PG- 29 Weeks 1 Day - Family Stresses

I’ve been wondering whether or not to write about this here, especially since my mother does read my blog, but my mother and I don’t seem to be getting along again. I say again, as we’ve had a strained relationship for many, many years. Definitely since my college days, but a bit when I was in high school. I know in her mind she thinks I “just don’t get it”, but I don’t understand what “it” is that I don’t get. Personally, I think she just doesn’t get “it” but I can explain exactly what that is. I’ve felt for most of my life that my mother doesn’t support me and my decisions or really love me, which is very difficult coming off Mother’s Day and being successfully pregnant for the second time.

We’ve had difficulties since college, but I always racked those up to the usual issues women have with their mothers as they become independent. Especially since I am a very independent creature. I will listen to the opinions of others, but I make up my mind based on what I think is best for me. I’ve been on my own since I left for college, paying my own way for tuition, books, housing, food, etc. Thankfully, my parents don’t make much money, so I was able to get good financial aid, but I filled out all that paperwork myself. If I wasn’t so determined to make something of myself, I don’t know if I would’ve given up at some time and never finished college, but I did and got a BS in Electrical Engineering from a very good university in Philadelphia, PA. During that time, I also gained a lot of good work experience and this helped me find a job after I graduated. I met my husband there and we got engaged the year after he graduated and I was in my senior year. This is where things got really sticky with my mom. She didn’t seem to want me to get married. I couldn’t understand why, as he’s the most wonderful, handsome, smart, terrific man in the whole world. We’re still married after 15 years and while we’ve had our ups and downs, we both mean the world to each other. I would’ve thought that she would’ve been happy for me, but she didn’t seem it, and even refused to help pay for the catering of our wedding, which was quite a reasonable cost. We ended up borrowing the money from my in-laws and paid them back right away with the money we received from the wedding cards. This said, our idea of a honeymoon was driving to Florida and having a vacation on the cheap. Considering that we were young and romantic it was still wonderful.

There were other things over the years that have happened, but my real issues have been since my “Momma Bear” instincts have taken over when we had Phoebe. It took us over 5 years to have Phoebe, including surgery and ovulation induction/IUI. My mom was there for the surgery, and I thought that things would be great between us now that I was having the first grandchild, but after awhile things started going south again. I know I wouldn’t let my mom into the delivery room, but I was never able to explain to her that the reason why is that I was trying to keep a positive tone at the end of a very nerve-wracking pregnancy. We knew that there was something was wrong with her right lung even before the delivery and we were very scared. I wanted to have a natural delivery with no drugs, so I could be there for Phoebe immediately without waiting for an epidural to wear off. Plus I am kind of a crunchy granola type of girl and wanted to do with as little medical intervention as possible. My mom is a registered nurse and she gets this nervous look on her face all the time like something is going to go wrong. I could not look at her while trying to be so upbeat for Phoebe. I had to believe that everything would be OK. I know this hurt her feelings, but I had to do what was best for me.

During Phoebe’s infancy and toddler years, things were great. We all visited a lot and I thought she agreed that Phoebe was an amazing creature. But then things got weird when the visits became just her annual birthday party and one year she didn’t even come, having an excuse that she was visiting a friend in Oklahoma and had gotten a great plane ticket rate for that weekend. I think it was either her third or fourth birthday, I just know that Phoebe remembered, because she asked the next year if Nana was coming to her party, because she didn’t come last year. I was thrown off by that question, because I don’t bring up my issues with my mom and try to keep thing light with Phoebe, so she doesn’t get the wrong impression.

Since then we’ve had quite a few issues with my mom thinking I should come visit her more often, even though we’ve had a dog that we would have had to kennel to go away for the weekend and trying to fit it around Phoebe’s weekend activities – and Phoebe is in no way an overscheduled kind of girl. So she ended up doing what she hated her father for doing, not understanding that she’d like visits from him instead of forcing them the other way around. For the past few years, she’s only visited us once a year for Phoebe’s birthday party and we’ve only gone up to visit right after Christmas. But we seemed to have a kind of truce. I don’t see any point in arguing, because I know it’s not going to get me anywhere except frustration.

But things have really come to a head recently. My mom told me when my surprise baby shower is for the twins and she didn’t come. She called me last Saturday to tell me that she wouldn’t be able to make my baby shower next Saturday, because she needed to buy her mother a Mother’s Day gift. And also that it didn’t matter if she showed up because “I was going to get what I was going to get whether she was here or not”. Great attitude, eh? Personally for me having my friends throw me a baby shower was not about what I’m going to get, but a celebration of overcoming 8 years of infertility and finally finishing building our family. You’d think she’d be happy for me. Granted she did tell me a few weeks ago that my SIL was calling her about the baby shower, but she didn’t tell me when it was and when I asked Leo about it, he didn’t tell me when either, as we decided to try to keep some surprise to it. I found out that my SIL and friends were throwing it and that they were calling my mother for contact info for my side of the family. I gave Leo the information on my family and had him lie and say that he found my address book.

