SHE always states the obvious … my Mother … with scant consideration of how many times on previous occasions she had given the same lecture and said the exact same words!
A Saturday afternoon game with Mother!
“I like plenty of butter on my scones!!” (really, you think I have never noticed that before – anyway I say, what’s not to love about butter?)
“You will need your jacket on, it’s cold outside!” (yes mother, I can feel the change in the weather and cool night air myself)
What is that about? Why do mothers have to say the same thing over and over again – about the rules and expectations of the family matriarch when we (the offspring of said matriarch) have previously been told for the last 20 plus years what those rules are – do this, don’t do that … ?
“Don’t stay out too late!” (I know Mum, you worry about people being out at night and their safety … !)
“Put your dirty dishes on the sink …” (as I take the last spoonful of the soup…)
“Don’t slurp your tea!”
“Don’t roll your eyes at me!”
“Say thank you to Mrs. Smith / your father / your brother … “
She still does this today, My Mother – tells me when to say thank you and please or say hello to the right person at the right time – I rarely have a chance to do the ‘right thing’ by my mother as she is constantly guiding and critiquing my behaviour and actions. Although, I must say, it is somehow an endearing quality now – as I have come to expect it from her and now just wait for her to tell me what she thinks I should do and say. Parents are important parts of our lives and the people we love are often taken from our lives before we are really ready to say goodbye. I love my Mother and appreciate her love and care of me during my childhood. So, it is important to me that My Mother can remain a significant part of my life and still feel like a valued parent with a responsibility and ‘job to do’. Undoubtedly, she is unaware of just how often she critiques the behaviour of her ‘children’ or how unnecessary it is. Conversations with my adult siblings suggest that it is quite annoying at times as well and yet amusing to their partners.
I don’t think My Mother is alone in this behaviour, I have seen and heard of many other … dare I say … dedicated Mothers who do the same thing. Telling teenagers of the house rules and parental expectations is probably unnecessary – for example - if they do not make their bed each day after 15 years of your parental lectures they are probably not going to do so at 16 or 17 years of age!!
Being, a mother myself I am sure I have been guilty of critiquing and guiding more than is necessary and probably still do at times!
“I like the beds made” she tells me, “and dishes washed first thing in the morning, it makes the house look tidy and then if visitors arrive unexpectedly you don’t feel like you’re in a mess”. “Have you made the beds and washed up yet?” (I sit here now and look around the mess of my kitchen and smile as I realise we do not live by that rule in this house today and I understand more why I live in such a disheveled relaxed kind of mess. It is the defiant child in me determined to do things my way, regardless.)
A reminder to me that life has its own rhythm and flow and all is good!
Now, as an adult, when I head out the door for an evening of fun and entertainment, to catch up with friends or join a colleague for dinner – I hear the voice of ‘My Conscience’ “don’t be late home tonight, it’s a work day tomorrow remember“!