*Disclaimer:  I absolutely love my mom and I think she is one of the most amazing people I know.  She’s the glue that holds our family together.  This blog is dedicated to her and all the moms that have perfected the “guilt trip” 🙂

This afternoon, I received a call from my mom.  It started off like our usual weekly conversations.  Instead of  saying, “Hi, how are you?”  a common greeting of most people, she says, “Hi, is everything okay?”  I spend about a minute telling her that work is busy as usual, Arizona is hot and my boyfriend is doing well.  She then spends the next five to ten minutes talking about her vacations, my dad, my niece, my sister, her concerns about our family, her friends, shopping, etc.  Then the call suddenly ends with, “It was nice talking to you, take care, love you, bye bye (click).”

 Today’s conversation was not like our usual.  A few weeks ago, I told my mom that my boyfriend and I were going to visit San Francisco in October.  We jumped on the awesome Southwest airfare deals.  In addition, I welcomed the idea of taking a nice vacation in the Fall.  Come mid-October to February I don’t dare think about taking a vacation.  That’s our busiest time at Crisis Nursery and my concentration is on my work.  So I consider this vacation my calm before the storm. 

Last week, my mom received a phone call from my cousin.  My cousin immigrated to the US from the Philippines a few years ago.  I’ve only seen her about three times my entire life.  She’s really cool, but throughout the years we just haven’t kept in touch.  She called her last week to inform my parents that she was getting married in Lake Tahoe  in the Fall.  My trip to San Francisco with my boyfriend is during the time she gets married.  My mom got all excited because she knew I was going to be in the vicinity. 

Normally, I would immediately be on board with going to Tahoe.  But because I planned the trip, I told her that I needed to communicate to my boyfriend of the possible side trip.  I told my mom that I would talk to him about it.  She told me that she would pay for our lodging and transportation to Tahoe.  As attractive as that deal sounded, I know the right thing to do is to discuss it with my boyfriend first before making any decisions.  Even though I told her that I needed to time to discuss it, my response still wasn’t good enough.  She wanted my confirmation right then and there.  Immediately, I get the guilt trip.  “Remember Irene… family comes first.”

Arrgghhhh! That’s like nails on a blackboard to me.  My first thought was “Oh…she has the nerve!” Whenever, I get a chance, I make sure I make at least one trip home to St. Louis to see my family.  My boyfriend and I went to St. Louis to visit in June.  Prior to that trip, I was in St. Louis in March.  Granted both trips coincided with my friends’s weddings, I still spent a majority of my time with my family.  I hung with my niece and my dad.   My dad is retired and is also the permanent babysitter.   My mom and sister both work a lot of hours.  So even though I go to visit, they normally don’t take time off.  And that’s ok.

I know my mom means well and I know she is laying it on thick because she wants me to be there. I can’t fault her for that.  But I know you all know what I’m going through.  I still have yet to meet someone who’s mom doesn’t know how to push buttons and lay on the guilt trip.  I wouldn’t be who I am today without my mom.  And if it means putting up with some guilt trips, that’s okay with me.  I know I have put her through a lot (like childbirth) and its her right as my mom to give me guilt trips.  I love her very much, but she knows how to get under my skin sometimes.  Enough said!