I’ll be the first to admit that I was nervous about my mom’s recent visit. This is the first time she has been in my house as a true guest in about 3 years. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would she be pleasant or rude? Would she make an effort to hang out with me and my girls or just my kids (who she is really here to visit).
The first day she was here I took the opportunity to do a little reading because she was outside playing with her grandchildren. Then I quickly realized she wasn’t going to ask me to join her outside. She was not actually playing with Copy Cat and Pack Rat so I decided to join her and start a conversation.
It was my intent from the beginning not to fall back into the role of employee/employer during her visit. This relationship did not work for us. At all. She had expected my husband and I to go on a date night while she was here. Neither of us had even thought of doing so for a couple of reasons. It’s not that I don’t want to give her “alone” time with her grandchildren. Instead I don’t want to ask her to watch them so I can run an errand or get some work done (hence writing this blog post late at night). If she had asked to take them to the park without me I would have welcomed the opportunity and used it to my advantage, but I wasn’t going to instigate.
Keeping her in the role as Nana works much better for the both of us. It’s obvious that I could be absent and her visit would be perfect with just her grandkids. Yet, she is doing her part to make and participate in conversation with me. Is she making an effort? Yeah, she is. I truly have no idea where our relationship lies, but I’m not sure either of us really know how to rebuild it…
One of the things I did to plan for this visit was to imagine the worst thing that could happen. Once I had clarity as to what this “worst” thing was it made me realize that it wasn’t going to be so bad. And I’m happy to say, it’s gone better than I expected. As the holidays approach and families gather – imagine the absolute worst thing that could happen and create a plan of action to take if it does or be prepared to be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t.
by Kelly Damron
Photo graciously provided by SantiMB ., through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved