Monday, June 7, 2010

i love my mother, but...

Let me preface by saying I love my Mother.

So, I’ve come across many articles that praise all the wonderful things that women and men have learned from their Mothers. They’ve helped them do this and do that and without them they wouldn’t be where they are. In these articles they often say all the grand things their Mother taught them. Maybe she taught them to be kind and fair. Or maybe she taught them how to cook or jump rope.

I hear these stories and I want to nod my head with agreement. I want to also think that my Mother taught me all these wonderful priceless treasures. But, I always think about what my Mother didn’t teach me. Hooray for being a pessimist.

My mother raised me and my 3 other siblings on her own. She worked tirelessly to provide the essentials for our family. So, a good work ethic, maybe I learned that from my Mother.

I don’t remember cooking in the kitchen together or making mud pies with my Mom. I don’t remember her helping me with my homework or teaching me how to ride a bike. I don’t remember her helping to show me how to be a Mother my first night home from the Hospital.
What I do remember is her leaving. Her being too busy to show a true interest in my interests. What I do remember is her being upset for having to drive me home from the Hospital with my 2 day old daughter and then leaving as soon as I got my baby girl out of the car. What I do remember is thinking what the hell am I supposed to do. What I do remember is missing my Mother, missing a Mother when I was growing up.

I wish I could list all the wonderful things I learned from my Mother. How she is my ultimate role model and without her I wouldn’t be where I am. I am thankful that she gave me life and taught me morals and values. But it almost seems like she got to the point where she gave up on us. It’s almost like she threw in the towel and called it quits with parenting. I can remember one birthday in particular, I came home from school so excited to see my mom. But the house was still. Her car was gone. I dragged my feet up the stairs with my head down. On my bed she left an outfit and a note that said Happy Birthday Alex, I’m at XX (her boyfriends) house for the night. No words could describe the pain and the hurt I felt. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget.

Again, let me repeat I love my Mother.

I wish she could have been there with me the first night home from the hospital where I was scared out of my mind with a newborn. I wish she would have showed more interest in me and not her boyfriend. I wish she could have hugged me after my first love broke up with me. I wish she could have taught me how to cook and shared her cooking tips.  I can wish for things to have been different growing up, but it won’t change what happened. And I wouldn’t want it too. And while I may be a little dysfunctional in the most fabulous way for not having a more attentive Mother, I think this is how I was supposed to be.


  1. Have you spoken to your Mom about these things?

  2. @Her Momma - I try not to harp these emotions too. I try consistently to drop the baggage and keep going, but it stays with me. It haunts me. I am glad that when we are good terms she is a great grandmother to my daughter. They both adore each other, and part of me is jealous of that. But I try to push aside those feelings and appreciate that she is so fond of my little one.

    @Shawna - No. My Mother has gone through alot these past few years. From her Dad passing to one of her daughters no longer talking to her, she cant meet 1 of her grandkids and now shes going through alot of surgery. I dont want to hurt her anymore. I know that I should talk with her, but dont know how right now.

  3. My experiences were somewhat similar. I do not remember mud pies, dress up play, or days at the park. I do not remember those moments because they never happened. My mom worked at night and what I do remember was missing her and despising her at the same time. She was not very affectionate and I tried to get her attention even if it were negative. Just a simple hug or let's have lunch today would have sufficed. I felt like she didn't like me very much and I too have an older brother and younger sister and often felt like the black sheep. What I also remember was snow days when were trapped in the house together. I loved those days she would make what we liked for dinner maybe even play a game with us, everything I wanted. Sad to say those days were far and few. She yelled all the time and the spankings were very harsh. I too have never disclosed my feelings of resentment to her I feel like it would kill her. I am sure she has a different story to tell if she were share it. I would be hard for her to see those times because she felt that she was a great provider. I would rather have a mother that combed my hair showed me some affection and was there so I can tell her that I began my menstrual cycle. I guess she did the best she could inspite of her situations at that time. I am 36 and I still want to say MOM WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED YOU?

  4. Alex, you just committed one of the cardinal sins of writing: You wrote in less than saintly terms about your mother. Congratulations!

    The writing aside...ah, yes, I can so relate to this. I wrote something once, "The Mother I Wish I Had." Our circumstances are different, but you were speaking my life with this. Hugs and loves you.

  5. I think that we all have things that we wished not only our mothers, but that our parents in general had taught us or done differently. For me, I could write this post about both my parents. In fact, I have two whole diaries full of entries like this. I commend you on putting such a personal part of yourself out there for us all read and relate to.

