My Sister was in town recently, which as I’ve told you, means I saw a bit of my Mother.  She usually has something to say about our parenting skills (again, you know how much I like people talking about my parenting)  My sister and I have always been open about talking to our daughters about sex (age appropriate).  The conversation went something like this:

Mother: I don’t know why you have to talk to the girls about sex

Me: Well, it’s a natural thing.  I want daughter to learn the right things and not have hang-ups.

Sister: Yeah.  I don’t want my kid to feel shame when thinking/talking about sex

Me: Totally.  The way you taught us left me filled with shame.

Mother: No it didn’t.  I was very good about teaching you those things.

Sister: No you weren’t.  I felt shame too.

Mother: No you didn’t.  I did it the right way.

Me: Mom, if we’re both saying the same thing, you have to at least consider that what we’re saying is correct.  You tried, but we’re telling you that your method didn’t work.

Mother: Yes it did.

I know parents make mistakes.  I’m sure my daughter has a list that she’s waiting to spring on me.  But I HOPE that I can acknowledge when I made a mistake, when I did something wrong, especially if my daughter tells me.

My Mother is a know it all (seriously- she makes me look like an amateur) Whenever someone says anything, she knows better.  My daughter mentioned that she wanted to look at a certain college.  My Mother immediately said, “That’s in a bad neighborhood.”  I asked, “When were you there?”  My Mother said “40 years ago.”  Now I realize that some things stay the same.  But guess what?  Some things change.  My Mother had no basis for her statement, but she will say it loud and repeatedly.

I really know that my Mother has my best interests at heart.  I know she says things in order to help me out.  But here’s the problem:  her statements are not always logical, factual or realistic.  She will read one article on something and declare it the absolute law, because it backs up her beliefs.  She will not even consider another opinion on pretty much anything:  there’s her way or no way.  And she has opinions on everything.  My daughter wanted a certain type of make-up brush for Christmas, which I bought her.  As soon as my Mother saw it she said “You don’t want to use that.  It’s horrible.”  Had my Mother ever used this item?  No.  Does she know anyone personally that used this item? No.  She just didn’t like the idea of it.  I told her that sometimes people need to try things out themselves- learn from experience.  She just shook her head at me.

See, that’s another issue with my Mother’s parenting skills.  She gave us a road map as to what we should and should not do.  She told us exactly how to proceed through life without teaching us how to make a good decision.  She never taught us to think about our actions.  We all know this is bad.  We need to make mistakes.  We need to get hurt.  We need to get dirty.  I know my Mother did these things out of love because she didn’t want us to feel pain or hurt.  But guess what, you still feel pain and hurt, because those things are unavoidable.

My Mother gave us the facts that she thought were important, not the facts that we needed.  And I have accepted that she didn’t know any better.  I have no issue with the fact that she made mistakes.  My issue is that she refuses to accept that she made mistakes.  In her mind, she did everything right and would not have changed her parenting choices at all.  This is why it is difficult to have an adult relationship with her.  She still tells me all the things I am doing wrong with regards to everything, and still tries to give me directions on how to live my life.

Yes, today is blog as journal day.  Today I randomly write down things that annoy me about my Mother, because it is somewhat cathartic to write the words down.  When I write it down, it releases a little something in me.  I feel a little bit better.

And as always, I often wonder why I am so screwed up, and then I spend some time with my Mother, and I wonder how am I so normal.

66 thoughts on “Mother/Daughter

  1. My mom screwed me up, too. I think it’s a law of the universe or something. Most of my little OCD tendencies, all the stuff that makes me twitch? My mom gave it to me. I am glad she signed the form that allowed me to take sex-ed in high school, because even now the thought of talking about sex with my mom?😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe we have the same mother (LOL). My mother’s sex talk to me? “Now, you know you can come and ask me anything …” That’s it. No, Ma, I’m not going to bring up BJ’s, alternate positions, or swinging. Jeez. She, of course, thinks she gave me “the talk.” There was no talk.

    I’m just the opposite with my girls — they truly know that they can discuss anything. And we have. I KNOW my way was the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a question: does your mother read your blog?

    i invited my mom to read mine, helped her click follow so she gets notified via email when I post. I post a lot (in recent months) and she does read it. I know this for a fact even though she doesn’t comment.

    I know because I will get random emails from her titled ‘blog’ and then she’ll say something about the topic. Always positive, sometimes with commentary, sometimes with some insight. I never told her to just comment ON the blog because I know she won’t.

    Sometimes she’ll bring me something that I didn’t want or need. The item will immediately make me realize she read x post and thought of a way to ‘help’ me (I don’t like any help unless I ask for it)…she doesn’t come out and say it “I read x thought you could use this” but will just kind of hand it to me, as if embarrassed that she read something of mine on the internet.

    So theoretically she is a lurker.
    There are many lurkers.
    But she is also my mom.

