Life Moment Rewind:

As a mother the hardest thing has to be letting go; no matter what age that finds you it is heart wrenching. When Liz was very young, maybe 9 months old, Neil decided she was going to have to learn to fall asleep without being rocked by mommy. I didn’t agree, but in secret I had found bedtime difficult. If we weren’t home; that comfy chair that rocked just right Liz would not find sleep. That first night was hell. I remember Neil taking her from me (at the time I felt it was ripping her from me) and placing her in her room in her crib. A new experience for both Liz and I. Liz cried, rather screamed like she was dying, for hours and hours. There were many moments when I attempted to go in and get her. Neil literally sat on top of me saying this had to be done. We had to wean her off the routine of mommy, rocking and comfy chair. I thought evil things of Neil that night, but after 4 hours Liz cried herself to sleep. It was a drastic move this I would agree, but I can see now how necessary it was. It wasn’t like she was hurting, hungry, or wet; the only loss that was being inflicted was the loss of routine. The next night Liz cried but only for about 45 minutes, and each night after that was less and less. After about a week Liz smiled when we put her down for bed and the only person remembering the difficulty of the week was me. My heart hurt that week. I was losing my quiet time with my baby. I was losing my routine with her; she no longer needed me to feel safe and comforted during those moments between wake and sleep. Finally, she had learned the art of self comfort and my life would forever be different.

Life Moment Forward:

As a mother there comes a time when you must take a stand, and I have never had the strength to do so. I am forever the helper, or a better word is enabler. When the mail came yesterday and Geoff told me Liz got a ticket I was extremely upset. What is a parking ticket – it is nothing more than another parking ticket; in a lifetime of parking tickets from her. Ok, so one small, insignificant parking ticket, that is what I would have said if it didn’t follow the months and months of dependency she has become accustomed to.  In that moment, though no words were spoken to others, I knew it was time for me to stand up and speak; not in anger this time as before, but in love.

I called Liz and of course got her voice mail. When she returned my call Geoff, myself, Jake and DJ were doggie door shopping at Home Depot. I didn’t want to have this conversation there but knew it was now or never. As I write this I don’t even know if I can adhere to my own words. Something in me says I can’t but a higher power says I must. I told Liz we got a parking ticket in the mail. Immediately she said she wasn’t aware of a ticket; as if her not knowing makes it not true. When I told her where the ticket was received she said nothing. I think at that point there was not much to argue and it was true; yet again the child thought “it is just a parking ticket.” There was also a offense sited for no front license plate (which is in the trunk). Liz was quick to point out that part of the ticket was a fix it ticket and she would take care of it; I was quick to point out she already had a ticket for that and didn’t take care of it.

I am still not angry at this point; it is hard to say what I was/am but I know I ache. The decision I must stand by will likely kill me, this I know to be true. I told Liz I loved her very much but could no longer financially help her. I assured her I would pay her rent this month as I said I would, and as I have been doing for the last six months. However, after it was paid I would not be financially assisting her at all. There would be no cell phone bill payment from me, no rent, no electricity and/or food. I told her that she has far exceeded a reasonable amount of time to be out of work and as long as I continued to make it possible for her not to take any job that came her way she would not find a job. I told it was time to do whatever it took to work even if that meant lowering her standards. I reminded her throughout the conversation I loved her and was not angry with her at all. This was not like the last time (a few weeks ago). I needed her to understand that she has to support herself. I needed her to understand that by my giving to her my household and Jake suffers. I reminded her that my assistance is supposed to be for school and emergencies and not for everyday expenses. I pointed out if she or her brother, Jeff, found themselves in a real emergency or sick I would not be in a position to financially help them as they both take every cent they can from me on a monthly basis. I tried to make it about how helping them was affecting me and not about them. I know she was thinking I was upset and angry I could hear it in her voice. She just kept saying “Ok Mom, Ok Mom” over and over again.

I took my stand; not really for me but for her independence. When she first moved out (in town) she was so responsible. She was able to work, attend school, have a social life, and be a young adult. Since her move to
Santa Barbara she seems to have lost her financial independence, and sadly she doesn’t seem to mind. I know she is tired of not doing anything very fun, but when you have good ol’ mom footing the living expenses of your life, and your friends pitching in for some fun stuff why should you work? I told her it was time to look for a job, and work at any job found. I told her that she should be looking for a job 24/7 and if she was home watching a movie or going to the beach she wasn’t doing what is necessary for her life to be successful. Lastly, again I told her I loved her, but I couldn’t give her any money at all; not until after she was working. I do not mind contributing to keeping her afloat, after all she is in college, but I will not be the sole supporter of it. She has to realize that things don’t just come to us and for her to have what she has someone (me and her brother) have to go without. I would gladly go without if she could not work, but laziness will no longer work.

I need to dig my heels in and hold on fast; it is time to help my screaming baby, who didn’t want to lose the comfort and routine of me rocking her to sleep, fly. I only hope I have the strength. Some mom moments are difficult. Some are impossible. Some just are what they are.

Life Moment Present: 

(Secretly, I fear I am too weak to take this stand)