Home for the Holidays

When I was a college student, I looked forward to coming home for the holidays.

School food was good, but it wasn’t homemade by Mom. My room was comfy, but I had to share it with a roommate. My living quarters were clean, but they weren’t home.

Coming home meant I could impress my parents (and my sister) with how grown up I’d become. How I could set my own schedule and choose my own clothes without fear that someone, somewhere, might disapprove.  How I could drink a soda in the middle of the afternoon if I wanted, or stay up ’til the wee hours of the morning and sleep until noon.

But two days after I’d arrived home and seen everybody, I was ready to go back to campus. Back to my world. My life.

Because family was stifling me.

Mom, of course, wanted to fuss and worry over me — was I getting enough to eat, was I making friends. Daddy didn’t like my new independent streak; I was supposed to stay shy and fearful, I guess. And Sis pretended to hate me for leaving her, when what she really wanted was a chance to grow up and go away, too.

The family dynamics change when a young person goes off to college, especially if the teen goes far enough away to where she can’t come home on weekends. The teen, of necessity, becomes more of an adult, responsible for her own life, but the family still sees her as its little girl.

Conflicts are bound to arise.

This situation came home to roost for me earlier in the week.

Now that I’m the mom, I was looking forward to My Favorite Domer being home for the holidays. To fuss a bit over him. To make him special snacks. To buy him things he needed for school or play. To wash his laundry and iron his dress shirts.

But he wasn’t having any of it.

Just like his mom before him!

‘I’m tired of you hovering over me, trying to stuff food down my face,’ he told me one day.

Yikes, was I becoming my mother??

Has one of your mom’s traits popped up in you lately?

24 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays

  1. Ha, I think all of us moms do it until they call us out on it. Takes a long time for us to accept that our “babies” don’t need us the way they used to.

    • Thanks for empathizing, Suzicate. Part of me loves that he’s doing these things for himself, but it’s funny how other things (like gift-wrapping) suddenly get relegated back to me!

  2. …And one day he’ll be back at campus or some future place and he’ll have a cold and he’ll be curled up in a ball and thinking, “I wish my mom were here.” He might not say it, but he’ll wish it.

    How nice that he’s home. Hover and stuff. That’s what moms are for. 😉

  3. I was just wondering when your dear boy would arrive home for the holidays. Well, I never hover about food but I still want my kid to go outside more so I often bug him to go outside and “play.” Fifteen year olds do not go outside to play. So i put a leash in his hand and tell him to “WALK.” Which he does but not happily.
    It’s your right to hover, You Are THE MOM and You will always be THE MOM and if he gives you grief about it–just roll your eyes and say, SO THERE.

    • Haha, too funny! That’s the story MY mom gave me when I gave her grief — “You’ll understand when you’re the mom.” Guess she was right as rain — must’ve read it in her Mom Book!

  4. I find I have to take a step back and will myself to relax. Like you, I try to make all of my daughter’s favorites for her, but turns out, her tastes have changed and the old standby’s no longer cut it. Sigh. She is eating HEALTHY! So no more mac and cheese or any comfort foods whatsoever. Not that I’m against eating healthy, but it is the holidays and I don’t want to have to read the ingredients on everything. At least, not at this time of year. Oh, well, I love her to pieces all the same.

    • It’s nice having her home, though, isn’t it? Domer is into healthy foods, too — plus he’s doing more running and working out, so snacks and goodies just don’t cut it in his book. Sigh. At least he’s looking forward to turkey!

    • Thanks, Janna! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too. Sorry ASU got hit so hard in their bowl game — was that your alma mater? I watched bits and pieces of it, but when the scores are that lopsided, I lose interest fast. Time to do a bit more hovering!

  5. I don’t have children, but I see my mother’s hands when I look at mine, and my father’s face in the mirror when I look there. Frankly I’d be grateful to have either of them hover over me now, and I remember fondly the times when they did. Your son will remember fondly too, sooner than you (or he) think.

    • Thanks, Dawn. I’m sorry to hear about your parents. I lost my dad three years ago this New Year’s Eve, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. Yes, when my son finally graduates from college and is on his own, I’m sure he’ll miss all the hovering!

  6. What a hoot,Debbie! I’ll bet deep down inside, Domer really likes being home but doesn’t want to admit it. On second thought,I remember how hard it was to send my daughter off to college, how empty the house felt without her. Then just as I was acclimating to her absence, she came home for the summer all full of herself and her new independence. We laugh about it now but at the time it seemed like the worst summer of my life- none of my mothering worked out. And yes, I was turning into my own mother-hovering,worrying, lecturing. i guess it can happen to the best of us! 🙂

    • Thanks for empathizing, Kathy! Only someone who’s trod this road before me can really understand how trying it can be to have a young adult back home for a while! Trying, yes, but decidedly wonderful! Funny how parenting doesn’t come with a manual, and we keep hearing echoes of our own parents saying the same things to us!

  7. Debbie, my mother never hovered over me because I made the mistake of staying in state when I went to college. As a result, I got married (the first time) just to escape the stifling environment at home. I only see the Daughter in the summer and when I do, I try to respect the fact that she has her life, her opinion, and the right to make her decisions. That’s not to say I won’t provide feedback when it’s solicited, but I try not to put in my two cents as much as possible. Fortunately, I’m still called upon to provide recipes, financial advice, and for general input. The Son is another story. He’s still living at home and we get into many scats over what needs to be done, what shouldn’t be done, and my favorite, when exactly are you going to get this done. It’s a nightmare some days and other times, we have the best times. Their fight for independence drives them to say and do things that leave you in a state of disbelief. Other times, their words hurt. I try to not to take things too personally but trust me, it’s not always easy. Motherhood. At times a blessing and other times, a pain in the ass. And that’s the truth. 🙂

    • Ah, Bella, were truer words ever spoken??? I only have the one son, and most of the time, we get along famously (for which I’m exceedingly grateful!). I guess that’s why I had to post this — because it’s such an oddity for him to snap at me. I try so hard to give him space, but when I’ve missed seeing him for so long, it just seems natural to hover! I’m glad he realizes his remark was hurtful, though, for he DID apologize!

  8. I hear you. We just want our relatives to accept the “new us” without any interference from them. That;s why I like to remind them that they need to know their role when it comes to dealing with me.

    • Young people change so much during those college years and, when they’re away from home, their parents don’t see those changes so sometimes it’s a SHOCK when they manifest! Both sides should cut the other some slack. Young adults need to remember their parents do love them, while parents should remember their offspring need to find their own way and figure things out for themselves. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Justin!

    • It’s the negativity, criticism, and worrying aspects of Mom that I try so hard not to emulate! Most of the time, I succeed, thanks to my dad’s positive influence, but with him gone, the negativity comes forefront. Thanks for weighing in, Lynne!

  9. Having two kids in college, I see different things in each. My oldest son has a very independent streak. He’s pretty much independent and doesn’t need to be mothered. My youngest, my daughter, being only in her first year, still loves to come home and let mom do for her! And I don’t mind, either way.

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