Tag Archives: parenting

He Was No Tom Selleck: Lessons From Dad After He Passed

*Originally shared at Yahoo! Voices in June 2014—- My parents divorced when I was three, and as a result, I became a statistic. In the ’70s, divorce was a new concept, and the psychology of parenting wasn’t anything people thought about changing. In truth, the notion of parenting roles was still vague during these times. Fathers were not viewed as less actively involved with children — not like mothers — so weekend visitation (in the rare case of divorce) was socially accepted.

My dad carried his weight with visitation and child support but didn’t go beyond. He attended my graduations from 8th grade and high school but other than that; he was absent.

As a child, he was my hero. I told my friends that he was the coolest guy ever. I often compared his looks to Tom Selleck (he was young and popular then!) and bragged about how much fun he was.

Tom Selleck on the red carpet at the 1989 Acad...
Tom Selleck on the red carpet at the 1989 Academy Awards, March 29, 1989 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In hindsight, I only remember going anywhere with him twice. Once to Disneyland and once to a zoo.

As a teen, I began to struggle with his role. I rebelled at the idea that he was sort of a deadbeat, but the realization was becoming clearer. He was a hard man to please, and it was nearly impossible to get his attention.

After the birth of my first child, I began to feel pity for him. He spent his free-time with his buddies at the bar; he was uninterested in my life. At first, I was angry. Years made me soften, and my fondness for Psychology made me analyze him.

This analysis made me very aware of his pain. I began to forgive.

My dad passed away seven years ago from complications with his liver. A result from excessive drinking. A few years before he died, I was able to repair our relationship. He had quit drinking, and I learned I liked him. I was almost 30 years old before I realized how similar I was to him. His desire to become a better grandpa was ultimately what repaired our relationship.

He became the dad I had always wanted. He was a great grandpa to my kids.

His legacy carries into my life on a daily basis. I think about him during every aspect of my role as a parent. I continue to strive to be a better mom, and I always look at the good and bad of my dad.

He has indirectly taught me more about being a parent than I could ever have imagined.

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You’re Officially a Parent to an Adult: Now What? (Great For New Parents Too)

I’m officially the parent of an adult. If this revelation doesn’t make a girl feel old, well, nothing will. At the end of this year, I’ll turn forty and that still doesn’t make me feel as old as I do when I look at my baby boy-and an adult stares back at me.

I never thought this day would come, for two reasons:

  1. I’m pretty sure I should be dead by now. It took me a few years to get it “together” and there were times when I wasn’t sure.
  2. I’m no different than any other mother. In my mind, that child is still watching Barney the purple dinosaur, calling me Moma, and needs the Cheerios cut in half.
    A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal.
    A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, friends, my son is eighteen. He’s still a senior in high school, but I’m sure, as I type these words, he’s out buying lottery tickets, cigarettes, and adult magazines. After all, I planned his birth so perfectly that his admission into adulthood fell on a Friday. The “party” I had for him tonight should have been for me.

I am officially the parent of an adult, my son turns eighteen. Now what am  I supposed to do?
This whole “growing older thing” isn’t bothering him. Me? That’s a different story.

I did all the work—from creation to enduring fat ankles, to pushing, to raising, to panicking…. I’m the one who had to quit drinking and smoking for nine months, give or take!

He just popped out into the world like, “WAT up lady! I’m gonna give you a heart-attack by the time you’re thirty.”“What’s up lady! I’m gonna give you a heart-attack by the time you’re thirty.”

And I, like a naive new mother, just stared at him in amazement-completely oblivious to the fact that one day, he’d be a man.

The Big Question: What Do I Do Now?

After some consideration and a few tears, I devised a plan that offers solutions for my greatest challenges and concerns.

Recognize the Past as the Past: Every parent has regret, guilt, and a bit of remorse over things that could’ve been done differently. God knows I’ve cried myself to sleep at times with worry. In order to be the best Mother, going forward, I can only acknowledge mistakes from the past and learn from them. In order to get over the past, I have to forgive myself. (Check!)

Let Him Figure Explore Life Through His Own Mistakes: There, I said it, and it’s the truth. In order to make sure I don’t hinder the life lesson’s my son deserves, I have no choice but to allow him to make his own decisions. I have to also allow him to experience success and failure in decision-making. The hardest part is shutting up. I’ve been practicing though, so I’m feeling confident. (Check!)

Tip: New parents can avoid the regret, and guilt or minimize it by learning how to plan for all the stages of growth. I wish I had.

Build a Relationship With an Adult: He’s no longer my baby; that realization is finally sinking in. With that being said, I’m committed to building a relationship that is solid in respect, admiration, and love. I’m excited to watch my son navigate through life as an adult, I really a. (Check!)

Tell Him I’m Ready to be a Grandma: What!! He’s a teenager, he refuses to do what I say. (Check-MATE!)

Tell Him Only Idiots go to College: Ditto! (Check!)

Tip: Take advantage of the savings Amazon offers to college students when you join Amazon Student. There’s still time to plan ahead for the next leg of the trip.

My son is eighteen and I'm the parent of an adult.
He is now an adult, and I couldn’t be prouder.

You’re Not The Boss of Me, These Two Are

The CEO and CFO of “Robin Matteri Writer”

CEO and CFO of ME--My Boys

 

 

 

….. the company doing business as, “Mom!”

 

I may not punch in and out, and do not have hours consistent to you regular folks— ya know, like, Monday to Friday. The wages may be borderline on nothing, but, the fringe benefits are enormous.

Thanks for supporting us by reading my writing…. it’s appreciated by everyone.

My son and I age 10 1293832509587

I don't text your imaginary boyfriend.

My Imaginary Boyfriend–Direct Quote From My Son… GASP!


From the Facebook Archives—A classic conversation between me and my oldest—I think he was about 15 years old at the time. His wit will never stop making me laugh.

 

Me: “Give me your girlfriends number, I want to text her.”

 

Tyler: “No. I don’t want you texting my girlfriend. I don’t text your imaginary boyfriend.”