My Peter Pan Complex

Posted: January 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Bad Mom Moves, Extended Family, Holidays, Husbandry, Little Rhody, Other Mothers, Parenting, Travel | 6 Comments »

I used to spend Christmases at home. And by “home” I mean at the house I grew up in—my mom’s—in Rhode Island.

Then a number of things happened to change that, not the least of which was that she died. But aside from that even, I got married and became a mother myself. And a few years ago, despite my inclination to still do my winter migration to Little Rhody (now to Dad’s), Mark started lobbying for us to stay at our own house for Christmas.


“The girls should wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning,” he opined, ever the rational one. He also likely tossed in something about holiday travel being a hassle, expensive, and particularly taxing with young children and cross-country flights.


Sure, I saw his point. But what about me? What about me waking up in my own bed? What about Santa delivering presents to my house, not that place where we live in California?

And the thing is, Mark’s right. Well, I’m not actually sure I’m ready to embrace his stance entirely. Let me downgrade that to, “I can see his point.” It IS kinda expensive and it IS kinda a hassle to get there.

Sometimes I let him make the decisions, you know, to empower him. So for the past five years I’ve done some supremely selfless parenting and allowed my kids to be the kids—not me—at Christmastime. I must be up for some kind of mothering award.

A couple weeks ago Mark helped me with some blog stuff. He is both husband and IT consultant. (In this economy you’ve gotta be able to wear several hats.) If it’s not glaringly apparent, I’m embracing a fairly scaled-back user experience here. But I sometimes fall prey to blog peer pressure (self-imposed, mind you). I’m the world’s biggest luddite, but every now and again even I realize I should implement some sorta new feature to keep up with the other kids.

So Mark helped me add a Facebook “like” button to the bottom of each post. So now you can not only “like” motherload on the whole, you can “like” any individual posts that rock your world.

It’s a regular like fest.

Amazingly I have not obsessed over this. I have not checked every four minutes to see if I have more likes. (Good thing too, since they’re not exactly pouring in.) I will cop to having had a small obsession several years ago when we sent out an Evite for a party. I spent the better part of a day compulsively hitting “refresh” to see who’d RSVPed. It was not healthy.

Anyway, the new, more mature me will manage this “like” button much more rationally. (Though I’ll still be your best friend if you use it every once and a while. In fact, I double-dog dare you to do it right now.)

Speaking of Le Face Livre, in the new year I’m reversing an ill-formed personal policy that I’ve been foolishly adhering to. What is that you may ask? 2012 is the year that I will finally friend my mother-in-law.

Now I’m curious to hear how you all manage this yourselves. Initially my take on the parental-level Facebook friend was this: Who knows what they might see. Who knows what they might read. And moreover, who knows what I would have to edit, avoid, or otherwise regret.

But now, a few years in to seeing her friendly face crop up in my “People You May Know” list, I’m wondering what the hell I’d been thinking.

It’s not like I’m selling crack on Facebook. (I do that on my other website.) It’s not like I’m publishing skanky pictures of myself. It’s not like I’m really doing anything much other than making snarky comments on the often dizzying state of motherhood, a topic that, of all people, my mother-in-law is very much in touch with.

Keeping her at social-media arms length was apparently my way of maintaining a foothold in the world where I’m the kid and the grown-ups are the grown-ups. It may have taken me 44 years, but I’m finally willing to throw in the towel and admit that I’m an adult.

Of course, I have no intention of ever acting my age. And Facebook is the perfect outlet for my raging immaturity. The way I see it now, my mother-in-law and I can act immature there together.


6 Comments on “My Peter Pan Complex”

  1. 1 Andrea said at 8:14 am on January 27th, 2012:

    This is so hilarious. I literally just hung up from my IT person—who I have to pay for!— and referenced YOUR site as having very cool features on it! I despise my site and wish someone would just tell me what it should look like, what plug-ins I should have and then design it so that I can go back to producing content, which is what I’m happiest doing!

  2. 2 Karen said at 9:19 am on January 27th, 2012:

    I know exactly what you mean about wanting to be in your bed, in the house you grew up in for Christmas. I have always felt that way, but then I joined the military and only made it back for 1 Christmas over 20 years. Now that I am settled in one place the idea of traveling with my son anywhere over the holidays is…NOT A CHANCE Buster…

  3. 3 Laurent said at 9:23 am on February 5th, 2012:

    That’s funny, I remember my mother telling to me when she decided to celebrate Christmas at her own home with her own kids, since this was her home from then onward,

    Very nice article!

  4. 4 Paula @lkg4sweetspot said at 7:28 am on February 10th, 2012:

    So funny! I admit, I am a victim of hitting the refresh button over and over again…

  5. 5 kristen said at 7:29 pm on February 13th, 2012:

    Andrea: Hilarious! I’m flattered that my basic-yet-hopefully-functional site is something you referenced as imitation-worthy!

    Karen: Yes, if I were you and traveled at Christmas for work I too would not budge.

    Paula: Happy I’m not alone in my obsessive behaviors. :)

  6. 6 wifi meaning said at 8:07 pm on May 9th, 2012:

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

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