Even the greatest mother/daughter relationship can go a little south once the daughter becomes a mother, too. After all, our mothers are our mothers. Eventually our own children will grow up and it'll hard to let go of the dynamic in which we were teachers and our children were students. So, honestly, you can't be all that surprised by the passive aggressive things your own mom will say once you become a mother yourself. The trick to navigating this new dynamic, for better or for worse, is in how you respond.
I love my mother to pieces. I sincerely do. She’s always been there for me when I needed her and, well, also when I didn't. She’s listened and given advice, even though I haven't always necessarily asked for it. She has a kind heart and a generous soul and I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world.
Having said that (and having sufficiently covered all my bases) my darling mother is not without her faults. For example, she knows exactly how to make me feel incredibly guilty and usually in this, admittedly rather impressive, passive aggressive manner. I’ve learned most if not all of the tricks that help me respond to her quips, though, and I can tell you more or less how I handle them. Well, sort of. Relationships are hard, you guys.
"So, I Guess You Haven't Dressed Them Yet?"
Translation: "Are you really dressing your child in those rags?"
My mother is not a fan of how I dress my son. Well, at least sometimes she's not a fan, like if he’s wearing a band shirt. I’ve dropped him off in her care only to have her return him wearing something completely different, and with bags of (ugly, to me) Tommy Hilfiger shirts. I just keep making sure to dress him in her least favorite outfits when they see each other because I’m a jerk and like to bust her chops.
"Are You Sure You Should Be Eating Or Drinking That?"
Translation: "That’s going to make you gain weight or some other random, undesirable result of whatever it is you're putting in your mouth."
My mother isn’t a fan of me eating junk food and straight up tried to pretend I don’t actually drink alcohol. I used to care, but now I just nod and smile and continue filling my body with whatever displeases her.
"I Think Baby Deserves Milk And/Or Formula"
Translation: "You’re doing it wrong."
The ways in which a mother decides to feed her child are between, you guessed it, a mother and her child. Still, moms can be overbearing. So no, mom, how I chose to feed my son isn't why he's "spoiled" and isn't why he only drinks warm milk.
"I Know You’d Never Leave Your Child With A Stranger"
Translation: "All babysitters are evil, abusive serial killers and if you ever leave your child with one they will be harmed in multiple ways and you will feel horrible forever. So don't do it. Instead, leave your precious baby with me."
My mother actually made me feel guilty for leaving my son with a babysitter while she was 3,000 miles away. I mean, if that's not some sort of passive aggressive magic, I don't know what is. You know what, though? I found a sitter I trusted, took all the precautionary steps, and went to see Metallica in concert. Sorry not sorry, mom.
"Your Kid Never Does That With Me!"
Translation: "Learn to control your child like I do."
My mom swears up and down her way is the best way for, well, basically everything. It's beyond frustrating, so I usually just nod and throw some shade her way at this point because whatever mom.
"Some Of Us Also Have Laundry, You Know"
Translation: "Move your laundry out of the laundry room now."
I know I sucked at clearing my laundry when my family shared a facility. So you know what? Yeah, I will give mom a point, because she has one.
"You Know, Kitchens Don't Clean Themselves"
Translation: "You are a slob."
Personally, I can't say "slob" is necessarily unfair to throw in my direction. I definitely don't clean the way my mother does. Instead, I usually just take the time to clean up whatever mess is obvious and call it a day. I mean, I can only do so much.
"Let Me Show You How It’s Done"
Translation: Actually, I don't really think you need a translation for this one. Some moms like to feel like they’ve still got something to show you, even long after you’ve spread your wings and flown away from their care.
I can’t say I know what that feels like. Yet. Depending on the day, my mood, and my mother's tone, I might just nod and say, “Sure.” Then again, I might say, “Actually, no, I like it this way,” and be on my merry adult way because I’m an adult, damn it. #Adulting