The Book: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

The Quote: What she remembered was the extraordinary, astonishing pain, and her fury with her Mother for not fixing it. She didn’t expect her dad or the doctors to fix it. She expected her mother to fix it.

Do we have higher expectations of Mother’s than anyone else?

Do we think that Mother’s can do the extraordinary? That Mother’s are omnipotent? That Mom’s just get it done?

Are daughters more apt to rely on Mom’s, with sons relying more on Dad’s- or does everyone reach out to their Mom’s?

I’m going to try to not butt my two cents in, and leave this open for the group:

Discuss

63 thoughts on “Mommy, Fix It

  1. I’ve rarely known a son who thinks more highly of their dad than they do their mum – the only exceptions being those whose mums are objectively bad parents.

    They probably are on pedestals, but it’s hard to call it unmerited. Not omnipotent, but you know they’ll give it a solid try. If I was religiously inclined I’d find it easier to buy into the Pagan notions of ‘Mother Earth’ than the capitalised He and Him of Abrahamic mythos.

    Do we think they can do the extraordinary? They do, every day. It’s perhaps a mundane extraordinariness, but still absolutely extraordinary.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Lets see: gendered expectations for women as the caring nurturing leader…reinforced over and over again by society. You know that I think change in that area is moving at a snails pace. This will be a good discussion.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sure we do because we have been taught that expectation by social norms. It’s a perpetual cycle and in many instances hard to pinpoint where the cycle starts because of the constant reinforcement by our partners, families, community… You know when I make comments like this I’m not generalizing because there are exceptions to this norm. The majority though continue to perpetuate this norm.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Now here’s a different angle, my nephew was raised by two gay men. Although one surely took on the nurturing role (daddy) and the other the disciplinarian (dad). My nephew seems to be closer to the later but that could also be because “Mom” is still male.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Again, another excellent point in this discussion that may or may not play a part. Gay, lesbian, trans…and I don’t think we always look at cultural expectations either, which may play a part. LA has this way (rather planned or not) to make me itch to jump back into research!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Gender equality and all of the other politically correct discussions aside, I see women as having a different role in a child’s life. For 9 months you carry this growing child in your body. The maternal instinct is strong. If you doubt me, watch a horse whose newborn struggles to live and fails. I saw that happen. The mare, without any teaching of what a good mother should do, was totally distraught. I think what takes place after the birth depends on the role the parents choose to play, how involved they are. I believe God created men and women and gave them roles to play. Sometimes the roles reverse and overlap; good parents do what they have to do for the survival of their family unit. Is mom the fixer? Not always. It depends on the character and relationships of the people involved. And the family history. Regardless, neither parent should feel “less than.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think society and the internet make it hard to not feel bad about things. I look at the charcuterie board craze and I feel bad about my hostessing skills….😆

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My younger son is always asking for advice.in fact it’s cute when he calls and says, “ I have a question for Dr. Mom”. As if I have a medical degree or something. One time he called when he was working on set . Now keep in mind they always have a medical person on staff. So getting advice from me really is not necessary. But I received a call that went something like this… “ Mom? I have you on speaker. My boss (who was the main direct) is sick with a stomach bug and I told him you might be able to help him.”
    It was actually comical if you think about it. They temporarily shut down filming so the main director could get some medical advice from me. Now keep in mind I don’t have any medical expertise. I have what they call “ Jewish mama training “. I know what I learned from my mother. And she from her mother. I could give pretty standard advice on what might calm his tummy, but I think my credentials as a Jewish mother is what made the difference. I think grown men when they are sick or vulnerable need their mothers. Why? Because Moms are comforting. We give them chicken soup when they have a cold. Or tea and toast, when they have an upset tummy. We bring them blankets when they are cold, and make them feel loved. I remember staying up all night holding my youngest son in my arms when he’d be vomiting from strep. Moms are synonymous with comfort and caring. That is the extra ingredient that the doctor doesn’t have.
    My case is slightly different since I was a divorced single mother for much of my children’s lives. Therefore, they looked towards me as always knowing what to do. Obviously, once my oldest became a dad he realized that all parents are just winging it. We try our best.and sometimes we get it right. Fathers were rarely around in my kids’ lives so they looked to me as the one to turn to. My oldest son, however looked to my father for advice quite a bit regarding sports, girls etc.

    Growing up I think it was fifty fifty who I went to. My dad was the easiest to talk to, but if it was girl stuff I generally asked my mother. In my son’s life his kids look to him first. He’s very involved with his children. Perhaps because he is the product of a divorce and his dad wasn’t around a lot. So he takes extra time to make sure he’s there fire his kids. I think it just depends on the person and on the relationship they have with their parents.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t really go to either of my parents for help…which oddly worked out ok for me. I really learned how to tackle stuff. That being said, I wish I had felt more confident in approaching my oarents

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One sad point, LA, that affects this question is whether a child has both parents in his or her life.