    BUT. I often have in the past (and still do occasionally) edit, or completely delete, something I want to write that I feel may be interpreted incorrectly by her. Or something I don’t necessarily want her to be involved in. Not that my relationship with my mom is like yours. but I do like buffers. I think most adults do. This inhibits me a little but at the same time, I think to myself, the internet is not a private place. My worry is misplaced. If mom shouldn’t know about it then it doesn’t go on the internet.

    It just reminds me of this when I read some of your challenges with your mom. She sounds very Italian 🙂

    And it makes me wonder, why do I adjust my blog writing? It’s MY blog. Whether mom reads or not.

    I don’t know. (hangs head). 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No. My mom doesn’t read my blog. Honestly, she doesn’t know about it because then she would analyze every word I utter, tell me 100 ways to make it better, and insist I need to get a graduate degree in blog writing and ask what’s wrong with me that I have so many thoughts and I have to tell strangers. Honestly, I need this to be about me. Love her. Don’t always like her.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve come to realize that with some people it is impossible to have an adult relationship, even if you are both adults. Sounds like that’s what you have going on with your Mom. She’s immature, you’re not. So be it, you know?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. OMG… this rings so many bells for me. Mum’s view is that she know’s best about absolutely everything and her information sources are often more full of holes than a collander. This weekend I told her of our plans for our holiday. I heard her suck air through her teeth before she told me “Oh you don’t want to go there. It’s very dangerous. Mrs Blah went there and it was simply awful. I asked when Mrs Blah went there. Only over 40 years ago!
    Oh, and sex education was non-existent. Probably not a bad thing after all 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It took me about thirty years to realize that being abandoned by my parents was actually freeing. In a bittersweet way. When I saw them after reaching the age of majority, blood didn’t broker any bullshit proffered, and I could call them on it and simply walk away. Family didn’t trump flaw. But what I’m really sharing here, is how alien this thread reads to me.

    On one level it feels universal, and I’m empathetic to the whoops of Mom might read my blog, or punting, as opposed to telling Dad he’s dumb as a brick on this or that particular.

    So, I wonder if “unconditional” love, should bottom up, as well as top down. If Mom is a World Class “know it all,” isn’t it an act of love to let her know that’s putting other people off, and that she is often wrong, misinformed, her thinking illogical, and she often just throwing crap in the game.

    But what do I know. Nice post.

    Regards,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh….I tell my mother exactly how I feel and how what she says is ridiculous. She counters by saying that I’m wrong, like the whole sex Ed thing. She will tell me that my perception of how she explained it is wrong. I know everyone screws up. I just want her to accept that she wasn’t perfect. Her refusal to think that she may have been wrong is annoying for lack of a better word

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m adopted. My adopted Mom and I had a difficult relationship. I’ve come to the conclusion recently that my adopted Mom maybe put me under some sort of spell: maybe a protection spell or something so no-one else could love me as much as she did….?? Maybe this is why I’ve had such difficulties with others and relationships my whole life. Or maybe I’m just nuts?! 🙂 The point is, sometimes it’s us, sometimes it’s something we can’t know…sometimes it doesn’t matter because it may simply be out of our control. So we roll with the magic and look for a counter spell and do the best we can….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Don’t know if I have ever mentioned this, but I hope you realize I read every one of your posts and acknowledge that by giving it a “like.” There are just some that I can’t comment on, for lots of selfish reasons that mostly center around trigger points for me, my childhood, parts of my adulthood, and all the memories that linger into my “right now”.
    Sometimes I just want to scream in frustration, sometimes I want to give unsolicited advice, sometimes I want to say run far and fast, sometimes it just hurts…
    I appreciate knowing that I’m not alone.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I have a good relationship with my mom, my sisters not so much. I just listen to what she tells me and if it is not something I agree with I let it go. They can’t do that and take it all personally. My mom has said many times she feels she was a bad mother. She’s 94 now and I try to show her the ways she was a good mom. No sense letting her live in misery at this point.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Why? It is what it is. You can’t go back, and your mumma is not going to change at this stage of the game.
        You know you’ve done a better parenting job, and you’ve kinda acknowledged that this is because of her parenting skills…or lack thereof.
        Hmmm….do you think maybe the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree with regards to stubbornness?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know I’m stubborn. The problem with my mom is that she still pulls the same crap. When you don’t treat your 53 year old as an adult it’s a problem. You’re right. She’s not going to change, which means I don’t like to spend time with her, which means I don’t spend time with her.

        Like

  10. Being a parent is hands down the most difficult job in the universe. I know I made beaucoup mistakes with my kids, just not the same ones that my parents made with me. For example, my mother once kidnapped me. One day when I was about 9 or 10 she just packed me up and moved me to another town with her. She left my brother there to live with my father. I was enrolled in new schools….the whole 9 yards. About two weeks later my dad showed up at the door with the sheriff. That was the end of that episode. They eventually divorced about 7 years later.

