My mom went home yesterday. I took her to the airport at about 3 o'clock.
And the guilt sets in.
I always have to sort through and manage my feelings of guilt after a visit with my mom.
She's my mom and I love her, yet...there is not much about her that I like very much. Add that to my character flaw of impatience, and it makes for perfect guilt breeding ground.
She is 64 years old going on a cranky 87. She is very negative, and most of what she likes to talk about is how annoyed she is with a neighbor, her homeowners' association, the clerk at the grocery store, something that a former co-worker did, how everything is a rip-off these days, etc., etc., etc.
She has virtually no friends. Her only friends are long-ago friends who live in other states. She is not social, has no interest in joining clubs, taking classes, participating in any group or having to interact with other people.
She is planning to retire and move here from Arizona to be nearer to me. No one wants to grow old alone, and she is virtually estranged from my two sisters who live in Texas and Massachusetts.
She has become a bit forgetful, I think because most of her activities include watching celebrity gossip TV shows and HGTV. She has no interest in current events, world issues, local politics or anything that requires critical thinking skills. She has a knee problem, so she is not very physically active. She's just a tiny bit overweight, but she groans and complains about physical aches and pains as though she's got one foot in the grave.
I'm just frustrated. I find it difficult to be around her for very long. It is difficult to listen to one negative, bitter tirade after another.
The purpose of this visit was to go around and look at possible places for her to live when she moves here. So I drove us all over town the past 4 days going mostly to new construction developments. If anyone knows of a new one story home in a neighborhood near me, with granite counter tops, big kitchen, open rooms, lots of storage, two car garage, large walk-in closets, nice big bathrooms with double sinks, three bedrooms, about 1800 square feet, no homeowners' association dues, 3% interest rate and a price tag of, say $225,000....would you please let me know. Or, perhaps you'll have better odds buying the winning lottery ticket. It's not like she's asking for much.
She did bring me bagfuls of infant clothes. Mostly used from my nephew (that he wore 20 years ago), but in perfect condition. We went to the stores once during her visit, and she aimed for the baby section, but would only touch, point out or comment on things that were pink, ruffled or said "Our little Princess" on them.
So I know my baby is a boy.
She also went to my Friday morning OB appointment with me. As we waited in the waiting room, a young mom had her 2 month old baby girl with her. She prepared to breastfeed the baby and draped a blanket over her shoulder. She position the baby and fed her for a few minutes until the receptionist called the young mom's name. The mom said, "Oh, just a minute please" and as she removed the baby from her breast she looked at us, smiled, and commented, "Just enough to get her through the appointment." I just smiled and nodded and said she had a cute baby.
My mom leaned over to me and said, "You're not going to nurse, are you?" I said, "Yes, of course I am!" She asked, "Well, how will I feed the baby?" The young mom, who was finally now standing and putting her baby in its stroller just grinned. I said, "Well, mom, I can put the milk in a bottle." She replied, "Oh."
When they called my name, my mom wanted to come too, which was fine with me. The girl first led me to the scale. I stepped up and she slid the weights until the lever balanced. I'm up a total of 11 pounds. I stepped off and the girl was already walking ahead of me down the hall, leading us to the exam room. My mom? Well, she said aloud, "Let's see who weighs more, mother or daughter?" and she climbed up on the scale to weigh herself! I said, "Mom! Get off of there, don't play with things! Let's go" and I just about grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her down the hall with me. As though everyone had the time to stand around and wait and think it was cute that my mom wanted to try out their scale! What was she thinking?
When I told my husband about the scale incident, he asked if I had any real concerns about my mom's ability to care for our child. I guess my mom is planning to be our day care provider. She did great with my nephew 20 years ago, but...well...she's older now. Not that 64 is old....but SHE is old. We didn't expect her to be our full-time caregiver, and when I mentioned this to her, she said, "Well, who else are you going to get?" And she basically argued that there is nothing else she will have to do. She doesn't want to get a part-time job. She doesn't want to join anything. She doesn't want to do anything. I don't think our child would be in danger with her. I don't think she'd forget him or leave him in the car or anything like that. She just doesn't really pay attention or think outside of her own little world.
So a few times over the course of the visit my patience wore thin. I snapped at her or responded with a short temper. Then I felt guilty. It's always this way. Love my mom, but feel frustrated, bored, exasperated, agitated, irritated....until I snap. The thing is, she thinks she's smart, clever, wise and that she and I think just alike.
So she has to go home and get her house ready to sell. She'd like to spend one last winter in Arizona and she thinks she'd probably move here sometime around May of next year. One thing is that she is a meticulous housekeeper and her home, which is 7 years old, is in perfect condition. So I think it will sell pretty quickly. In a way I'll be glad to have her here. I just hope she doesn't expect that I will want to spend all my spare time and weekends with her. Yes, of course, taking the baby and going with my mom to the park or a pumpkin patch or summer kite festivals will be fun. But I also need alone time with my family, my husband and child. Which is why I would prefer my mom to take an interest in something other than me and my family. To have a life of her own.
My husband thinks maybe the baby will give her something positive to think about for a change. Maybe it will help her be less negative and get her out more. I hope so. For everyone's sake.
I guess time will tell.
3 months ago