Parenting never ends, as Laurie WJN has learned from her new position as the “on call” parent. Read more from Laurie on her blog.
My husband has to be on-call for work during one weekend each month. Its not a big hardship, but it does interfere with our plans on occasion, which is why he gets extra pay for the weekends that he is on call. His company expects him to be available and accessible by phone to solve any problems that might come up. As I began to think about his on-call status, I realized that I have now become an on-call parent.
Both of my children are grown: my oldest daughter is 25 and my youngest is 22 years old. I no longer have to drive them to swim practice, or take them shopping, or double check their homework. One of the big benefits of an empty nest is that I get to plan my days around my interests and the things that my husband and I want to do, but like my husband’s job, I am often on-call when it comes to my children.
As they navigate their way through adulthood, dealing with college or buying a house or getting engaged, they no longer want me to tell them what to do, but they do expect their mom to be on-call if a need should arise. There is no extra pay, but I am expected to be available day or night, when they have a question, or even if they simply want to talk.
“Mom, do you have a copy of the insurance card?”
“Mom, I made an appointment to do my taxes, what do I need to bring with me?”
“Hey Mom, I need an extra textbook, can you help me get it?”
Its a very different relationship than the one we had when they were younger. I am always so proud of the things they accomplish on their own, but I have to admit, I don’t really mind still being on call, in fact sometimes I even look forward to it.