Methusela mom in the cockpit!

helicopter parents

Methusela mom in the cockpit – Funnermother.com

parenting

Methusela mom in the cockpit – Funnermother.com

I was a prom night baby, and knew I didn’t want to do that. When I was 9 my parents were divorced, dating, putting distance between them. It was hard to be heard. In the 80s I found family dynamics theories and my “inner child” — and with some blame and some anger I just listened to my own damned self.

I worked, moved away, got degrees, moved in with a guy.  Struggled with infertility.  It wrecked us.

Then…”don’t worry, it can’t happen” and then “oops!” We jumped into parenting after just one kiss.

I was 39. The baby came early, we fought for him, feared for him, settled into being unmarried parents.  He sat up, stood, walked, talked, defied predictions; it was going well.

We did it again. I was almost 43. Now the Things are 10 and 6, and remember my inner child’s anger?  It’s back, like Iago, pointing out every gap, every failure to attain that “good parent” award, even when the award’s rules and goals are shifting and undecided. The judges who decide on the award do not agree, making it an award impossible to win.  Instead we parents point fingers and judge each other, dividing up into sides.

helicopter parents

Methusela mom in the cockpit – Funnermother.com

And I’ve watched the news 20 years longer than my parents had. It’s never good. Diseases, predators, and bullies, oh my! I often ask, “Is it worse, or is it just more reporting in search of news ratings?” — nobody knows.  So being an older parent means that my kids are heard. But it also means they will never see me in my carefree 20s, they won’t be parented by that young, always laughing and dancing, me.  Instead they will see the worry that always seems to walk before me into the room.  They will roll their eyes as I time their screen exposure, sneak junk food at friends’ houses, shrug off unwanted hats and coats.  But I was a prom night baby; I don’t want to do that.

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18 thoughts on “Methusela mom in the cockpit!

    • Wendi, how fascinating. Part of what I want to argue about helicopter parents is that we who have been through that anger at our parents that was specific to the mid to late 1980s might have a… cultural predisposition to try to be perfect, protective, overinvolved. I’ll bet your parenting style really changed over the years. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You must be exhausted! ha ha. xx a

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  1. Wow Angela, what a story! You are so brave! Going for parenthood on an oops with a guy you barely knew and making it work is quite amazing! Sounds to me like you’ve got a pretty good handle on successful risk taking! Congrats!!

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    • Belly laughing, thank you! We had worked together for years. He was a bad dog, tho. So yeah, you know that song “I’m sexy and i know it”? I guess I’m risky and I know it. I love your take on it. Thanks xx a

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  2. Makes me think about how with everything in life, there are plus and minuses–I had my 4 boys young and can see how it would have been more beneficial to have had more wisdom that age would have given me. I go on the theory that it’s all meant to be the way it is! Love your writing style!

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  3. So much to weigh when we decide what age we should be when we have our children. Shall we go for wisdom of the ages? Or the energy of the young? Is there even a perfect time?

    So glad you are listening to your children! And keep watching their sun exposure 😉

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  4. I love the way you describe your journey to parenthood, Angela! I can also really relate to what you write as I have often tended to be a worry-wart type of mom! In fact, I think I must come from a long line of stressed out mothers! Yikes, it doesn’t feel very carefree or fun! Thankfully, my children also know that I really care and I so I think they are ready to go a little easy on me and I hope that I’ve improved through then years, with some hard-won experience under my belt! Whew, the journey of being a parent!!

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    • It has been a whirlwind! But I can see it’s time for me to add “coping skills” to our list of things-to-do and prepare them for their roles of protectors of themselves, rather than walking before them with my sword drawn all the time. Thanks for stopping by my blog. xx Angela

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  5. Angela, I love your raw honesty and your to the point writing skills! I’m a parent only to my kitten Buddha and was a faraway step mom to my ex-husband’s son for awhile (we’re still in touch via facebook) so I’m no parenting expert. Yet I love how open and vulnerable you are with this post. Makes me want to know you better! You’re awesome.

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  6. Wow! This is awesomely frank and enlightening. I couldn’t help but think that, if my parents had been that honest with themselves, I’d have had an easier time with it. Brava for it! You will be a much more understanding parent because of your insights, even if you couldn’t do it at carefree 20. Oh, you forgot to mention how you didn’t really know anything then . . . worry is infinitely better.

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    • Oh yeah, I totally would have been awful at 20. Awful. But I’m hoping I can make myself stake a position between carefree and worry. We’ll see. I have a decade of good solid worry under my belt ha ha. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! xx a

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  7. Interesting perspective. Like Elaine, I’m a cat-mommy too. There have been times when I’ve wondered whether I should have had kids and then just as quickly, I think, no and I know I was right. Especially looking back at all the different things I’ve gone through.

    I have to say, I’m enjoying your voice. You write as if you’re writing poetry. It’s vivid and expressive, and gets right to the point.

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    • Thanks for your nice words, Deborah! There is a LOT of self-abnegation that goes along with parenting, I don’t think I expected that. And of course, after all the infertility stuff I’d totally planned on being a cat mom. We have two cats now, in fact, and I’d have a house full if I could. Nothing mellows me out like a cat purr. Huh.They have been essential to my parenting and everything else, now that I think on it. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! xx a

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  8. I love your writing so much Angela! Reading through these comments, it strikes me how we are all doing our best-no matter what our circumstances are. My Mother had me at 43. My hubby’s grandparents are a year younger than my parents. I feel that we all experience what we need to experience to grow. We love our children, we do our best…congratulations to all of us!

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