Differences

This past weekend was mother’s day.  I am a mother of 2.  I love my children.  I love my mother.  I even love my mother-in-law.  But I find myself growing more unhappy with the expectations placed on holidays.  Mother’s day, Father’s day, Valentine’s day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, Sweetest day, etc.  I don’t need a holiday to spend time with my family.  I don’t need breakfast in bed, or presents under the tree.  I just need a happy family, food on the table, laughs and love around.  My mom, however, needs something else, something more.

My Mom is an interesting person.  My kids are beginning to pick up on this fact.  I try to shield them as much as possible, but they know.  They know she has VERY different view points.  They know she talks all about the other grandkids more than them.  They know she loves them, but they also know that there is something missing in their relationship with her.  She doesn’t understand them and they pick up on this fact.  My daughter is creative.  She loves tap dance and musicals and drawing and singing.  My mom and dad attend all her plays but will talk about how my niece was playing dress up the other day before or after the play.  This is my daughter’s moment, not my nieces.  My son is a typical 2nd grade boy.  He loves to run, play soccer, and shoot at things with make-believe weapons.  He is a comedian, and a sensitive soul all in one.  My mom and dad went to his soccer game this past weekend and spent the first 10 minutes or so talking about my nephew’s soccer season and how his team was comprised of all different ages.  They have never seen my kids compete in a karate tournament, even when they dropped them off one time after spending the night.  I was competing at the time and they could have stayed to see that, but I got the stand-by excuse of yard work, or laundry that needed to be done.

I, myself, have always been different.  I am more likely to do things myself, to not ask for help, to not take opinions, than I am to reach out.  I have always aligned myself more with my father than my mother.  And this is where the crux of the problem lies.  I do not have a “best friend” in my mother.  Instead I view her as opinionated and negative.  She has said that she supports decisions I have made, yet her actions show that she doesn’t.  She tells me she is proud of me, yet has not stopped by my business to see how it has grown.  I ran downtown this weekend with a friend.  She asked me what the race supported.  When I told her breast cancer, her response was that all the money I paid in race fees went to the corporation and not to actual research.  Way to put a positive spin on it.  She has never asked me if she could join.  To be fair I have never asked her to join.  I haven’t because I don’t want to hear the complaints of how far she has to walk, or how bad the weather is, or how she doesn’t want to drive in the city.  So I don’t ask.

When I was  growing up she was a stay at home mom.  She was always there to get us off the bus, to make a snack, to be the girl scout leader and PTA president.  For someone like me, as I got older, it became stifling instead of friendly.  She had to know where I was at all times, who I was with, what I was doing.  I craved freedom.  I craved carving my own path.  So I began rebelling.  I did not rebel in a drugs and alcohol way.  I rebelled by staying out 10 minutes past curfew.   I rebelled by choosing a college far from home so she couldn’t stop by.  I rebelled by sticking to my choices no matter how difficult the road was because I was not going to hear “I told you so.”

So on this past Mother’s Day I find myself not enjoying myself as much as I could.  I was ill, yes, but that is not where this stems from.  This stems from trying to have a woman who should be my biggest supporter understand my perspective on things.  If you support me, come and see what you support.  If you are proud of me, then come over and be proud of me.  Don’t leave early or make excuses as to why you can’t stay.  Moms are suppose to be our best friends, but what do you do when your mom drives you crazy and doesn’t like anything you stand for?  What do you do when your mom judges how you mother your kids because you allow more freedom than she would?  How do you share that with her without hurting her feelings?  I choose to just smile and nod when talking with her and encourage my own kids individuality and decision making.  Hoping that I do something right so that my daughter, and son, will have a “best friend” in me.

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3 thoughts on “Differences

  1. First of all….I agree that the expectations of these holidays are way overload. I heard a commercial with a young boy about ten years old being told that his mother deserved the best…so get her this piece of jewelry…which was way over the price most ten year old boys would have. Grrr…makes me grouchy. As for Mother’s Day….since I have no children (I do have stepchildren who I love dearly)…but I have no children…and sometimes I get weary with the whole week….now two weeks or more before Mother’s Day of seeing so much saccharin stuff. I do like that there is a day to honor mothers…I know mothering is difficult and so important. But reading your post makes me realize that not all mothers are “perfect”…in fact no mother is. But some leave an emptiness…and maybe it is is because they don’t know how to show their love. Your mother sounds like she did all of the right things, but there was and still is that emptiness in you. Have you talked to your mom about this? I know, that is not an easy thing to do. I don’t understand how she can make an obvious difference in her treatment of her grandchildren, but I know that happens. At least, you are aware of it and are making sure that your children will have the love and support from their mom.

  2. Oh my, I can relate to your post. I do not like the hype of holidays. It’s a nice gesture, but often hard on those that can’t get pregnant, or those that have lost their mother’s or those that wish for more from their mom.

    My guy woke up, brought me coffee and then said.. “It’s your day, what do you want to do?” My reply… “It’s just another day to me.” This mother’s day, all I wanted was for each of my girls (Ihave four) to call and chat and to catch up on their lives. They all did and I did. I miss them as they all live far away.

    Glad that you’re close to your father. Thanks so much for sharing these real sentiments that many of us have. It’s made me reflect on how I treat each of my girls and how I can be a better mom to my adult children.

  3. First of all so brave of you to put your heart out like this! I really applaud you. My mom died when I was 12 so I can’t sit here and say what a great mom I had. I wonder though if you had a heart to heart talk with her and shared how you feel. I say this because I would hate for you to have unfinished feelings and it would be too late to share… It’s obvious it really is heavy on your heart, so maybe give it a try! Good luck.

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