My grandniece posted this post on her mother’s Facebook. I found it funny and so true.
However, with regards to my own children (I have a son and daughter), my husband will be like the ‘mom’ too. He is very protective of his own children and myself too. Until today, including myself, whenever we reached home from somewhere (outing, school, grocery, etc) and he’s not at home, we will text him that we are home.
Many of my teacher friends in Singapore would be surprised that I have to text my husband whenever I want to go off somewhere with them after school – for lunch, for visiting, for shopping. Nevertheless, they still respect me and never mock or tease me about it. And I respect them for that. It’s not so much about freedom for women or that he should be more broad-minded and liberal and that he is exercising his authoritarian status. It’s just that I feel good letting him know where I am going and approximately what time I will be home or with whom I will be. I just don’t like him to be worried unnecessarily just like the same that I don’t like to be worried about him.
My children find it ‘suffocating’ and they want to be carefree. They always say why they can’t have more freedom like their friends. And why can’t we (my husband and I) be more carefree like their friends’ parents who let them go out anytime, anywhere and come back anytime they like. They sometimes feel embarrassed when they have to call us if they are going to be late or divert from their plans. I told them that if their friends are truly good friends, they should respect them and their parents and their personal family rules. If they laugh or mock them and show no respect, then they are not worthy of their friendship or anybody’s friendship. I also told them if they want a more carefree parents, they are free to leave and find their own carefree parents. I reminded them of the ‘carefree parents (my son’s friend’s parents) who allow their 14-year-old son drive the family car early in the morning with 3 other friends in the car, racing with another group of friends in another car (all do not have driving license) and had a terrible accident when both the cars collided against each other and that friend almost died.
I explained to them the rationale behind it but somehow, I know, they still don’t like it, especially my son.
So one day, I decided to try an experiment. I had a meeting in school one day and I went out of the house without telling them (it was last year’s summer vacation). I went out quite early and they were still sleeping (didn’t I say it was summer vacation so they wake up late?). Normally I would tell them that I have school the night before, just to prepare them. But, that morning I left without informing them anything at all – my husband knew of course. I didn’t even leave any instruction for their lunch.
During the course of the day, I received countless calls and text messages from both of them, asking me where I was and what time I would be back. I ignored them all.
Towards the evening, when I reached home, it was my son who barged me with persistent questions – Where were you? Why didn’t you tell us? Why didn’t you pick up our calls or answer our texts – and so on and so on. My daughter was there too but she was just saying, “Yah, why you never tell us?”
I only looked at both of them and with a smile on my face, I said, “Now, do you understand why we want you to tell us when you’re going out or going to be late? Do you understand the rationale of it all? Do you know how it feels like to be worried sick? Do you know how it feels like not knowing where your son or your daughter or your mother is and not knowing who to call or what to do?”
Both of them smiled at my answer and said, “We know mom.”