Mother-daughter relationships are notoriously creepy. Like, even under the best of circumstances things can get sort of weird. Not necessarily weird in a terrible, dysfunctional way, mind you, just unabashedly weird. Like how when my mom hugs me she'll sometimes push down on my shoulders and aggressively whisper, "Shrink! Shriiiiiink! Be little again!" Umm, I love you, too, mommy? Since moms are always saying relatively strange things, it stands to reason that there are
creepy things moms say to their daughters when they become mothers.
Considering my own daughter is 2, I can currently only see this dynamic from the position of
being the daughter in question. However, I honestly find myself completely incapable of judging the weirdness of the grandmother generation because, like, sh*t, dude. I cannot fathom how weird it must be to see your own child become a parent. I'm already baffled that she's no longer an infant. I imagine I'll have just gotten used to her being a toddler by the time she's an adult. So, if she ever chooses to have a child of her own, I probably won't be able to wrap my mind around the fact that she and I are both mothers. Like, "Wait, we're technically at the same level of adulthood here? Get the hell out of town." I can only imagine it's difficult terrain to navigate.
That being said, moms can get really weird, awkward, and creepy in the face of a change as drastic as (I assume) becoming a grandmother. Take, for example, the following...
"It's About Time!"
Because your mom has pretty much been dreaming of this day since you got your first period. It's not that she wanted you to have a baby back in the day, but she's been
excited about when it would be the right time for a while now (probably) and there's not-a-terrible chance she thought "the right time" was before it actually happened. Mothers: so wonderful, but so goddamn impatient you'd think they're toddlers sometimes... "Here's All Your Old Baby Stuff"
At which point she dumps a horrifying amount of mildew-smelling, probably lead-based-paint-covered baby items that would not only
not pass today's safety standards, but fly cavalierly in the face of them. On the one hand, it's cute because she's sentimental and trying to help. On the other hand, good lord, woman, this car seat is covered in water stains and appears to be constructed primarily of rusted nails. What the hell were you thinking? Burn this all in a fire and let's never speak of it again. "You Have To Name Them After..."
Look, you love your mom and you value her opinion. You may even select her to be a member of your
Baby Naming Special Task Force. But she has, well, a lot of ideas, and sometimes it's like, "Woman, you know this isn't your baby, right? I mean, why would I name my child after your mean-spirited auntie? I only ever remember being terrified of her as a kid. And, plus, also, you know, her name was Helga, which would be fine if she were going to Hogwarts, but if it didn't happen for me* I don't think it's going to happen for her.
*I'm still holding out hope and am willing to leave at a moment's notice.
"Did You Have Any Tearing?"
Get together any group of moms and, if there's a new mom in the bunch, there's a pretty good chance that a
gory discussion of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum issues will follow. Usually that's pretty OK. Moms talking to other moms is a good way to figure this craziness out. Plus, being asked about the nitty gritty by close friends is a great way to process the experience after-the-fact. However, when those questions are coming from your mom it can get sorta creepy and awkward. Like "Um, mom, I love you but I would literally pay money not to discuss my vagina with you, like, ever." "Let Me Tell You All About My Postpartum Hemorrhoids..."
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Hearing about your mom's fancy bits is
even worse than your mom asking about your fancy bits! No! Please! For the love of God! I will give you a million dollars and my child if we can figure out a way to undo this conversation. "That's Exactly What Your Naked Tushie Used To Look Like"
Well this is sort of creepy and weird. I really don't want everyone picturing what my ass looks like, based on my child's naked butt. Also, help us all if mom uses this as an opportunity to bust out the family photo album and show everyone what your naked butt used to look like...
"You Know What The Doctor Used To Tell Me To Do For You...?"
This is where you hear some outdated and/or horrible parenting advice like, "Give the baby a bottle of cola before bed" or, "rub whisky on their gums to help with teething." Honestly, sometimes I really do wonder how
any of us made it through the '80s. But hey, let's be charitable here, because we're learning new things about babies all the time, and I'm sure that by the time my kids have kids they're going to look back on some of the advice I'm following right now as unequivocally horrifying. "When Are You Going To Let Me Babysit For The Weekend?"
Lady, I love you, but I'm sort of in the middle of giving birth right now. Not only is it
a little early for you to be thinking about that, but now is just not the time. How did you even get past the security desk? I specifically gave them your picture because I had a feeling you might trying to do something like this... "Here's All The Jewelry Everyone Gets When I Die..."
I'm sure many moms, as they think about their nicest pieces of jewelry or most beloved trinkets, think about passing it down before they ever have grandchildren. There's something about
having grandchildren that makes them more prone to verbalize it, probably because being faced with the next generation makes them think more about legacies and mortality. So, don't be surprised if after you have a child, your mom gets all macabre about what you have to do with her various valuables after she shuffles off her mortal coil. "Revenge!"
OK mom, I get it: I was a really unhappy, colicky baby. However, just like this child, I wasn't doing it on purpose and your insane cackling over my frazzled sleeplessness is really, really off-putting.
In the end, hopefully and if we're lucky, through all their creepiness, our moms remain, well, our moms, even after we've had our own children. They're there to comfort us, guide us, and encourage us. Now we have one more thing in common, which provides yet another level to our relationship. It's this deepened connection that enables us to forgive them when they start going into graphic detail about the state of her postpartum nethers...