Monday, June 1, 2015
Pondering Why Mothers Of Grown Kids Are So Often Misunderstood
January 4, 2014 After just spending a couple of hours thinking about mothers and love (although for reasons not particularly related to this post), I was reminded again of how many times, over the course of my years as the parent of grown kids, I've been reminded of how often mothers of grown kids are misunderstood.
On other sites I've written on I've so often run into questions people post about why mothers of grown kids "are the way they are", and then a bunch of people will post their ideas about the answer to those questions. While I certainly know that there are mothers who aren't awfully well balanced, or else who are "control freaks" (or any of the other things so many people seem to automatically think that all mothers are); I'm so often left feeling speechless as how little people seem to understand about how mothers of grown kids think or feel.
It's been a long time now since I've thought about this and come up with my own "theory" (that I don't really think is just a theory at all), but it was writing the post that I just wrote that reminded me of the subject of mothers of grown kids and how often they're misunderstood.
What I think I've figured out is that first, a person has to BE a mother of grown kids to have any idea of the issues, concerns, and emotions that mothers deal with once their kids are grown. Mothers of younger kids, of course, understand some things about "what makes mothers tick"; but those of us with grown kids have discovered that we keep discovering more issues and challenges and perspectives as our kids continue get older.
So, one problem is that not only will men never know how it feels to be a mother, or what goes into a mother's thinking or emotions with regard to her grown children; many women who either aren't mothers at all or else who have younger children don't know what it's like to be a mother of grown kids either. Then, too, as kids grown up and get older, mothers get older and older; so the "supply" of mothers of grown kids is not only replenished but also dwindles as people die off.
So, while, say, the mother of a three-year-old has lots of women who have gone before her (decades' worth, in fact), and who have a pretty good idea of what she deals with; the mother of, say, a thirty-five-year-old has fewer "decades' worth" of mothers either ahead of her, or sharing that stage of life with her.
Then, too, even the mother who has a lot of company in being the mother of grown kids; a) there's a difference between being the mother of a twenty-four-year old and being the mother of a forty-year-old. And, yes, no matter how grown-up and mature sons or daughters are there are "issues" for mothers to deal with, even though they're of a very different (and sometimes more complex) nature. Also, however, even with quite a bit of company with regard to other mothers who have grown kids of similar ages (or who have already passed through one age or another); there are those people who have mental- or emotional- health issues, themselves; and there are those who didn't have a good and healthy relationship with their own mother. So, "x percent" of "co-age mothers" can't really understand normal, healthy, loving mothers with whom they share that "co-age stage" either.
So, once you weed out all the people who aren't in a position to understand what it's like to be a mother of a grown kid of one age or another, there's really not all that huge a group (at least not within the context of society and life in general).
On top of all that, a lot of mothers aren't writers. A lot, too, have been so misunderstood (and sometimes treated in ways that aren't very conducive to inviting speaking up), I suppose it shouldn't be a big mystery that all these years into the existence of mankind on Earth; while mothers-in-general are often misunderstood, mothers of grown kids might be the most misunderstood of all (and I don't necessarily mean "misunderstood by one's own kids", although I'm including that too; I just mean "misunderstood in society in general").
Posted by ME Whelan at 9:20 PM