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For mothers only - from revenge to reward

May 10, 2023 - 00:00
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With Mother’s Day approaching, I decided it’s time to break my vow of silence regarding the phenomena known as Mothers Revenge. No, it’s not a late 60s rock band or a right wing/left wing female social movement but it IS real. I personally know mothers who’ve indulged in Mothers Revenge, even reveled in it, and trust me, it won’t end with my generation. Looking at our progeny’s progeny, I see a whole new crop of mothers queuing up after I’m long gone.

So what exactly is Mothers Revenge? Well, it’s similar to the Mothers Curse - but not the one in which mothers pass on genes which are harmful to their sons. It’s the, “I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up!” pronouncement. To be honest, I don’t remember ever having said that but my oldest daughter swears I did and has accused me of it multiple times.

The firm delivery of the Mothers Curse is usually prompted by a passionate interaction between mother and child (mostly daughters), but could actually be a compliment, don’t you think? I seems to me the interpretation is squarely on the shoulders of the one on whom the alleged curse is bestowed and actually comes to fruition in Mothers Revenge.

If you’re still not sure what I’m talking about, Mothers Revenge is a byproduct of longevity. It’s that time when you sit back and watch your own adult children’s attempts at maneuvering parenthood. It doesn’t matter if they’re trying to corral a 3-year-old in perpetual motion or ‘reason’ with a sullen teenager, everything you did wrong as a parent in your own children’s eyes comes home to roost in these moments.

I didn’t do so well in geometry but in an attempt to elevate this column, try looking at Mothers Revenge as the “point of intersection” where the intersecting lines share a common point. The common point in this case is parenthood. It is that “Aha!” moment for your children who are now walking in your shoes and can be a real relationship changer. The key to artfully navigating these settings is to keep your mouth shut and display a sweet, empathetic smile.

Today’s parents face challenges with different but equally dangerous consequences from previous generations. I don’t envy my adult children at all. That being said, there is a time and place for Mothers Revenge but it’s not when a grandchild is struggling with serious issues related to learning, self-esteem or personal safety.

Deployment of Mothers Revenge should be reserved for those silly, patience-trying moments which know no generational boundaries, for instance…Mom, he touched my food! Mom, she gets away with everything and I get grounded! Mom, make him stop calling me a lizard! Mom! Mom! Mom!

I confess it’s enjoyable to know that THEY know that I know that THEY realize I wasn’t as imperfect a mom as they might have thought at the time. In those moments when I see them handle similar situations with better outcomes than I could have engineered, I enjoy the best of both worlds and Mothers Revenge becomes Mothers Reward.

The column represents the thoughts and opinions of Connie Clements. Opinion columns are NOT the opinion of the Navasota Examiner.

Clements is a freelance reporter for the Navasota Examiner and an award-winning columnist.