By Jessica Jaksich
According to my “recent calls” list, I’ve spoken to my Mom 23 times in the past week. Yes, that averages about three phone conversations per day, not including countless texts, Facebook messages, and a 24-hour visit to Atlanta over the weekend. While many parents would consider themselves lucky to hear from their college student even once a week, my Mom likes to stay a bit more involved.
You’re probably expecting me to complain about how terribly hard it has been to have the strictest parents out of all my friends, or how tragic it was having to leave every high school party early to make it home in time for curfew. While I’m definitely guilty of my fair share of “I’m the only one who has rules!” tantrums, I’m surprisingly not here to whine. Over the years of where are you going?’s and when will you be home?’s, I’ve come to be quite grateful for the active role my Mom continues to play in my life.
Here’s why I LOVE my Helicopter Mom (aka: OVER-PROTECTIVE):
She is my best friend.
So, I’ll admit, at least half of those 23 phone calls were initiated by me. I tell my Mom everything, just ask my friends. “You told your Mom that???”
While most of my friends think I’m crazy for telling my Mom about my hook-ups or hangovers, they’re secretly jealous of our close relationship.
One of my BFFs told me that my Mom and I remind her of Lorelai and Rory from the Gilmore Girls, and that she hopes that she and her daughter will have a relationship just like ours (awww).
But seriously, I can count on my Mom to take a vested interest in even my most irrational worries and concerns. She is my go-to source for advice, even when she’d probably prefer I just ask my friends!
She cares about me enough to not care if I’m mad at her.
“First, I am your parent. Second, I am your friend.” That’s always been her motto. Somehow, my Mom has managed to be both an authoritative parent and a best friend; however, I’ve always known which role took priority. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep me and my siblings healthy and safe, even if it means sacrificing her “best friend” status from time to time.
My mom isn’t afraid to be the “uncool” parent, and I can’t thank her enough for that.
Of course, there have been those times when I accused her of being overprotective, or worse, ruining my life. In fact, it took me several years to realize how lucky I was to have a mom who cared enough to worry about me.
Once in high school, I took the Metra to Downtown Chicago with a bunch of camp friends to shop and get dinner. When my friends suggested we take a 10:30 pm train back to the suburbs, I knew immediately that this wasn’t going to fly with my Mom. I was the only one of the group from suburban Highland Park, and would be left alone on the train when they got off at another suburb. We ended up paying for a cab all the way to Highland Park (with two stops along the way). I was horrified that my Mom was the only one making a fuss, at least until one of my friends knocked some sense into me:
“Wow, your parents must really love you. Mine don’t even know where I am right now.”
She trusts me to be honest with her.
I learned a long time ago that “giving up” the truth right away would always win me the most brownie points with my Mom. Let’s say I got a detention for chatting in class. It would definitely be in my best interest to break the news to my Mom before my teacher did.
Here’s another (less PG-rated) example from one of my summer breaks during college. A few friends and I were driving back from a frat party at Northwestern University when we got pulled over. The officer found a beer can in the backseat and made us all step out of the car for further questions. We ended up driving off with no more than a warning. As you can probably guess, I was the only one to tell my Mom about this little run-in with the law.
Is it possible that she would never have found out about THAT night? That I ‘fessed up for nothing? Absolutely. But in the end, telling the truth helped to build her trust in me, which definitely has its benefits.
She doesn’t interrogate or accuse, because she knows that if I get into some sort of trouble, I will be the first one to tell her about it (by way of a hysterical phone call).
She makes me fight my own battles.
Does my Mom know about every English paper I’m assigned, and every cover letter I submit? Yes. Does she write them for me? Hell no (and I shouldn’t even bother asking)!
While my mom is very involved in my life, she has always maintained a “you do it” type of attitude. My mom taught me how to stand on my own.
She may be standing right over my shoulder, but still, I am responsible for my own actions and commitments.
Given what you now know about our relationship, you’d probably expect me to have a hard time being away from home. Not so much. Ten summers at overnight camp, four years of college in Atlanta, three months abroad in Paris, and an internship in New York City.
Helicopter Mom? I think it’s safe to say I spend more time “flying” than she does.
Lisa Barr, Editor of GIRLilla Warfare: Jessica Jaksich (LOVE THIS GIRL — LOVE THIS BLOG) is a senior at Emory University where she is majoring in English/Creative writing with a minor in Media Studies. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Emory, an online magazine for college women, and is a guest blogger for Seventeen.com, where she spent last summer as an editorial intern. Jessica has joined the GIRLilla Warfare team as our Social Networking Coordinator. (How Lucky Are We!)< back