Thursday, August 28, 2008

From my guest blogger - Mother and daughters, the drama, oh my!

When I asked Deb from Postcards from the Edge if she would guest post for me I think she passed out. Or maybe it was from the vodka shots she was doing. Not quite sure.

I "met" Deb a couple months ago, when she started stalking my blog. She will so try and tell you it was me stalking her, but we know the truth. When my blog moved she had some anxiety filled nights hours minutes seconds until I emailed her with my new address. Whew, it was tough there for a while.

Deb is the one that taught me how to do strike throughs, and for that I promise to over use it frequently will be forever grateful.

In all seriousness though, Deb's post about the mother-daughter relationship is pretty appropriate considering I'm with my own mother this week. She asks some good questions, ones I've wondered about myself at times. I'm quite certain I'll come back next week with some doozy posts for ya'all. So show Deb some love my friends, she'd like to get more than three readers a day she tells me. Heh.

When Katt asked me to be a guest blogger for her, my initial response was, “Wow! She must have some slim pickins if she’s asking me. I’m not nearly as interesting as, well, anyone else I read.” Then she told me that she thinks I’m interesting and likes my writing. At this point, I realized she had had one too many glasses of wine and I should not argue with her. So I accepted and here we are. Just don’t hold her accountable for my lack of intelligence or interesting things to say.

I want to talk today about the Mother/Daughter bond. I have never had a daughter, only 2 sons, so I can only speak about the relationship from one perspective. A daughter’s perspective. More importantly, my perspective as my mother’s daughter.

Growing up, I didn’t feel I had a great bond with my mom. Around the time I became a teenager, the bond I had with my mother was tenuous at best. We fought constantly, and I truly believed she begrudged me the carefree life I had that she never did. She began making me take my (9 year) younger brother with me everywhere I went, including on dates. I felt like that was her way of not allowing me to be a kid, therefore, putting a stop to any fun I might be having.

From as far back as I can remember, my mom has always turned whatever crisis or illness you have back onto herself. For instance, about 15 years ago, my brother was diagnosed with MS and she immediately began crying and carrying on, “What did I do to that made this happen?” That may sound trite, but she has pushed away the rest of the family with her behavior and now only has me left.

There are things that happened in my childhood (I refer to it in my own blog here at #18) that I have never told her. I’m sure we all have things we have never told our moms, but I doubt for the same reason.

Mom was an alcoholic (I guess was is not the correct word here) when I was growing up, so on the one hand I do blame her for what happened to me. But it did happen to me. So I think maybe I don’t share it with her because in some strange way I don’t want her to “take it away from me”. It sucked, don’t get me wrong, and I wish it never happened at all. But its part of what made me who I am today. The bond continued to crack.

Now, with all the issues surrounding my (soon to be ex) DIL taking my grand daughter so far away, mom has been in rare form. I did all my crying, scheming and screaming months ago and I’m done with that. I am now trying to work with the DIL to come up with a way to get to Okla. and see the baby. But every time I see mom, she brings up the baby and she turns it into a crying jag about how she is not able to see her and how much she misses her. She calls her, her grand daughter. (“I miss my grand daughter – Why did she take my grand daughter away from me?) I’m sure she misses her and (believe me) I know how much it hurts, but again I feel like she is taking this away from me. This is my grand daughter. She has grand children and other great-grandchildren that she shows absolutely NO.INTEREST.IN.AT.ALL. Why does it not seem to bother her to have no part of their lives? This seems to, once again, be her trying to take something away from me. My pain, my loss, my illness, or my grand daughter. Where does it end?

The once tenuous bond is becoming increasingly fragile. I fear it may altogether break and then she will have no one left.

I started this off talking about not having had a daughter of my own, but I know mine is not the “norm” when it comes to the mother/daughter bond. I have girl friends that have decent relationships with their mothers. This is what I imagine the mother/daughter bond should be. Sure arguments from time to time, but nurturing and loving too. These are not things I can say exist in the relationship I have with my mother. I love her, but I can’t say that I like her very much.

Is there a way to strengthen this bond? I don’t know, but I fear it might be too late.

Tell me about your mother/daughter bond from whichever perspective(s) you may have. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



  1. I'm not sure what the norm is for mother-daughter relationships or if there even is one. Like you, I can only talk about it from the daughter perspective and like you my relationship with my mother is complicated (maybe that's the norm) and tenuous. She was not an alcoholic while I was growing up (although she had many other issues) but is one now and it definitely has come between us. My mother and I share a strong intellectual bond but a fragile emotional one. I can definitely relate to the feeling that she turns everything into her issue and I often feel I need to keep feelings from her, otherwise she'll try and own them. There are times when my mother is a great person for me to hang out with as we share many of the same interests but lately I feel there is always an emotional price to pay if I do. As I said-complex relationship.

    Great and thoughtful post and


  2. thanks Brig - its nice to know I am not the only one who has a fragile relationship with her mom. i have, at times, thought that it might just be me/us - so nice to hear its not.

