4.13.2011

Zipping My Lips


There's a story from my mom's family that has been told and retold many times.

When my aunt and uncle were newlyweds, my Aunt Betty called my grandma crying. She and her new husband had a fight. She was terribly upset, which of course made my grandma terribly upset.

My grandma fretted for hours after that phone call. How dare her son-in-law treat her daughter that way?

Finally, she decided to go visit her daughter & her husband. They lived just a few miles away. When she arrived, my aunt and her husband were sitting on the sofa, holding hands, happy as could be. My grandma was stunned! Aunt Betty said they'd made up hours ago.

So all that time my grandma was stressing....Aunt Betty and her husband were just fine.
Aunt Betty was over it. Grandma wasn't. Because as mothers, when someone hurts our babies...it takes us longer to forgive.

The lesson that's taken away from this works two ways. One, don't call your Mama about every little spat you have with your significant other. Because the two of you will probably make up quickly, but Mama? She holds a grudge.

And on the flip side, as a Mama, don't take your kids' spats too seriously. Listen, try not to judge, and try not to stress. Because while you're stressing, they're making up and planning their happily ever after.

The flip side of this is already happening in my life. My oldest son, Tim, has been dating a girl named Jessica for over a year. They're both high school seniors. Tim is not the type to come to Mama (or anyone else) with their little spats, but sometimes, they post things on Facebook that let everyone know they're fighting. They're nowhere near as bad as many kids about plastering their relationship all over Facebook, but they do share some stuff.

And in the beginning, I would get so upset. For one thing, I really like Jessica, and I know how hard it is when your child is dating someone that you strongly dislike; my best friend is going through that right now and it's tearing her apart.
(and for me, the more my parents disliked my boyfriends, then more I liked them!)

But more than anything, I know my son would be broken hearted if they broke up. So I would worry and stress and fret for hours if they were arguing, only to learn that....you guessed it....they had made up hours before.

And that's when I remembered my Mama's family story, and realized that I have to take a step back. When I hear that they are having one of their arguments, I refuse to let myself worry about it. I brush it off, at the most maybe asking my son (jokingly) if he's being mean to Jess, and he usually blows me off. And the next thing I know, they're fine.

It happened just this week in fact....something silly was posted on Facebook. I felt that familiar flip-flop in my heart, but then reminded myself to chill out.
The next day, both Tim & Jessica came over to visit with me, both happy as could be and clearly no longer arguing.

So even when they publicize their issues on Facebook, I still stay out of it and mind my own business. No questions, no Facebook comments. If they need my advice, they'll ask for it.

It's better for everyone that way.

11 comments:

Amy said...

Very wise words. Thanks for sharing. :)

Tara R. said...

I try to do the same with my adult friends too. They could have a huge fight, I take sides and they get back together... awkward.

Amy said...

My oldest son and his gf have been together for 8 years. The squabble constantly. Sometimes going into down and out fighting (not physically). Like you, i used to worry about what was going on. After 8 years, I'm immune to it all. Even when his gf calls me upset, I can now listen and then let go. And yes, after 8 years, it's the gf that calls ME and not her mom when they're fighting.

Good post

April said...

Great words of wisdom, but it's often much easier said than done. When my oldest daughter is with a guy who isn't treating her right, my her own words, I definitely get my back up and the MAMA BEAR in me comes out!

Ms.Wasteland said...

Oh, I'm SO not ready for this stuff to happen at my house. My son is 11. I'm hoping I have another 10 years before he dates. :)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Neither of my children have been into Facebook which for me is a good thing. I would have a hard time reading things about them.
My niece's in Florida are on and so our their 15 year old daughters.
Sometimes it's so funny. My niece did some quiz about sex and it came out that she likes sex in the morning. Her daughter was so embarrassed!!!

Brandy@YDK said...

this a wonderful lesson in parenting.

Kristin - The Goat said...

That same thing holds true for just about any message on FB! I really try not to react too strongly because sometimes they are just song lyrics!! haha

Myya said...

This is soooo true! I remember doing this with my sisters when I was younger. It took them way more time to forgive muy boyfriend (which is hubby now). I so hope that I can stand back when my girls are older & in relationships. They are such drama queens so I will have to try extra hard not to get sucked in. LOL.

Katertot said...

I absolutely LOVE this post! Love it. So much so that I'd love to be able to file it away and pull it out when my kids get to the dating age.

I love your take on it!

debi9kids said...

Yep. It's what makes me regret being so open sometimes. Just because I can forgive doesn't mean everyone else has it in them :(