Today I’m on the verge of tears, pretty much all day long. My son is returning from a spring-break trip with his dad and family, and I just feel lost. I’m not sure if this is only-child related or if I’m just particularly sensitive at the moment, to his pulling away. He hasn’t been in touch while on his trip, which really does not come as a surprise, I mean, even on a normal weekend at his dad’s, I rarely hear from him unless he needs something. Most moms with teens, would find this expected behavior and add to that, he was in Miami with lots to do and see, why would he be thinking about me?
Its such a thought-provoking question. Do other moms feel this way? Am I reeling in these ways because my own childhood felt a bit lonely and lacking of unconditional love or is it because I had only one child and it really does FLY by, their childhood in like milliseconds? I really don’t know. What I DO know is that it is very real and it hurts. I took a walk with my own mom today through the woods behind our house. She and my dad came in this morning for Easter brunch and I really needed the time with her. I talked all about where I struggle to give my twelve year old space and some slack and how I don’t want to be that mom who clings to the idea of her child staying forever young so she (me) can feel necessary. But that is who I am today. My son is coming over in an hour or so and I’m legitimately afraid to see him, feeling he’ll sense my insecurity with one glance, that I’ll lean too hard or expect too much and continue to push him away. What do I need to do to change this pattern I’m so stuck in?
My mom is a fantastic, attentive listener. She of course encourages me to nurture myself, not feel guilty freeing myself up in pursuit of hobbies with friends or to go do things when Mason is here. It is up to me at this point, to figure out what those things are and how to fake it til I make it there.
I have plenty of solo hobbies – my writing of course and several other projects, exercise, reading. But I do think it is time to venture out of my cocoon of “homebodyness” into some more connection-inducing activities. I thought about picking up Pickleball, I mean, it is all the rage lately, but not sure if another sport is the answer. What else is there? Volunteering. I could certainly look into that. What else, a knitting circle? I mean, I don’t see myself doing that, not yet anyways. What other ideas are there for pastimes that are active and connection-inducing? Gratifying?
While continuing to ponder this topic, I think ahead to next weekend when said 12 year old and I are headed away overnight for an annual mother-son trip. I must admit I’m petrified. The last time we did this, I blew up at him for being quiet and not wanting to spend time with me, so I’m sure he’s super excited as well. Ideally, I want to spend some time laughing and hopefully at the end, we’re both glad we went together and keep it as a tradition. I know if I head into the experience with my typical trepidation and expectations, we’re in trouble. I guess even though I’m talking and thinking about how I’ll aim to be, I worry I’ll fuck it up…and I’m not exactly sure how to change the way I feel.
I think for this weekend, I’ll look for things I enjoy, instead of looking desperately for his approval, for one. And I know I have to be flexible – it’s got to be ok when things don’t go as planned. And never let him see you (me) sweat 😉
In general, I know I need to breathe and let that be all that is needed some days…to not expect SO much and more than anything, accept and embrace who I am and trust that I’m doing a pretty good job as a mom, and that’s enough.