Untying the Apron Strings

by Terrie Peay

Untying the Apron Strings

I’m forty-five years old and a mother of four—three girls and one boy. When I had my children, it was the most wonderful and stressful time of my life. I thought I had it all: a good marriage, home, children. For fifteen years, it was almost idyllic. I thought I was being a good mother. Those where the most precious times and unlike most I was able to cherish every moment, thanks to my husband’s job and his ability to support us.


Then came the teenage years—those years from sixteen on (my children were seven years apart by two, meaning the older two were fifteen and sixteen and the younger two were eight and nine). Suddenly, their attitudes changed; I became stupid, dull, and embarrassing. Who knew! As my children grew older, I grew dumber and more embarrassing. So they say. I on the other hand, I thought that I was the normal one, as I was not getting pierced, tattooed, or drunk at the drop of the hat, so to speak. And believe me, I did not condone this behavior, especially when I knew what they where doing at all times because we lived in a small town where everyone knew us and didn’t hesitate to call. (My kids thought I had ESP and I did nothing to discourage it.) It totally had its advantages, and I took full advantage of it. I knew my daughter skipped school before they did. Boy, did the principal hate to see me coming; he knew if I wanted to see him, it was not good. I gave my own daughter in-school suspension. I was not starry eyed to think my kids could do no wrong—like some parents do. I knew better and I knew my kids. Two graduated with honors and two graduated—so for fifty-fifty, I didn’t think I did too bad.


Now comes the adult years—you know, those good ‘ol twenties.


Yeah, let me tell you they make the teens look like a cake walk in the park, Mothers, your job does not end at twenty not in these days. The government has informed our children that we are constantly responsible for them and owe them…. YES we owe them for giving them life; I was actually told this. So, now comes my question to all you readers, when do we as parents get to say, enough is enough, live your own life and take responsibility for your own actions and quit blaming me for your stupid mistakes that I told you not to make in the first place.


I watch my cat caring for her kittens. She killed one. Why? I don’t know. Was it sick? Was it weak? Was she just pissed off? Who knows? No one will judge her nor will she go to jail. Hmmm! Maybe we can learn something from this mother cat. Until then, to all the mothers out there, Jack and Coke. That’s a good answer … not that I’m an alcoholic, by far, my friends can tell you. But don’t blame yourself when you wonder where you went wrong—you didn’t. It’s life in general and the influences of TV and society that are stealing our children and their common sense—and it will be up to us to fight to get it back. And if you are willing to hold on by the time they start having children of their own they to will play the game and come back to you. Oh yes, there will be a few that don’t but as parents we do the best we can, but as a once famous psychologists said we need tough love, it’s hard but it works, so hang in there, they to will not be immune from this same coarse of events.