Mother Daughter Role Reversals

My daughter walked into our house the other evening to pick up the grandbaby. Upon seeing my efforts on decorating our Christmas tree, she pointed out that it “looked kind of bare”. The next day my husband came home bearing gifts from my daughter. I excitedly opened the bag, and pulled out two boxes of ornaments. I looked up at my husband and sighed. She had done it again.

My wonderful daughter has seen my deficiencies and has taken to “mothering” over me to make up for them as best as she could. Over the past few years, I have had makeup sessions, wardrobe changes, and new haircuts in the name of “getting with the times”. My house is now being taken into consideration, since she has recently delved into the world of interior design. There is quickly becoming no part of my life that does not get a good dose of critiquing.

I cannot help but to feel like I have been reverted to the daughter role in our relationship. Sometimes coping with it with humor helps, other times total head hanging submission is the only way to meet her “mothering” efforts without dragging the subject on for days on end.

Once her driving that set my teeth on edge, now she calls me “ditch woman”, because of one little accident with my jeep and a driveway. When we go somewhere, she drives now. She was the one that took forever to get to the point across about something, now it is I that leave rambling messages, on top of adding to those rambling messages, and then calling back to add more rambling messages on her machine.

Once I had to push, prod, and bribe to get her to get up for school, take her medicine, go to the doctor, and eat better. Now she calls daily to check up on my college courses, tries to make doctor appointments for me, and actually fusses at me for not eating. I have checked the starvation fat ratio. I would have to be left several weeks somewhere without food and water to die.

I am grateful for the hip advice, the caring input; the actual changes have really made a surprising difference. However, it leaves me wondering how, and when in the world, did our roles get reverse? What magical doorway did we traverse through, and why don’t I look at least fifteen years younger?

Even though my husband is bald, and doesn’t wear makeup, she’ll “mother him” on something. The dog, will soon be clicking around in toenail protectors, and learning all those necessary dog tricks, to prove his worth. I can sit back with a smug smile and look at them, knowingly. Maybe then I can join her in the “mothering” of them, and learn the ropes all over again.