Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mother, Love.

Posted by Anonymous.

How long do you allow yourself to stay angry at a family member before either taking it on or letting it go?

Should you let it go?

I've been angry with my mom for a very long time. For dozens of things, big and little. Nothing really damaging, nothing that's really a relationship-breaker, but a whole lot of frustrating stuff, spread over the years, that's been weighing on my heart. Some stuff that's stupid, some stuff that's not so stupid, but all of it selfish - all of it having to do with ME wanting my MOM, wanting her to be more overtly caring, more solicitous, more eager to be a mom, and not just a friend. Wanting her to want to do those things - to come visit, to see her grandchild more often, to spend more time, to spend more attention. To be the mom that I want to be to my children when they're grown, and they need me, like I need my mom, sometimes, now.

She and I have spoken about these things. She thinks that I'm being silly. She does love me, she says. She'd do anything for me, she says. But she wouldn't, I know that she wouldn't, I know that she wouldn't even do anything that put her out too much, unless it was really dire straights, and that hurts.

Am I silly? Should I just let it go, and just love the mom I have, and stop wishing for the mom that I lost long ago?


flutter said...

Your mom is what she is, and you can choose to love that person, or you can choose not to.

You can't make her change. It's up to you to be ok with who she is if you want a relationship with her. If you don't, then it's up to you to cut the ties.

Anonymous said...

I feel that I could have written this today. My stepdad told me my mom isn't talking to me because, in her words, I yelled at her on the phone. Hardly. I called her on the morning of my son's birthday to help me cancel the party because son was throwing up and clearly not in a party mood. She thought I should still have the party and my kids and vomiting husband could stay home. I told her that wouldn't happen and if she didn't want to help me, fine - thank you.

What did I learn? Not to ask my mom for help. That my mom can't be a mom to me. She can't be a grandmother to my kids unless I tell her how to do it and when. She lives <10 minutes away and she doesn't see us very often.

Bea said...

Flutter's a wise girl. You have a right to feel what you're feeling - I would feel that too. But I don't see anything good coming out of a confrontation about it. From what you've said, it appears that your mom knows how you feel - and she's not changing.

b*babbler said...

I think that if she isn't saying or doing anything overtly hurtful (and by that I mean purposefully hurtful) than you probably have to make your peace with who she is.

Again though, if you find yourself upset and angry and hurt every time you talk with her, than you may need to let the relationship go.

Ultimately, I guess you need to decide how important having the relationship is to you. Is it better having the relationship you have, with its flaws, or no relationship at all. Only you can answer that.

Wishing you luck and happiness ahead, whatever you choose to do.

moplans said...

My mom is like that too. My neighbour told me they call her mom a 'show grandma'. They like to pretend that they are very involved in their grandchildren's lives but really they don't want to be inconvenienced.

I don't think it is a small thing to want your kids to feel like their grandma wants to be involved in their lives. I don't think it is a small thing for you to want you mom to act like she cares about you instead of just saying it.

My daughter spent three months in the hospital this year. My mom helped more than I ever could have imagined she would but not nearly as much as most other grandma's I know. She also complained about how hard it was for her to get to my house and how they were tired. As if I wasn't tired of going to the hospital and wondering if my child was going to live.

I have tried before to cut ties with her but, like your mom, she's not bad enough to warrant that. I also worry that my kids would resent me for it. I expect that she will hurt them someday but
she can be a pleasant person, just not a friend and definitely not a mom.

Ms. Huis Herself said...

I think others are right in that she is the way she is and you won't be able to change her. That being said, it's now up to you how much or little you want to involve her in your lives. It's sad, and you, your children, and your mother are all missing out on what could be great relationships, but *shrug* again, you can't change her, just how you interact with her.

Good luck.
(And I'm really re-appreciating my parents & in-laws now. I know I'm lucky with them, but this really highlights it for me.)

toyfoto said...

We are who we are. Sometimes we want more from people and sometimes we want less. Rarely do we seem to appreciate people (ourselves included) for who they are.

I think that you will have the best relationship with her if you let it go. Accept that she loves you and move forward.

I know with my own mom there are blowouts and overblowns and tears and frustrations and angry hurt feelings (both sides). But at the end of the day she's my mother. The only one I have. And one day she won't be there. And I'll miss her.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that I could write blogs in my sleep!

I'm trying very hard to forgive my own mother, and there are some days when I feel as though I am succeeding. Others, not so much.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You mean your mother's not perfect?!? She's not exactly what you think she should be? GASP!!! My mother has never been exactly what I or others would have thought she should or could be, but as I've grown older I've realized that no one, including her or me, is perfect. Are you exactly what she thinks you could be? I doubt it, but she loves you anyway and deals with the you that you are. Deal with her however you want to deal with her, then own that as your own decision, not as something she has imposed upon you out of spite or willfulness. Odds are pretty good that she's simply living her life the best way that she can.

whatthef*ck said...

i cant address the mom post because its too much to think about right now but i do have to respond to another post of yours.

"Is it wrong that I have, on a very few occasions, let her eat onion rings dipped in ketchup?"

hmm let me see... are you f*cking kidding me?!

dipped in chocolate sprinkles? okay that would be a little much.

arsenic? okay really really bad and yes wrong but ketchup? what the hell else would they dip their onion rings in? i know i am missing the point there a little but seriously TRY to give yourself a break.

isnt it astonishing how hard we are on ourselves?

