Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moms need appreciation too

I have just finished an extraordinary amount of effort ensuring that each member of my family had a good holiday with lots of gifts and great food. They have no idea what kind of brain power and planning this takes and the hours that I spend on their happiness, not just at Christmas, but every day all year. I feel like they take it all for granted. It seems like instead of hearing anything positive, all I hear is the negative about what they didn’t get or don’t have or what I didn’t do right.

Here’s one example of what I’m talking about.

Today my 17 year old daughter is going snowboarding with her friends. She needed snowboarding pants, since of course the ski pants I own and offered to lend her were “too big and too mom-like” for her, which means that they were not hanging low enough on her hips and they actually button at the waist. So, she decided that she needed to urgently shop for stylish pants and I got dragged along. She received money for Christmas from several relatives, but of course she doesn’t feel that she should spend her own money on these pants. It is a given in her mind that I will buy them for her. Oh, and then there is the lift ticket and the snowboard rental. When I tell her that this would be a good use for her Christmas money, she glares at me and tells me that she needs to save that money for gas, since I don’t let her have an unlimited debit card like “all of her friends’ parents do”. I manage to get out of the store convincing her that she should pay $20 towards her pants, which she virtually throws at me. No thank you for the gifts that she just got for Christmas and no thank you for the $50 that I paid towards the snowboarding pants.

I hope she is having a great time snowboarding today with those other entitled and self-absorbed teenagers.

Meanwhile, this is what I did today. I went alone to the gynecologist for my annual exam and came home with a pamphlet labeled “Perimenopause”. My doctor counseled me that this is a time of mind, body, and spirit transition and that my emotional mood swings and everything else I’m feeling right are normal. After leaving the doctor, I went to the grocery store and shopped for my family. Is it normal to sacrifice every part of my being for everyone else but myself?

All I know is that I want to cry and I simply want one of my kids to say “Thank you”.

Peggy McNeal


Anonymous said...

This hits very close to home. Thanks for writing it. Just yesterday I was sobbing that nobody has more difficult teenagers than mine...

From one perspective, I dropped out of high school and moved out of my parents'house at 16. So I see 16-year-olds and think they're adults and can get by without parents if they had to. Let alone get by without abusing their parents...

Then there's the other perspective, that too many kids hurt themselves and might do something unthinkable if you (mom) make one wrong move.

I fucking hate that they hold us hostage that way. I hope you find something for yourself.

Anonymous said...

My hat is off to every parent with teenagers in today's world. Somehow they feel there is some sort of entitlement that they have been given, by us, the parents for making sure they have made it to their teen years in one piece. I for one have been through many forms of abuse and refuse to be drawn down to their level! Have we brought this upon ourselves or are our teens a product of society? From what I see, hear and read, I feel it is more of the latter.

I am a survivor and will continue to be one. I have overcome the challenges of two teenagers and seen them survive the shock of reality of the real world. Education, Job, and supporting themselves was nothing like living with Mom and Dad.

To all those parents in the world with teens, Be a survivor, out last them, for one day they to will realize you were right.

Kristina Lim said...

Peggy you are doing a great job with your family! Moms get taken for granted too much. I'm sure I've thanked my mom much more as an adult than I ever did as a child or teenager - hope those days come soon for you!