Why I haven’t called you: A letter to my parents from their adult-college-educated-married-with-kids child

I have often heard parents bemoaning the lack of contact they have with their adult children. “They never call. Why don’t they call? Don’t they remember me? I’m their mother!” For example, this video. I know many parents feel this way.

So, please, let me try to explain why I might not be calling you:

When I moved away for college, I moved cross-country on my own. A new life with new realities and new experiences. As much as you might want to be there for me, maybe the reason I haven’t called is because…

  • I’m wandering the grocery store for hours trying to find the Ramen noodles, since you always shopped, cooked and fed me.
  • I tried to cook my own dinner and I just burned it. I can’t call you because I’m ordering pizza.
  • I’m avoiding doing my homework and I know if I call you you will just make me do it.
  • I have to go to a job because I have to pay for my apartment because I can’t live with you anymore. You wanted me to pay for my own cell phone too, right?
  • I’m trying to do one of the million things that you used to do for me on my own. Thanks for doing all that!

I have to learn how to do these things for myself. Adulting is hard. I’m sorry haven’t called you.

When I got married, I became a spouse. I have a husband to get to know and love. As much as you might want to be there for me, maybe the reason I haven’t called is because…

  • I’m too busy doing IT…yes IT! I promise you don’t want me to call you right now.
  • I tried to cook agai and I just burned our dinner. We are now ordering pizza.
  • You can’t balance all our finances for us (too much eating out since I burn all our dinners).
  • We have to learn to work together and become our own family.

My marriage isn’t the same as your marriage. I have to learn how to be a spouse by myself. Marriage can be hard. I’m sorry I haven’t called you.

When I had a child, I became a parent (just like you!). A new child to tend to at every waking hour. You remember those days, right? As much as I wish you could raise these little minions for me, maybe the reason I haven’t called is because…

  • I’m trying to survive a sleepless newborn or a teething toddler. I started to call you and fell asleep mid-dial.
  • I’m trying to clean up the mess my kid just made on the floor. Bleach takes Sharpie out of carpet, right?
  • I’m trying to stop my kids from thinking they are Spiderman and jumping off the stairs. I had started to call you but had to dial 911 instead.
  • I’m constantly driving my kids to school, ballet class, soccer practice and the like and I’m not allowed to have a phone up to my ear while driving. Speaker phone doesn’t work so well with screaming kids in the backseat either.

As you well know, parenting is hard as heck and sometimes all you can do is try to survive the day. I’m sorry I haven’t called you.

No, it’s NOT because I don’t love you or care about you. It’s not because I’m dead on the side of the road either. Maybe it’s because I am learning to become the responsible and independent adult you tried to raise me to be and (as you know) being an adult can be hard work.

But here is the thing…you can pick up the phone and call me! If I don’t pick up, text me and say, “Adulting it hard. I love you! Call me when you can.”

It is your job to raise an adult that doesn’t NEED you! Congrats! I’m not constantly calling you. Btw, I totally forgot to pay my cell phone bill this month.