Jennifer said...

I don't think it's silly to wish you had that, but it is not good for you to expect to ever get that. If you keep hoping for it to happen, then you will continue to be disappointed, and that's no good for you. Others have said the same, but I had to learn this with my father--you have to look at who the person is and decide whether you want to have a relationship with that person as they are because they will not change. My brother has not learned to accept that yet, and as a result has an extremely antagonistic relationship with our father, always irritated at him and complaining about something. I have just decided my dad is the way he is and I can live with that to have a relationship with him. He will never be the dad I wanted to have, and he will never be able able to make up for the disappointments I have had in the past He can only be who he is today, and that has to be enough for me.

Anonymous said...

I think that, once you reach adulthood and can make some decisions about how much contact you want to have with your parents, it's actually harder in some ways to deal with a distant, disinterested, but not "bad" parent than it is to deal with a truly BAD bad parent.

I say this because I have both kinds of parents. My father is a person I would never leave my own child alone with, not even in an emergency. He put me in dangerous situations when I was a child without a second thought. He uses the people in his life like tools for his personal pleasure and gain.

So, I have cut him out of my life. That's it. Bye bye. Of course I wish I still had a father.
But I know without question that I am better off without him. I know his grandson is better off without him.

However, my mother is a totally different story. She was by no means a perfect mother when I was growing up-- she was young; she made a lot of mistakes. But I know she loved me. I know that she meant well. I feel that we had the potential for a great relationship, if only a few things had gone differently.

Now, as an adult, she lives far away, and I barely see her. She goes months at a time without calling me; if I want contact, I have to call her. She has only met her grandson once in person. Every time I offer to pay for her to visit me, she has an excuse ready for why she cannot leave.

I miss her terribly. She tells me she thinks of me often, as though this makes up in some way for not calling me, for not writing me, for not ever coming to see me. When I put her grandson on the phone, she sighs and says she can't understand his baby-talk (but strangers understand him perfectly).

It was harder to deal with my father when I was a little girl, but now that I'm a grown-up, I find it has been much easier to cut my father out of my life than it has been to accept the state of my relationship with my mother.

Ms. Catwalq said...

I am with Flutter...
Allow your mom to be the soul that she is. She can't be you.

Anonymous said...

Okay it must be a mother daughter thing, because like myself and you, and many other women I know. We are all fishing in the same water, using different reels mind you, but none of us are catching anything (that deep care of having the mommy we didn't or couldn't have) when we were little.

My mother lives in the next court over from me. She never comes to see me. Well not never, but rarely. Not once has she offered to take our son (20) months and our 8 year old overnight, or even for a few hours. Is she my best friend (yes) only because I choose to tell her everything, despite knowing it will never add up.

Reality: She has had two heart attacks in the past eight years. Bottom line, I don't lie anymore, nor do I worry what I don't get back. Tell your mom she might think it's silly, or dumb, tell her you need her, you want her, you are still a child at heart, and even if she doesn't give back. Just love her. You'll feel a whole better about yourself in knowing you don't need her approval to love yourself. Just love her, and loving yourself will be a whole lot easier.

Mary Jo Koch said...

You can't change her, but don't give up on her changing over the years. Some grandmothers do better with older children. She needs to find her own way as a grandma. I was born when my mom was 24; she died when I was 58. We had an immensely complicated, very loving but also hurtful relationship.

When my kids were young and she was concentrating on her new career after raising 6 kids, she wasn't as available as I needed her to be. Afterward, when her mom and my dad had died, she was my rock, who came through every time. But we had to love and forgive each other our whole lives. Caring for her during the last years of her life reawakened then healed many wounds.

All our lives we had to struggle to accept what different women we were. I miss her terribly; my older daughter often mourns her grandmother's never meeting her great grandchild.

Unless a mother was absolutely abusive, I don't believe in cutting off your relationship with your mom.

Anonymous said...

How many times must you suffer before cutting her off though? I have tried with my mother over the past few years, always calling her and telling her about my day and my problems, and it's as if she doesn't even care. She shows me no physical love, yet she tries to mask her coming up short with quotes, songs, or books that she finds and thinks that these will heal my wounds. I could care less what others have to say about a mother's love, I want to hear it from her! She drives me crazy. My parents live only 10 miles away, yet she has only been to my house once in the past year. I wonder if it's best for me to move away and let the distance help me mend our relationship. I also wonder if my future grandchildren could help bring her love back into my life, but at the same time I don't know if I would want her selfishness in their lives as well.

Anonymous said...

Are we the same person? I have that situation now and I have had to just move on with my life. I am civil with my mom but that is it. There is a wall and we both won't climb it. I have tried. She is not going to change and I have accepted that. It hurts but I have my own family now and they need me.

You have to do what you feel is right in your heart.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I am having a bad time with my mother at this point in time and am totally relating to this post. Perhaps it's just best to let go. I don't know.

Mine has been sending me cruel and nasty emails, mostly about what a lousy person I am. I could cut her out of my life, but feel immensely guilty about even thinking about it. I'm the only person she has. I'm terrified she's going to get sick or something and i'm going to have to take care of her