The Middle Mother
by Karen White
People are living longer resulting in a new syndrome sweeping America. I have named it the Middle Mother Syndrome. A lady with this syndrome is usually in her forties or fifties, has a career, and is a daughter of a daughter and a mother of a mother. In other words, she is blessed to have a grandparent, parent, child, and grandchild all living. If she is truly blessed, they are not living in the house with her. But regardless where they are living, the mother in the middle must be creative, knowledgeable, and an authority on special occasions.
In order to survive and retain her sanity, the middle mother must be creative. She must design and implement daily schedules in order to take care of her many responsibilities. This schedule includes doctor, funeral home, and hospital visits for her parents and grandparents. For her children and grandchildren there are ball games, dedications, birthday parties, plays and performances that must be attended. All of these activities are creatively scheduled around a forty- hour work week, quality time with her husband, church and community responsibilities as well as housekeeping duties which sometimes includes more than one household. And prayer, donít forget prayer, lots of prayer for wisdom, strength, and guidance.
In addition to being creative, the middle mother is a wealth of knowledge. She knows the latest baby trends as well as the newest information on nutritional substances. Not only can she list an infantís developmental milestones but the signs of developing Alzheimer as well. To assist her in this knowledge her mail box is full of information and advertisements for diapers and various other items designed for babies and or senior adults. And taxi drivers? They have nothing on her since she knows the shortest driving routes from work to the hospital and or school by way of the pharmacy. She can pray with her eyes open and most of her ďalone timeĒ is spent driving to various events and or emergencies.
The middle mother is also an authority on special occasions. She assists with and or plans numerous occasions such as birthday parties for family members which range in age from one to ninety-nine, showers for brides, babies, and houses, receptions for weddings, engagements, retirements, graduations, special anniversaries, reunions, and family holiday dinners. She is such an authority that party planners call her for ideas.
Yes, the middle mother is creative, knowledgeable, and an authority on special occasions and has many responsibilities, but her position allows her a unique opportunity to observe life stages from the beginning to end all at one time. Not only is she able to observe but with the Lordís help she is able to assist and participate in each of the stages from the first breaths of a grandchild to last breaths of a grandparent. While her life may be demanding located in the middle there are also many rewards and joys. The joys of seeing oneís grandchild take his first steps and a grandparent greeting longtime friends at her ninetieth birthday party are joys only a middle mother is allowed to experience.
It is definitely not lonely or bored in the middle and there is no medicine to cure the syndrome but if one focuses on the smiles and the love from the mothers on both sides of the middle, being the mother in the middle is a good place to be! Yes, the middle mother is truly blessed; after all she has teeth and doesnít need diapers, at least for now.