A Mother’s Intervention to End Her Daughter’s Trip Around the World
It all started Saturday with a vague and eerie message requesting a phone call back.
She wanted uninterrupted quiet time for at least 1 hour. She even suggested getting a cup of coffee and making sure I was out of the house.
This would need to be a time where I couldn’t use the kids screaming in the background or bad cell phone service as an excuse.
Wow, this was getting serious!
My first thought was “Intervention”.
My second thought was I’m 36 and why do I have to justify or explain myself? Did I mention I’m 36?
She raised a successful daughter in career and relationships and now, now she wants to have a serious talk? Are you kidding me? It’s my life and I’ve made good decisions all my life.
I’m still married, have wonderful kids, a home, a career, no tattoos, no weird piercings. Now my mom thinks we’ve gone off the deep end; acting irresponsibly just because we want to travel for a year with two small kids and quit our jobs.
It’s a good thing she left a message or else in my confused, offended initial reaction I wouldn’t have had kind words.
But, as the day went on thinking about it, I thought differently.
Once a Mom, Always a Mom
I have a Mom and Dad that love me and my family so much that they are seeking the answers to their questions and insecurities.
They don’t want to act selfish so they instead ask the hard questions running through their minds. I can embrace that the thought of traveling with two small kids and leaving our comfortable world behind us might look crazy to some and look as if we’re “running away” from something.
So I called her back and set up a phone date. (Mom lives in Washington, me in California).
We talked. I put the conversation in her hands. I put up rules though.
“I love and respect you, but this is our life, I’m an adult and I’m doing this under my own free will.”
I said this up front because I think the driving force of my Moms insecurities came from me sharing my insecurities over Christmas and she couldn’t grasp how I’d done a 360 on my thoughts.
She asked all the obvious questions my husband and I’ve been working through for the last 3 months:
What about the kids’ education?
What will you do for money?
What will you do for health insurance?
What will you do with the house, car, and cat?
Where are you going?
When are you coming back?
What does my daughter’s teacher think? (Super excited by the way.)
And then, with a mothers love, she voiced her narrow minded questions/concerns that stop so many people from traveling:
It’s dangerous over there!
How will this affect the kids with friends/school when they come back?
How are they going to have a since of security?
Your husband has done some dumb dangerous things and we’re worried you’ll put your kids in harms way. (Oh I got a little heated on that one).
What if Stephen doesn’t want a 9-5 job when he comes back?
My favorite one, “Don’t not come back if you need to just to spite us and prove us all wrong.”
I felt about 16 again. Really Mom? Come on. I’m an adult now. The last thing I’ll be thinking at this point in time is, “what will people think?”
Working out The Details
By the end of the conversation I could tell all her questions weren’t answered. We’re still working on them too.
I made a point to let her know that I respect and love her enough to share my thoughts and feelings, but by no means was she going to change our minds. If she wanted to keep the lines of communication open she would have to come to a level of acceptance and start being a positive, supportive force from this point on.
If she could not achieve this; she’d have to commiserate and bounce her negative, worried feelings with someone else. It’s a good thing she has a good relationship with my mother-in-law. I’m sure they will be talking a lot in the next year.
It is my moms fault I want to do this anyway, she and dad raised a strong woman. One who is capable of dreaming big dreams and having the tools to pursue them.
I have great, loving parents who will always be a part of my life and I do value their opinions.
I’ll always need my Mom and Dad even when their gone. I too some day will question my kids’ decisions in life and hope I can see the value in trusting I’ve raised them well enough to succeed.
I hope they have a sense of adventure, but the best we can hope for our children is for them to be happy.
It’s hard to watch them fall or fail. As parents we have to trust that they learn from their mistakes and are able to brush it off and be stronger for it. I’d hate to see my kids afraid to fail. It’s with failures and pushing the limits, we truly can achieve great success.
Mom, I’m truly Happy! But most of all, Excited!
Since this conversation I’ve sent my mom and our family multiple links we’ve been using to research and inspire us. I hope this will ease her anxieties. My mom’s opinions and concerns have been echoed from many family members. I get it. They love us, worry about us and most of all: will miss us. Surprisingly friends and strangers are only excited and interested. Many have voiced their desire to do the same thing.