Monday, April 11, 2011

Moms weekend

I clearly live spring fling buttona sheltered life.  I have this little box in my mind that defines what a mom looks like when they have college kids, and it doesn’t include acting like a college kid yourself!  I had heard about the goings-on at Moms Weekend, but I found some of it hard to believe.  Yeah.  Not so much any more.  Not when you’ve seen it with your own eyes.

Now, I’ll be the very first to admit I’m not much of a drinker.  An occasional glass of wine…heavy on the OCCASIONAL.  I don’t do red wine at all (a migraine trigger for me) and I’m just not a huge fan of most white wines.  Watching the group of 9 moms and dads (yes, there were dads at moms weekend) at dinner Friday night finish off 2 bottles of wine, 2 pitchers of beer, 4 martinis, 6 individual glasses of wine, and 2 individual beers was interesting.  Knowing that most of them were going from dinner directly to the sorority/fraternity exchanges to the ‘wine and poker’ nights and then driving to hotels was fascinating.  Seeing moms so drunk their daughters were holding them up, and knowing of at least one college freshman who had to drive her mother to the hotel after the wine and poker?  I don’t understand.  Is that REALLY fun?  Do college students really enjoy seeing Mom smashed?   Is that what is now considered quality bonding time with your child?  If so, I’ll pass.

The pictures I saw were interesting too.  Moms making passes at college boys.  Moms and daughters pole dancing together.  One that looked like a lively game of strip poker.  Again…this is fun to share with your child?  I just don’t understand.

Then there was the other extreme…the moms who still couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that their little darling has truly been gone from home since August, making their own decisions and living to tell about it.  I heard lots of moms deriding their children's choices.  Everything from choice of date to clothing and food were fair game.  Let’s not even talk about what Moms were saying about choices of majors!  Emily is a freshman.  She had an idea going in to school what she wanted to major in, but has since discovered that it’s not a good fit for her.  She’s made a huge change.  I’m delighted for her.  It is, after all, HER life.  SHE needs to like what she’s studying.  SHE needs to be happy with the choice.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about what makes me happy.  Again, I just don’t understand.

I am Emily’s mom.  I will always be Emily’s mom.  Our relationship is changing these days.  I am less and less ‘coach’ in her world and more and more ‘friend.’  But even then, I am still Mom.   Maybe the problem is me—to me there are just some things you don’t need to share with your mom.  I have an awesome mom.  I love her dearly.  But she’s not my best friend, and I don’t treat her like she is.  I adore spending time with her.  I respect her wisdom and her advice.  But she is also Jim’s mother in law.  She’s the grandma of my crew.  There are things I would tell my best friend that Mom doesn’t need to know.  They could affect her relationship with the others in my house, and that’s not right.  (No, Mom…there’s nothing you need to worry about!)  There’s a balance…

Relationships with adult children are complex.  That’s a given.  But when moms start acting like college kids at a party, it seems that it would make an already complex relationship even more complicated.  Why do that?  Why not enjoy time together with your child, learning about them?  If you’ve laid a solid foundation during their childhood, you really should be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors!  College is about spreading your wings, not having them clipped by parents.  Sadly, the way some moms acted this weekend, some of THEM need their wings clipped.

Fortunately, not all the moms were like this.  I did connect with a couple of neat gals.  And I saw Hailey’s best friend and her mom.  They were having the same kind of fun Emily and I were having.  :)   After this weekend, I’ll take my sheltered life and my own definition of ‘mom with college aged kid(s).  It’s definitely better than the alternatives I witnessed this weekend!


  1. Jennifer, I am flabbergasted at your description of the other moms. I just don't even know what to think, other than "grow up." Sheesh.

    Glad you enjoyed special time with your girl.

  2. Yikes, I think I might fall into the sheltered mom category too, and that's ok with me!

  3. Well, fwiw, things haven't changed so much. I remember being at a Mom's weekend at another large state university and having the same reaction. The funniest part is that it wasn't this year or even last year, it was more than 20 years ago. Unfortunately, this kind of thing just doesn't change that much. Stay the way you are, you won't ever be sorry! I'm sure not sorry, and I don't think your sister is either!!!

    Love you all,

  4. I'm a sheltered mom too I guess. I do believe what you saw. Been there, seen it. Some of these people were acting the same way in high school and/or college. Glad you and your kids have the smarts and guts to be who you are!