Here’s the big holiday Buzzing Topic around this time of year:
Are the kids going to come to us after they are married?
If you’re smart, this topic will never be brought up DURING holiday time whether they are with you or not.
But most parents in their 50’s or 60’s have thought about this or discussed it with their kids or each other multiple times.
Like many of my friends, my kids are with their chosen partners and are growing their own families. The kids have their new extended families, their own kids, huge work schedules, limited time as they are new parents and the challenge of living in different cities.
No wonder there’s buzzing around this topic as there’s no one way we, the moms are going to be the deciders on who goes where when!
So… this begs the question, how does one hold on to past rituals when our kids get married?
The answer is, we don’t! Things have changed. Life moves on and we either move along as well or we get stuck in our own little pout.
There is no one formula for fairness because too much emotion is involved. It is hard to break with embedded rituals. And, frankly it’s our kids lives and they will decide and let us know what works for them.
What I have learned along this life journey is, we are no longer able to sway this process just because we think it’s our turn.
There is so much emotion around holiday time that what hallmark says should be the most joyous of times can be the most trying of times particularly if we are still using the same playbook we used when they were under our roof.
The other day I was talking to a girlfriend whose son had just gotten married and we came up with the best metaphor that made us laugh out of our chairs.
We were waxing on about how we are no longer the key decision makers in our families since our kids got married and we are no longer the primary person in their lives. And this is how it should be — until holiday time!
On the one hand are thrilled our kids have found awesome spouses, but the whole married kid thing has meant a huge shift for us too and leaves us confused about our new roles. And that’s pretty much a unanimous feeling for most BA50s….
So we decided, if you think of our lives as a performance in a theater and we are the stage managers of the show and we have been stage managing for about 25 to 30 years, no wonder it’s hard for us to transition. This is a job we know and love.
I mean Stage Managing was just what we did. You know we decided who sat where, when to exit the scene. If everyone needed a costume change (you gonna where that?). We decided how to stage the events, the holidays if you will. We even decided the guest lists without a consult. That’s what we did and we did it on autopilot.
But then the kids moved away and got married and suddenly we had to wait in line for a seat to the show we used to manage. But we hadn’t voluntarily retired from our beloved job. Most of us were respectfully ushered to our seats. But our seats weren’t in the Orchestra — they were in the Mezzanine.
When we found our seats in the mezzanine, we noticed most of the mother-In-laws were sitting in the mezzanine with us, especially the mother-in-laws of boys. The good news is we had plenty to chat about between acts.