let it go and ignore my tantrums.
4. The Eyeball Search
You know what I’m talking about. The deep silent look into your eyes to ask if you’re happy. I even do this one with my toddler: even after a park play date I’ll search my kid’s eyeballs to assess if she had fun. Like, really had fun. I need to stop. This is one habit that is clearly difficult to break. In the midst of trying to assess whether I’m really happy or not she will offer up some free advice on what I should be doing for my hair and skin because “hair, skin and nails are the true reflection of someone’s inner self.” Cue gong. If that’s true, then people must think I’m on anti-depressants AND anti-anxiety pills. I’m not. Yet.
5. The Instant Mom Medical Degree
And let’s not forget the whole other level moms take it to when their little one gets pregnant with a little one. In comes Doctor Mommy. Somehow she has a copy of Merck’s Medical Dictionary hidden under her bed because any symptom I mention will be researched all night and several options presented to me over breakfast. Along with which homeopathic concoction will cure me.
The bottom line is that we all roll our eyes at the comments, questions, stares, and interrogations and I’m sure my daughter will do the same in a few years. But, can I imagine my life without this invasive questioning and commentary? No, I cannot. In fact, I would be heartbroken without it. It lets me know she still has a part of her heart that’s dedicated to worrying just for me. I wouldn’t give that up for the world and in fact, I make it a point to FaceTime anytime I have a ghastly throaty cough. You know, to check in that I still warrant the same concern. Sure, I roll my eyes as she’s dishing it out, but I secretly love it.