Home > housework, motherhood, my mom > Where I get my paranoia

Where I get my paranoia

Conversation with my mother (as close as I can remember it):

Me: We’re going to the library tomorrow to play with J.

Mom: You can’t take her to the library, Amanda.

Me: Err…. why not?

Mom: Amanda, the flu!

Me: Err…. what?

Mom: The flu, Amanda! The flu! A girl died.

Me: She’s a healthy kid, Mom.

Mom: This girl who died was a healthy 15 year old and she went septic in just a few days. You can’t let The Baby near other kids.

Me: Mom, I can’t lock her in a bubble either. She’s had her flu shot.

Mom: The flu shot isn’t worth anything this year! Keep her away from any other kids.

Me: It’s only a 35% effective shot this year, true, but she’s had shots for three seasons now and the benefits add up.

Mom: Just take her to the playground.

Me: It’s 20 degrees out!

Mom: She can play for a little while. And if it’s cold, there won’t be any other kids there.

Me:  Umm… how goes the wedding planning? (My brother is getting married in November.)

Mom: Amanda, I want you to listen to me. Do not take that child to any playgroups or libraries or anything, she will catch the flu. She can’t touch any other children.

Me: Ohhhh-kaaayyy…. Mom, I gotta run. Take care. Love you.

Categories: housework, motherhood, my mom
  1. March 13, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Wow. Do I identify with this. My mom is super paranoid and neurotic about everything (except smoking for some reason — instead she focuses her neurosis on the tabacco conspiracies she thinks are abundant). Do you get the constant “You should’s” and “You shouldn’t’s” as well? You shouldn’t take him for a stroll today, it’s too windy (it’s only a breeze, Mom). You should put more clothes on him, he’ll catch a cold (it’s 50 degrees out, Mom).

    So because I grew up with person dictating what is not safe, who not to trust (pretty much everyone) and what not to do, I find myself questioning whether or not my own knee-jerk reactions are valid or just hand-me down paranoia. For instance, to go to one town in our area, I can either go ALL the way around the beltway, or jump on a ferry and cross a river. The ferry saves about 25 minutes time. And while I always make the choice to take the ferry, I’m constantly thinking to myself, “Maybe we shouldn’t. What if it starts sinking? How will I get my little Monkey out in time?” And mentally I picture our “escape” plan.

    Ugh. I’ve tried confronting her about this behavior but it just leads to more “You should’s”, not so polite ones, and we just end up arguing. Sorry I can’t offer more help but just to say I feel your pain.

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