    In our strange world where my husband is the breadwinner and I avoid dishes and laundry while answering questions on my friends’ blogs, my children come to me for almost everything. Some life events, like bedrest after C-Section surgery, have forced them to apply to their father – I’ve had many a child come to lodge a complaint at how he’s handled their problem. 😀 I’m into fairness, understanding, and consequences to correct a behavior….

    What’s amazing is how children see all adults as compared to how adults see themselves. Especially these days, adults are not claiming that title nor are they assuming adult responsibilities. So, what to what authority do children turn once parents are not around?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Incredibly good points, which could then segue into discussions of home environment/influence on things like crime, domestic abuse, substance abuse, homelessness… and also begs the question on the importance of at least 1 stable/involved parent in a child’s life, no matter the gender or role.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, speaking about my present family, the kids all come to me first unless it has to do with something mechanical. It is a fact that bothers my husband but as i tell him, when the kids were growing up he was most of the time at work and/or not feeling well so they learned to come to me. Also, if they went to him, he’d ask “What does your mom say? ” LOL As for my own growing up, I remember being very close to my dad and actually talking things out with both parents. Dad died 40 years ago though so up until last Friday it was mom. Being a mom, I always want to be able to “fix” things for the kids. Sometimes I can’t and that makes me sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think it depends on the dynamics of the family you grew up with. If Mom was the one to deal with problems, then it will be Mom that you expect to always do that. If it was, Dad, then he is the go to. If you had horrible parents that were never there for you, you may feel like you can’t ever rely on anyone other than yourself. It seems that in a lot of families, it is Mom that is the problem solver/fixer/healer, but that isn’t always the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have four children and no matter what I am going through I always set it aside and answer the phone, or watch the grandkids, clean the house, non stop just trying to be everything. I have a rare nerve disease and fight and deal through and with pain every day. I asked my daughter once, do you even realize what is happening to me? Her reply…I can’t bare to think that my mommy can’t do. I think of you as super mom and I wouldn’t know how or what to do without you.
    They forget if I’m not ok then I can’t be the super mom they need.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with Janet. I want to fix things for my kids and feel badly when I can’t. My daughter used to call my husband every day. She has a close relationship, but lately she calls me. My son used to rely on my all the time, and now that he’s 28, he tends to call dad. I guess it’s phases and times. I’m so grateful they are close to both of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well here at Chez Leeds, Mom is the fixer, even when I was married to their dad. It was always that way and I have 2 sons, no daughters. They don’t call their dad for anything really. It’s all on me which is fine even though I wish their dad would step up on occasion, but I’ve learned a lot of guy things (how to shave a face) and taught them because their dad didn’t. My dad taught me how to tie a tie so I was able to do that one without researching on YouTube. But it’s strange that they’d just rather ask me because their dad can’t be bothered. So it works for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My mom didn’t go back to work until I left for college, so she was always available. I expected her to find solutions, but I didn’t expect miracles. I know of one woman who was closer to her dad than her mom, but I think that’s rare.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My kids come to me, I think it is a natural thing, I went to my Mom as well. Its not that I didn’t have a good relationship with my Dad, its just that I think the Mom is seen as the nurturer, Though that isn’t always the case, sometimes its the Dad that is the nurturing one. My son will joke that I am the Mom so I am supposed to know everything, he knows I don’t. LOL!
    Now like one reader said though if the question has to do with mechanical things, directions ( I am directionally challenged! ) or music, then my kids ask my husband. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. All three of my kids have relied on me to fix things. Even now, sons who are 28 and 22 years old, and my 24 year old daughter–they still think I can somehow magically fix everything. I think it’s assumed we know best and maybe have more understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I never went to either. Even now, I’m more likely to go to a therapist than to take a problem to family members or friends. I’ve too much experience of people inserting how they feel/think/believe into the advice they’re giving, rather than trying to put themselves into your shoes do consider what’s best for you. I know I sound cynical, but that’s my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I recently told my daughter that her own daughter sees her as a superhero. She is under the impression her momma can do/fix/find/make any and every thing. That little girl knows her momma is going to make damn sure all is right in her world.
    My daughter remarked that she didn’t like that concept of motherhood, that mothers are superheroes.
    She completely missed the point. Society can do as it do, I’m talking about what a child thinks of their mother. And in my experience, most children know their mom is the one who makes things happen. Who provides that feeling of security. Who loves without condition.
    While there are some exceptional dads out there, most kids instinctively know their moms do the things.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s