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Questions for your mother

 
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 06:16 pm
Well, some of us on a2k don't have a mother anymore, some of us relatively recently losing ours, and some a long time ago - and some of us are estranged from our mothers or have a distant relationship, but as a general article, I liked this one, once I got into it.
At first I was reading it while bored, as I do most blog type relationship articles, but I ended up thinking there were some good ideas in it.

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/kids-parenting/questions-ask-your-mother-now-00000000012347/index.html

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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 4,371 • Replies: 26
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ragnel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 08:52 pm
@ossobuco,
Very interesting, indeed.

My mother and I were never 'friends'. Her life revolved around the men in the family - my father and three brothers - I was there merely to help her carry out their every wish. I could never meet with her approval.

I cared for her for ten years before she died. Mostly it was an 'armed truce' but I carried lots of guilt that I didn't love her enough, so I tried to make her last years as happy as possible. Every now and then there would be a big blow up - she would go on and on about my wonderful brothers who only came near her when they wanted something and I would put in my two cents' worth.

After one such explosion she asked me why I bothered to go to the trouble of looking after her, thinking the way I did. Without considering my answer I replied "because no other bastard will!" I have spent my life biting my tongue rather than hurt people's feelings; yet I was so cruel to her. Afterwards I realised she knew the truth of what I had said and her constant praise of them was to cover how she really felt.

When she eventually died, I phoned all those she had contact with to let them know. When I spoke to her physiotherapist she said my mother had once told her that the one thing she regretted in life was that she had never told me she loved me.

Even now this really hurts. How different our lives might have been. I wish I could ask her "WHY?"

Mame
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 09:00 pm
@ragnel,
Wow, that's sad, ragnel.

My mother had 7 daughters and maybe loved 2 of them - some of the time. I don't know why she had kids, other than it was the thing to do 50 odd yrs ago.

None of her daughters really like her, she's very negative, critical, and judgemental. Most of the time. She's famous for her backhanded compliments, like, That looks nice on you, for a woman of your size.

We go in and out of favour with her all the time and none of us can keep track of who's in and who's out. If you're needy, she's on your side; if you're independent, good luck. And that goes for the grandkids and great-grandkids, too. I don't think she ever bought either of my children a gift and certainly never babysat them, but other grandchildren get spoiled. It hasn't mattered to me for years but you still notice things like that. And my kids barely know her so they don't think of her when they hear "Grandma".

I ceased thinking of her as a mother when I was about 10 or 11... since then I've considered us orphans (no dad, either).

This is not to say I dislike her - I don't. But I don't really want to be around her and she has never 'mothered' me, so I don't feel that connection. She's just there, like an unlikeable aunt.

So, I wouldn't bother asking any of those questions. I hope my kids ask me, though.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 09:06 pm
same here mame, it would never have occured to me to ask her any of those questions, as many of them would have evoked an "I don't want to talk about that" or would be ignored.

Actually, none of those questions were ever anything I would have wanted to know about or from her.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 09:15 pm
@chai2,
Yeah, same here. You just lose interest after a while.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 09:22 pm
@ragnel,
Ragnel, oh!

I dealt with that from afar in that my husband's mother had eyes only for the other son. For me as an outsider, I was first enraged and then later just gave up, that was the way she was and also going into dementia. I knew a lot of the history, and she tended to be fixated on a past time of a kind of glory in her life, and the first son was part of that time, all connected. Even first son thought she was over the top, as they say.

Several of us on a2k have had troubled relationships with mothers, and I'm among them. There have been a few good threads on this subject. My own thing is that in the throes of our disagreements, in my early/mid twenties, she went into alzheimer's, so we never made it to any kind of adult conversations. I was fretfully needing to get away, away, with alzheimer's not being a known diagnosis back then I thought she was just extremely unreasonable, when I had to stop and take over. I think the time for us to really talk was years earlier, and we missed that chance.

I've since had several friends who have had real talking relationships with their mothers, whatever angst goes on, sometimes quite a lot. I look on that in appreciation.

It has been decades for me to absorb the push pulls of my family life. I understand more with time.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 09:47 pm
In so many ways, a lot of us have been formed, no, formed ourselves, in dismissal to the behaviors that aggravated us. It's really in only the last few years, maybe a decade, that I remember more good things, probably a function of advancing age.

