Yesterday morning, my whole family was running late. I overslept, which meant the whole house overslept. My children did not get to eat breakfast. Now this is not something that worried me because my children have often eaten at my parents’ house and I thought it would be no different. Wow, was I wrong. My father, who isn’t normally awake when I drop off my kids, was awake and as I walked out the door, said to me, “You know, you need to be a more responsible parent.” I didn’t comment back, I just walked out the door and called my husband in tears. The day was pretty much ruined after that.
Today was my son’s field day. They were going to the park to have a picnic and games. He was so excited. This morning, he looked a little pale and said he had an upset stomach, but he still wanted to go to school. He didn’t have a fever so I gave him some Pepto Bismal and sent him with my husband to my parents’ house. Well, before he left with my mom for school, he threw up. So my mom kept him home. At 11:30, she called my cell phone and told me I had to come and get him because he was still sick. Before she hung up, she added, “You know, this is what being a responsible parent means.” I left my lunch in tears.
Why do they feel that they can say these things to me? I don’t think these two instances show that I am irresponsible. I take the care of my children very seriously and feel like I’m a pretty damn good parent. I may not be perfect, but I do my best. My parents are often comparing me to my mother when I was a child. I keep trying to tell them it’s like comparing apples and oranges – she was a stay at home mom and I’m a working mom. My husband is furious that they say things like this to me. He is on the verge of finding other arrangements for the kids in the fall. I hate to do that because the reason my mom is watching my kids is so that it is one less financial worry. Since the beginning of the school year, I have not asked my mom to watch my kids at any other time out of respect for the fact that she watches them daily.
A male friend of mine once said he thinks that the parents of a mother are more outspoken than the parents of a father. I’m not sure about that, but the guilt trips my brothers get are nothing compared to what I get. I just keep reminding myself that it is summer and now I don’t have to deal with them on a daily basis.