  3. Fabulous post, lady. You can guest blog for me any day.

    Happy birthday, beautiful!!!!

  4. Happy Birthday Deb!

    It's hard for me to talk much about my mom and I's relationship alll I can really say is I am trying my BEST to NOT be the kind of mother she was-I want a better mother/daughter relationship with my girl beans...

  5. I'm very close to my mother. Although I kind of see (Imay be wrong) that she has a preference of my nephew over my son (who is adopted). She would never admit it but when I talk to her on the phone all she talks about is my nephew. She also watches him everyday after school while she only sees my son once a week when I bring him. Maybe I'm just sensitive but I NEVER want my son to feel like he is second. Only time will tell.

  6. Julie,
    Thank you! I would be honored.

    Again it's just nice to know I WAS NOT/AM NOT alone.

    I hope that's not the case. Adopted or not, he deserves to be loved just as much.

  7. Okay, I have the greatest mom in the world. Amelia Bedelia can attest to it as well. I realize that we are not the norm, but may be perceived as such. My mom has been the backbone of our family since day one, the deep well of sound advice, and the glue that holds us together. The only complaint I have about her is that she is a worry wart and we make fun of her all the time for it. So, it's good material, not really a complaint at all. She is my best friend and a terrific role model for my mothering skills as well as my daughter's. I am so blessed and thank god everyday for allowing me to br born to an incredible woamn.

    Great post, sista! And happy birthday! Did you get my comment that I made at exactly midnight, so I would be your first?

  8. Jill,
    I got the comment and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I fear to tell you were not my "first", that was a loooooooong time ago (heh heh)

  9. Heh, heh, I found can't hide from me! Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday DDDDeeeebbbb, Happy Birthday to you. Thank ya, thank ya very much...lip twitching.

    Ok be serious now! I have no advice for you. I haven't spoke to my mom in 3 years. She tore up her parent card 30 someodd years ago. She is a bipolar, schitzophrenic who refuses to take meds. She told me to leave her the hell alone. She said I was dead to her. So being the careing person that I am....I refuse to talk to her. I think you can make it work, but both parties have to give something.

    Hope you have a great Birthday.

  10. My mom and I have had our fair share of fights, and I think deep down inside, she was jealous of my priviledged growing up as compared to her poorer, tougher growing up.

    When I got pregnant at nineteen, my mother insisted I get married, or else put my baby up for adoption. She picked out my wedding dress, planned everything without consulting me;etc. Ever since, she has been trying to run my life. Ours is an up and down relationship- simulatenously wanting a relationship with her- but on my terms, and her wanting the reverse.

    My best recommendation for you- read, if you haven't read,"You can heal your life". This insightful book may be a little out there, but the woman who wrote it Louise L. Hay talks about her childhood and growing up with a mother who first boarded her out at age three so that she could work, and then married a man who physically abused her and little louise. She was raped by this man, delivered the child and gave her away. And she was able to forgive her mother-and in the end of her mother's life she came to live with Louise and the relationship ended on the best note that it could.

    In this book, Louise makes the point that until we heal our relationship with our parents, our first primary relationship, none of other relationships, including our relationship with ourselves will work as they should. I firmly believe on this point Louise is right.

    Even if you and your mom can't see eye to eye, or have difficulty getting along, I think the important think is to make peace with yourself about your mother. Accept her imperfections and come to terms with what type of relationship you can realistically have with her. Forgive the past. It will set you free. I know, easier said than done.

  11. I KNEW IT!! I knew Jill would beat me to this.....OK, won! But really, everything that she said is true about our Mom. We are TRUELY lucky to have her.

  12. My relationship with my mom is touchy. My relationship with my girls is fantastic, but I, like you lack the closeness with my son.

  13. Wow, very well said, Deb. My heart goes out to you. I wish it were different between you and your mom.


  14. Thx. for sharing.

    my mom and i had our ups and our downs. we moved from city to city together. she had a rough life but she had an angels heart when it came down to it. we were very different from one another yet quite similar.

    i found that once you lose your mom it is the caring and gentle moments you will eventually carry with you and the bad times seem to eventually phase out.

    dispite any dysfunction, she was my mom and i see that is what i miss about her, just being my mom and me being the kid. no matter the bond, it stays with you.


  15. Deb you are such a great writer! My mom and I fought a lot when I was younger, but now that I'm older we get along so much better. I think she resented sometimes the fact that I had more than she did growing up. More opportunities, etc. She had 8 brothers and sisters and never got to go to college. I did and pissed their money away on partying. I think she really resented that (not that I blame her) My dad always wanted to give me anything I wanted and she hated that too. (again don't blame her) but it was rocky sometimes.

    I'm MUCH more appreciative of things now, and we've grown closer since then.

    LOVE this post! Great topic.

  16. I'm so excited to see all these comments! It's great to know there are women out there that have good relationships with their mom's. It's also nice to know that I'm not the only one with a fucked up mom-daughter relationship.

    Some interesting posts to come next week about my visit back to the ol' family farm. I'll just give you a little tease that we ended up coming home two days early. *sigh*