Thursday, June 24, 2010

motherhood, friends and competition

I woke up angry this morning two hours before my alarm was due to go off. I knew it was going to be impossible to go back to sleep, but I wish I could get rid of the anger. I know why I'm angry it was what I was thinking about when I woke up. Right now my ten year old daughter is with family 600 miles away. The second night she took her cell phone into the bathroom at my brother's house and called me crying because she was homesick and missed me. I talked to her, reminding her how much she wanted to spend time with her cousins and eventually my sister-in-law heard her crying and comforted her too.

The part that bothered me was that when I mentioned this to my friend her response was "It'll be good for her. She'll be fine." That was all. It really bugged me because I was hoping for a bit more support than that. Even an "ow, that must've been hard" would have been enough. All I wanted was some commiseration, not a comment on my parenting. I'd dare any parent to listen to their ten year old child crying from homesickness on the phone and not hurt for them.

A bit of background on this is that this particular daughter of mine has always been a mama's girl. As a baby she didn't want anyone else to watch her unless she knew them really well. Sometimes even when she had cousins to play with she'd prefer to be near me. She was a clingy baby and I knew it, I had no idea what to do about it and honestly it didn't bother me too much. My younger brother was much the same as a child and he has grown up into a normal adult. So I wasn't really worried that my daughter would be clingy all her life.

Two friends of mine were always bothered by her clinging. They always made negative comments about it and made me feel like a bad parent because I didn't do something about it. Though I admit I have no idea what I should do about it. Today one of them has a 17 year old daughter who never wants to spend the night anywhere but at home, the other has a 9 year old son who wants to sleep in the same bed as his mom. Yet they both STILL make negative comments about my clingy daughter who is at this moment 600 miles away from home.

What is the reason behind the drive for friends to make negative comments about other people's children? I can understand that if I'd complained about how clingy my daughter is that I would be inviting advice. It didn't bother me though, it bothered my friends and they felt the need to make comments on it, and have been for nine years. They can't seem to see that even as my daughter has gradually grown more able to separate from me they both have children who are getting more clingy not less.

I made some comments online last night about this issue that seemed to annoy one of my friends and we're supposed to have lunch together today. I think that I need to have a conversation with her that I've avoided for too long. Maybe then I can sleep longer tomorrow and wake up in a better mood.

1 comment:

  1. Let all that stuff go. Who cares about the opinions of others, especially others who may have their own agenda? Don't keep friends around who bring you down. Seek out those that will life you up in times of need. However, if you truly love these friends and want to keep them then let them know when they've said something offensive to you. The truest, deepest friends can take it. Speak from your heart, and with love and tell them how it makes you feel.