    Of course, I’ve made up for my parental mistakes by spoiling my grandkids rotten so I guess it’s evened out. I hope you all get the chance to do that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 😀as I’ve always said…parenting sucks….we all make mistakes. That’s just a fact. But at some point you have to accept that you made them. I’m sure I’ve screwed up my kid in myriad ways…

      Like

  11. Parents are human also. I was with my father when he died but my brothers were not. They have to live with that. We are all human and we do the best we can. My mother was not a saint but she was easy to live with: my father was not but he got us where we had to be and kept us safe and moved us from the city to the Catskills.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, I am glad that I was able to forgive my father but for what, I don’t know. I respected him greatly for giving us a better life and moving us out of Queens, N.Y. years ago. Then again, there is a 7-8 year age difference between my brothers and me. I have no idea what they were mad at but their closeness and their refusal to forgive must weigh on them. It is something they won’t discuss. It is odd but what can one do. Try not to be kept up at night thinking about this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I’ll miss them , but that would be the case no matter how much time I spend with them now. Time with my mother is trying to my mental health. I’m not in a good place when I spend too much time with her. It’s emotionally draining

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ever since I’ve become a parent, I’ve strived to avoid the mistakes I believed my mother made. Sometimes I cringe inside when I realize how much like my mother I really am. I don’t call her out on these mistakes, it’s just not in my personality ( not always a positive). I just try and not repeat these with my own daughters. But it is a real struggle sometimes. But I do need to say that there were more positives…….I hate to dwell on the negatives (I agree it is cathartic!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to not repeat the really bad ones. My mom is overly obsessed with appearances, weight and looks and clothes. I clearly do not repeat these things. My mother also gave me little freedom or responsibility, so my approach is different. My mom was also crazy about grades, ie nothing I did was good enough. Again I didn’t do that. There are things my mother did which I clearly see as being a root of many of my issues. And parent8ng is just hard

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post and your last line is so true. Fear of being like my own parents stopped me from having a child for a very long time. One of the greatest mistakes a parent can make is to refuse to accept that their offspring is an individual, not a replica of the parent. I know this is hard work, but I am so much more personally and socially aware than my own mother. So many mistakes, so much blind arrogance and such poor communication skills. It’s a wonder any of us survived – and then we remember previous generations! My own parents had far worse upbringings. I guess everything is relative.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. hmmm. maybe life was easier being a boy.

    “See that?”
    “Oh yeh!”
    “Looks good, huh?”
    “Oh yeh!”
    “I bet you’d like to get a piece of that, huh?”
    “Oh yeh!”
    “You get it pregnant and I’ll cut if off.”
    “Ummmm. Got it.”

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thanks for this post. It I never knew who my mom was as she left me with my dad when I was eleven months old to another man because of the domestic violence and lack of love she suffered in the hands of my dad. Though she later died when I was three years old. living with my dad was hell for me. I suffered so much hurt, pain, and everyday I cry my eyes out. He practically was against anything I do and interferes in all my affairs. And he believes I’m no good at all, abuses me verbally, physically and emotionally. And till now, he still does the same thing. Some how I wished momma never left me with him. Cos he’s taking the whole thing out on me. Soon I will be married. I’m looking forward to showering all the love and care I never had on my children and not to repeat the same mistakes of my parents.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. As I’ve aged, I’ve grown to realise how complex relationships between parents and their children can be. My Dad made many mistakes, but his were always of the straight shooter kind. He was thoughtless and sarcastic sometimes and whilst in the moment that didn’t feel good, I never felt manipulated or guilty in my relationship with him. My Mum was brought up by two extraordinarily manipulative beings and although she suffered at their hands, she isn’t of the type to think “I didn’t like how their words & actions made me feel, so I’ll do it differently” rather she’s of the “that’s just how it is, so they’ll all have to suck it up too” school of life. It’s unfortunate. Two out of four of her children went the first route, the third put off procreating till it was too late to and all from the fear of becoming her mother, the fourth followed my Mum’s path. I work hard on my boundaries and minimising the guilt, and try to accept her as a casualty of her own upbringing. Its easier now she’s old & fragile. I still won’t ever live with her again, whereas myself & my brother both moved home to care for our Dad.

    Enjoy the relationship with your daughter, limiting the one with your mother sounds a healthy choice.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I guess given your relationship with your mom, it’s best to limit your exposure to her. That’s too bad, because as other bloggers have noted, having parents around at this age is a gift. But it makes no sense to make yourself miserable. If it’s any consolation, I have a great relationship with my mom, but her unwillingness to concede in certain areas drives me crazy too.

    Like

  19. I loved this post, especially that last paragraph! Look at it this way, if nothing else, her behavior today validates the way you feel about your upbringing and your relationship with her. It hurts to have a mother who doesn’t even begin to understand you, but at least you know for a fact that what she did was wrong. And you just go from there….Congrats on breaking the pattern with your own daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think that’s why I’m a little crazy about parenting….I know how much it can screw up a kid, so I try to figure out what’s best. I know I’ve made mistakes, only hope they aren’t too bad!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. My husband and I just had a conversation about this. I’m an only child but his sister and his mom were having a disagreement and I had to tell him it’s best to stay out of it. I know I didn’t grow up with them but the mother-daughter dynamic is just something you don’t mess with. Each one amazingly complicated and unique its best to let them work it out.

    Liked by 2 people

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