I was raised by a mom who people referred to as the helicopter mom, the overbearing mom, or (my favorite) the strict mom.
Until the age of 21, when I moved out, I spent a lot of time looking at the four walls of my bedroom or outside with my sister. The only freedom I got was when we went to the store and I would wander off from my mama.
I had close friends that lived two doors down from me and I wasn’t allowed over.
I missed a lot of kickball games, birthday parties, and sleepovers.
I also spent a lot of time mad at my mama and resenting her for being so strict with me and my sister. I yelled, “It’s not fair!” at her a lot growing up and I spent a lot of nights crying myself to sleep wondering how nice it must be for the kids who were basically able to do what they wanted.
That didn’t stop me and my sister from sneaking over to the neighbor’s house when my mama wasn’t home; sometimes we got caught . . . the punishment was worth it, though.
I was the one who won prom queen in 2011 and picked up supper from Waffle House and then went home.
I was the one who went to McDonald’s after graduation and went home.
If I wanted to see my friends I saw them at school. I was the one who made up excuses as to why I couldn’t go to a birthday party or go hang out at the lake.
My mom was the reason I felt like I missed out.
She didn’t understand. I just wanted to hang out, go to a movie, or go out to eat with friends. I couldn’t do anything.
What I didn’t know was she did understand. She was overprotective for a reason. I saw a quote that said, “Overprotective adults were under-protected children.” When I read that I was astounded.
Was my mom under-protected? Was she saving me from the heartache that she experienced?
My mom has passed away, but what I would give to ask her these questions.
What my mama did do, by not allowing me to go anywhere or do anything, was allow me to be close to my sisters, her and my dad, and my grandparents. I had them. I had movie nights with my family. We had pool days where we grilled out and sat outside all night talking and in those moments, I was content.
In those moments, we were making memories that I’ll cherish forever.
Now I have that same practice with my own kids and every weekend I spend time with my family. In my adulthood, I’ve learned that friends come and go, but my family has always been there, through the highs and lows.
Now that I’m an adult and I have a family of my own, I see exactly what my mama was doing. Now that I have kids of my own, it scares me when they leave my side. My mom was shielding me from all the hateful things of this world and I plan on doing the same thing for my kids.
Granted, I’ll give my children a little bit more freedom, but they’ll always know that spending time with family comes first.