    It's always refreshing when you know that you're not the only one who has felt pain from a particular situation. Just take those experiences as lessons learned about how you can be a great mother to your daughter. Remember all the things your mother didn't do for you and make a honest effort to do those things for your children.

    I always say that God leads us down hard paths early on so that we'll know which path to follow when we get older.

  6. Alex,

    This is very touching. I was away from my mother for 9 years and reunited with her when I was 14... only having pictures and her voice by telephone to hang on to. Then was away from her again from 16 to adulthood. It was hard and I pretty much raised myself. There were a lot of milestones that I wished I could have shared with my mother. Lots of times I wished she could have been there more for... But, I'm sure that she also feels like she missed out on a lot too.

    My only advice is that even though it hurts, think of the positive things... she was there. My mom was there even though my dad was not... She made sure I had food, clothes and shelter; and through that I felt her love. Other mothers do worse. No one gives us a manual for parenthood and we all make mistakes. Some people learn from them and others don't. Just think... you wouldn't be the AMAZING person you are today if you didn't have those experiences. And now, you (and I) have an opportunity to do our best by our kids and not only that, they have grandmothers that have a second chance to love unconditionally... as my mom does Jev. ;)

    Love Ya'.

  7. You are one fab mama.. I love your honesty. I learn from you.
    While, I can not relate, I can see how the pain of the situation has brought you strength. It has served as a learning experience. It has served as a catalyst to your now, wonderful parenting.

    Your daughter is blessed to have you.

    The past is leading you to a life of authenticity, lightness and directness.

    Proud of ya *pats back*


  8. WOW, thank you all so much for the comments. I have to admit I was extremely weary about airing my dirty laundry. But through writing and sharing my story and experiences I hoped to free myself. This blog has become therapeutic for me and I thank you all so much for reading and sharing your stories.

    @June-Its so hard thinking about these saddening memories. I get caught up on the past. But I want to live in the present, so in a way I have we have to accept the past, and accept its place in our life.

    @Ferocious Kitty-I didnt know I committed a cardinal sin! I was just expressing what I was going through yesterday. And like I wanted to make clear I love my Mother, but dont love some of the experiences we went through as a family.

    @YUMMama-Thanks for your support! I have definitely looked at all these experiences and try my best to be the best Mom I can be. But, what I often find is that I'm overcompensating, because I never want my daughter to feel an ounce of what I felt as a kid. There has to be some balance, and I'm still trying to figure out how to balance it all.

    @Tricia-thanks for stopping by! Its devesating to be a child and have to raise yourself. Its heartbreaking. We have to grow up much faster than we should and in that process miss out on a childhood. I definetly need to focus more on the positive aspects that I remember. If I only think of negative then that is all that will surround me. We are lucky that we have them around to love our children, regardless of how they raised us, I feel lucky and fortunate to have her around my daughter.

    @Lissiebean-mama! thanks for stopping by and showing your support!! You are so right...the past has lead me and is leading me to the life i SHOULD be living. I need to learn to accept all that I have gone through. And I have to learn to move on... xo

  9. Wow... this post was kinda major... I can but can't relate with your post. My mom has always been there and really tries to extend her hand but she has no choice to really work hard to make a means for herself... because she works hard, she really wasn't as available as I would have liked.... I never ever had a complaint about my mom until I had my first child. I always had a vision of what a grandma was and even my mom is the typical "spoil grandkids" kinda grandma, she just isn't AVAILABLE! I remember having the baby and she got up to go to work and I cried my heart out! And she was there again in a few hours but I so wanted her to be there! So I can only imagine how you must have felt... when she dropped you off after having the baby... I read that and it hurt my stomach. Cause I know what that feels like to be frightened AND alone! I hope that things have gotten better for you and your mom... and I hope, like me, that you have learned from your mom to be more available and visible...It's funny how I LOVED the feeling of my mom being in the house... even if we were in seperate rooms not doing anything together... I can relate to my kids now when they complain about me leaving... THIS WAS LONG. I'm sorry....

  10. Hmmm, the note was kind of cold, but at least there was a present. You have totally valid expectations that were not met and I guess it haunts me becuz I wonder do my kids feel the same way. I worked a lot thinking I have to give them this, and I have to be able to afford to live here for the schools, etc, but I didn't miss any birthdays or holidays. Still one of mine accuses me of not being there enuff. Had I been on benefits all the time would that have been better? I don't know seems u can't win.


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