So I had a great time at my baby shower, and I’ll post more about it, but I’m not feeling the love from my mother and I’m not sure why she’s acting the way she is. I hope that it’s not a jealousy of what I’ve achieved in life. Yes, I have a nice house, job, husband, etc., but I have my own stresses too. But I always have an attitude of gratitude for the stresses in my life, because one goes with the other. So maybe that is why some might think my life is all roses and no thorns because I’m generally an optimistic person.

But I’m sure I’ll let this roll off my back sometime soon. I’m not sure what I could do to make my mother realize the pain she causes me. I’m not sure she really cares. I thank those who have read all this. I think this is my longest post ever. There’s so much more about this situation that I could go into, but it’s past history that I’ve tried to forget, but find it hard to as more and more things come up.


Martha said…
Dearest Heather, You are a dear person and I am so sorry that your mom is giving in the weakest part of herself. I have struggled w/my mom and found great insight in the book, "Dancing with Anger" by Lerner Goldhor. This is So Not Your Issue!! It speaks volumes, just Volumes about your mom that She Can't make it to her own daughter's baby shower. That is some serious pyschological baggage she has going on. (Green eyed monster maybe??) She can't schedule to come to her OWN GRANDSONS Baby Shower?!? Such a shame, I pity your mom that she is not embracing all the bounty placed at her feet. Her loss, Big Time! ((Hugs)) I am here if you ever need anything. Btw, I hope your Mom does Read this post. My Mom and I have butted Heads and she doesn't always get me, but she and my Dad Always are there for me and are my number 1 cheerleaders and supporters of any role I take on, professional or personal. Your Mom sounds pretty toxic and I hope she gets some help. Take care.
On My Mind 24/7 said…
As I read your post, I can't help but understand the frustration and pain. I have issues with my mother that closely mirror yours. Every time I talk to her it just upsets me. I wish I had a normal relationship with her, but I know it will never be. I hold my husband tight and vow to have a totally different relationship with my daughter. That's all I can do. Change what I can, focus on the positive. I try to spend time with relatives who are happy for me, aunts, uncles, MIL, stepmother, etc. I wish I could give you better advice, but basically I just limit contact, and try to concentrate on the happier times. Hugs to you, sister.
Alex said…
Are you sure we don't share the same Mother? *sigh* I've cut mine out of my life now because I couldn't take her "helpfulness" any more and I was worried that her comments would be picked up on by the kids. So we're going on 5 years with no more than a "hi" at my brothers wedding 2 years ago. And I have to say...that in all my adult life I have never been more relaxed!! I had a great supportive, nurtured childhood...but soon as I hit college years my mother changed. And I am not sure if its menopause or jealousy or what...but its hard, and its hurtful and to me...the only thing I could do after enduring eyars of her moods, was tell her that as long as she acted this way she was not welcome in my family's life. Yet she still thinks *I* am doing this to hurt her. She doesn't see that I am doing it to protect myself. And more importantly my children's emotions.

So I can relate...and I'm sorry you have to deal with this. I'm sorry any of us have to deal with this. But its letting me know exactly how I DON'T want to act with my daughters when they grow if I learn from it to make my relationship with them even better...then it was all worth it.
sky girl said…
Oh heather. How difficult for you. I hope that you can get some sort of peace with this situation.
As someone who also has a difficult relationship with her mother, I wish I had words of wisdom to share, but I really don't. I haven't figured it out yet. I just keep wishing my mother was something she isn't, but it's just not going to happen (for instance, when we told my mom I was pregnant, she said "oh this is going to change MY (as in her) life." Are you kidding me?

I'm sorry about your stressers.
Shal said…
Hi! I'm so sorry you're going thru this when you should be celebrating with her!

Are you an only child? I was thinking maybe she just never wanted to let you know, maybe she wanted you to be her lil girl forever. I can understand that, and maybe she thinks after the boys arrive that no one will have time for her?

I'm hoping she can see what a treasure her grandkids are and immerse herself and be a boon to you!

Praying that with time things will change for the better between your mom and you!
Not on Fire said…
I am sorry that you are experiencing this pain.
Kate said…
I'm sorry to hear about the situation with your mother. Having a daughter of my own, I can't imagine only seeing her once a year and not being there for her if she was pregnant with TWINS. Things with my own mother changed once I had a child of my own. I'm not sure why that is but I think it has something to do with looking at your own child and seeing yourself in them and how you would never want to hurt them the way that you were hurt. Make sense? I want to be with her through everything and help her with everything and be her biggest fan. I want her to be prettier than me, richer than me, everything better than me. I have a wonderful life but my point is I would never be jealous of her. You have achieved a lot in your life and you should be very proud. You sound like an amazing woman and a wonderful mother. Stay positive!

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