Well, we have situations particular to our families. We had some horrendo years when the three of us barely talked. (I was an only child, still living at home at 20, going to university.) She probably tried to, I can almost remember it.

Now I'm ms. talky. I do regret I didn't relate to my mother better in those years, but even now, it's hard to see how - she was very old line instructive. It's taken years for me to stop it all re myself and wonder how she was feeling with other than, "oh, yeah, that's how she was feeling", and listen more. Maybe it's an age thing.

I do figure an article like this is from the perspective of relatively workable families.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 09:58 pm
@ossobuco,
I just really, really like that I, and my sisters, have healthy and happy relationships with our kids. My kids are fun, interested, genuine and sincere. I adore them... and all my sisters' offspring. It's the future generation that really counts, no?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 10:24 pm
@Mame,
I see it as a continuum. Of course your family and sisters' families count. Those of us who stayed with birth families, though, probably learned early ways from them. I can see me being my mother and father in all their faults, in some ways, even with my rebellion, and whatever their good bits.
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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:53 am
my mom is gone, but it would have been pointless to ask as there would never have been any historically accurate answers. She believed what she needed to believe in order to keep going, reality was expendable.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 09:02 am
I used to think I'd like to talk to my mom and ask her about my fucked up childhood and the way it shaped my personality... but now that I'm older it's not important. We're all a mixture of good and bad, we all do wonderful things and terrible things to the people we love and then we all die. Screw it. I've had a good life on balance so far.
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CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 09:26 am
I happen to be very close to my mother despite the great distance we have
between us physically. She's always been a mother who truly unconditionally
loved her children and always put them first. We repay her with doting on her
in her golden years. I cannot imagine a life without my mother. With her being
78 years old, I have to face it one day, I just hope it won't be too soon.

Happy Mother's Day !
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 09:44 am
My mother was a product of a harsh existence. Considering, I can't blame her for her failings. She loved each one of her kids, even in the times they didn't necessarily deserve it. She was only 56 when she died.
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Philis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 04:11 am
whoa, thank god I worked on my relationship with my daughter, which is a good one. she is expecting May 26 and could give birth any day now. Me and my mom, ah, it's over and done with. Feel like I lost nothing.
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saab
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 04:58 am
My mother died at my birth. Everything I have heard about her she must have been a nice woman, talented, fun and friendly.
My father never remarried as the loss was too great for him. So from very little there were things I did not ask regarding my mother.
My great aunt came to help bringing me up and I can only say that those two gave me a wonderful childhood with lots of good memories, lots of fun and a good life.
I hated when some kind women called me a "poor motherless child". For me my great aunt was my mother and that is was I called her till I started school.

Once at school we were drawing pictures for Mother´s Day and my teacher told me not to do it, because I had no mother. I must have been around 10 at that time. I did make a drawing and from that time I always gave her something for Mother´s Day because I thought she deserved it and no stupid person should tell me what I should or should not regarding Mother´s Days
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 06:40 am
I was lucky to have a mother who loved me and stuck by me through times when I wasn't particularly lovable. She taught me more by example than she ever realized. She has been gone for more than ten years now, but I think of her all the time. It's a good thing I had such a great mother, seeing as how I'm turning into her.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 10:34 am
@Eva,
Happy Mother's Day, Eva and other mothers on the thread.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 10:41 am
@saab,
saab,
grown ups can be so insensitive at times. One would think a teacher would be more helpful than that. I am glad you drew a card for your great aunt despite
the discouragement.

I lost a dear friend to cancer many years ago; she has three little girls who were at the time 3, 5, and 9 years old. Their father remarried 2 years later and they have additional children. The middle child goes to school with my daughter and she's been telling her that Mother's Day is sheer agony for the girls - every year!

CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 10:43 am
@Eva,
In turn, you're a great mother to SonofEva.

Hah! I am turning into my mother as well, Eva. What always disturbed me about her in my teenage years, makes perfect sense now.
----

Thank you, osso.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 11:36 am
@CalamityJane,
My father put a boquet of flowers at my mother´ s picture every Saturday.
The father and stepmother of the three little girls should do that too or go to the cementry for Mother´s Day and the mother´s birthday and some other times.
As a parents with a stepparent it is very important that the parent who died is remembered and part of life for the children.
You can never replace a mother or father who was known by your stepchildren. In my case it was different as I never knew my mother.
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