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Mothers and daughters

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was spent at home, dinner across the street at our friends’ house, along with 25 other people…..

My mom was in town for the holiday weekend. I love my mom….She is my mother after all, and one of the strongest people I know. She has survived and endured so much in her life. Her father died on her 19th birthday, she couldn’t go to college as planned, she nearly lost her and my brother’s lives when she had him, her marriage ended in divorce after 23 years, and she is the last of her immediate and most of her extended family since her sister died last May. She lives alone, works a lot, takes care of her house, her dog, her cat, and her fish. She keeps going, despite a heart condition and numerous illnesses. She has been handed some of the worst in life. Most of the time, she lets me know about it……This is where the problems lie. My mother and I do not see eye to eye. We are VERY different people. I was always a Daddy’s girl, which caused problems before and more after her marriage to my father disolved. I have the life she wished for….went to college, had a great career, have a good marriage, and we are relatively “comfortable”. We both have/had three beautiful children. She can be bitter and envious. She can reinvent history and convince herself that is exactly how it was. Weekends with her can be a challenge. There are days that I can’t listen to her. I feel awful that there are times I don’t want to be around her. Then I pray with all my heart that Gracie is not saying the same thing about me 30 years from now!!!

The relationships between mothers and daughters are complicated. They can be absolutely beautiful. They can be absolutely ugly. I wonder why that is? My weekend with my mother was one of my better ones. We talked about Ryley, we talked about SHARE and my need to be involved with MOD. She had good, quality time with my children, and they were so excited to see her. This was the first visit with her where I didn’t have to hear how “nice it must be” to have this or be able to do that. She was genuinely happy for me, positive about my marriage, my children, my parenting, my life. Mothers and daughters…Hmmmmm……….

7 thoughts on “Mothers and daughters

  1. Mothers and Daughters… you are very right.. it is a strange relationship. A true example of love and hate… if that’s possible. I’m happy to hear that this visit with her went well. Maybe sharing your thoughts on Ryley, and SHARE, will show that you haven’t really had it as cushy as it may appear on the surface. From an emotional standpoint you’ve had your struggles too, that we all do. I’m with you… I hope that my daughters… don’t grow up making the statement… I DON’T want to be like my Mom!! I think we all fear that!! HUGS!

  2. Dear Donna, The mother-daughter tango *is* a complicated dance. It is difficult, even for us young mothers, to refrain from seeing pieces of ourselves, our dreams, our hopes wrapped up in our daughters’ beautiful – cherub faces. It *is* hard to let go of who *we* are, and allow our daughters to become who *they* are… Many times….mothers see personality traits that are familar to them….because these traits also belong to them. Stubborn….Chatterbox….Spiritual…Needy….
    Arrogant…Loves to read…Loves to swim….
    And when a mother *sees* these shared likes, dislikes, and ways of being….It is hard not to take credit…good or bad. We love our moms…and we seek their approval…we want an “atta girl” …. it is easier to listen to advice if we feel truly appreciated…it is easier to make time to listen more/help more if we feel like this is a good thing for mom and ourselves. Approval, at least in our society, often equates love. We do not *feel* loved if mother is critical and ruthless with her words and feelings about who we are and what we’ve accomplished in *our* life. Bitterness is an ugly…ugly thing. It can tarnish…destroy even the most beautiful aspects of who we are…what we are given…who we will be…When bad things happen, it is easier to feel bitter sometimes than it is to courageously heal. Healing is often painful…bitterness feeds anger and anger covers up a broken heart/spirit. Sometimes it is difficult for parents to *just be* happy with all their children have accomplished. For many *many* reasons. But in the end….you must love your mother and *still* love who YOU are…. I know we do at SHARE. I’ve missed you very much the last few days!!!!!!! HUGS! Melissa

  3. Donna….boy have I missed talking to you!! Mother & daughter relationships are so *finicky*…I agree!! Our mothers want so much more for us than they had….but less of the struggles they had. Then it seems when we are happy….they are not always happy for us….wishing we had done MORE! *ugh*….but I see that with Taylor. I so want her to be a strong, successful young woman who aspires great things & meets the man of her dreams who is good to her. What more could I ask for? haha!! I am glad that your mom had a good visit & was not critical of you or your family. That is so important for your children to see. As Karri said, maybe sharing about Share & MOD with her, and what it means to you personally, she realized that your life, while good now, wasn’t always a smooth ride…you’ve had your difficulties. Maybe she realized you’ve had bumps in your road too…but you’ve overcome & deal with them head on & learn how to help others from dealing with those bumps alone! Maybe she learned a new respect for what you are doing & your outlook! Wouldn’t that be great? I do hope she realizes what an amazing daughter she has, she is truly blessed!! I know that Gracie appreciates all that you are & all you do…there will be a time when she doesn’t, but it too will pass! HUGS TO YOU!!!! Glad you had a good holiday!!!
    Miss ya!!
    Sharlene

  4. Donna, Glad you had a good holiday and a good visit with your mom. Mom’s can be difficult at times. I lost my mother 2 years ago, but I can remember the times when I felt like she just didn’t understand and wasn’t even trying to. We had a good relationship but very, very different ideas on how to raise my children. I hope that my two girls and I can have good relationships when they grow up. Susan

  5. Donna,
    I know we’ve said our husbands might be related…is it possible that our moms are, too? (My mom watches the girls. She volunteered to. She said she wouldn’t have it any other way. However, she will call on Sunday and ask me when she has to “work” this week. Kill me every time she asks me!) I am very glad you had a good weekend! And believe me, I PRAY endlessly that my girls never feel about me the way I do about my mother! I love her, but it’s certainly not like I’d want it to be! So glad to hear from you! I was so excited when I saw you blogged!

  6. Donna, Ooooh, that mother/daughter relationship! I am so very close to my mom, but she is also one of my biggest stressers. I *know* I am the same to her. She can throw guilt out there with the best of them, and unfortunately, I’ve caught myself doing the same! I just pray that my kids turn out to be wonderful people, (certainly better than me), in SPITE of who their mother is! hehe! I’ve been trying to catch up with everyone’s blogs, I’m sorry you lost your work Share! That stinks! Also, sorry your husband doesn’t see Ryley’s medical problems as what they are. I struggle with my own family sometimes. You would think they would know that moms are ALWAYS right by now! Hugs,
    Page

  7. You are right, mother daughter realtionships can get sticky! I am so glad that this was a nice visit for you both! It means so much to have nice memories to cherish! Hugs
    jessica

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