Almost daily diary!

Monday, September 14, 2015


How long should I expect my mother to 'mother'? Am I being unreasonable? I mean, should mothers give up when you get married, have children, buy your own house? I don't know the answer.

Having been though counselling as part of my year long counselling course she has been the topic of a few sessions - apparently that's common, we mothers are tricky beings who mess up their kids lives, some of us even unintentionally.

So I am wiser than I was this time last year. I know why I feel abandoned when she doesn't listen, dismisses what's going on in my life, can only see things from her point of view and when she seems to be the centre of her own universe. Funny that last one; as an only child I thought that was my perogative! 

I rang her tonight. I have something big and not at all good going on in my life ( thankfully not health related - more work orientated) which I've not told her yet as I wanted to see her face to face to tell her but seeing as I've also had food poisoning, so I'm feeling pretty rubbish and haven't made it over for a visit I decided not to tell her on the phone. But she asks a question to which I had to answer " I think it's better if I tell you when I see you" - it was water off a ducks back, she picked nothing up - like she didn't really hear ( I wanted some small concern at least- if she'd pushed me I'd have told her anyway as I'm so upset about it) and she continued to regale me with tales of woe about getting to grips with her new phone! It's all about her I thought - unfairly perhaps?

She's booked in for a knee replacement on Thursday, which has been postponed several times, I know she's in a state about going in to hospital but as it's been on the cards for so long now it's made her wish it was all over and that seems to be a good thing as 'getting it over with' is superseding the panic about dying in hospital! I wanted to see her before she went in but in case I'm contagious ( could be a bug) she's cancelled my visit.

Over the months I've tried to reassure her about the op, I've done my best, I've given advice - adamantly rejected, and tried to suggest how to relax -'don't tell me what to do' responses. So I'm definitely done with mothering her! But is it so wrong to want her to ask about me, care about me and see I have stuff going on too? For goodness sake we all have 'stuff' going on! And even though I know why I feel abandoned when she doesn't listen to what I say, it still hurts and I'm left with that feeling for a long time.

And even as I write this I remember no one is immortal ...


nick said...

Oh, I know exactly what you mean. Both my mother and mother in law are totally self-centred and never ask me anything about my life or what I've been doing. I've given up trying to change them, it's a hopeless task. I phone my mother once a week and have a completely vacuous conversation. The rest of the week I just get on with my own life knowing there's no point whatever in trying to share it with her. It would be nice to have a really close friendship with her but I know by now it's never ever going to happen.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

My Mum stopped listening to me for other reasons, but my Dad never did, and I miss him so much because of it. So I thin you have every right to feel sad about not being heard xx

Suburbia said...

You sound resigned Nick but it's still sad- I hope I never go down the same path

Suburbia said...

Thanks Blue Sky x

Maggie May said...

I think I worry about my children & probably will until the day I die.
Sorry to hear that you think you're doing all the mothering and getting nothing back.
I will try & email you..... if I still have the address.
Maggie x

Rose said...

This must be so hard, but I doubt she is going to change at this point. My mother has had some serious health issues this summer, but she always asks about me and my family instead of complaining about her own problems. It's her nature; she's always put everyone else before herself, and I realize now how lucky I am to have such a mother. I'm not sure I'm quite so selfless:) Hope you feel better soon, Suburbia!

Furtheron said...

I was lucky my Mum was always more concerned/interested in others than herself. Even when she was ill and clearly struggling it was pretty much never about her.

However my mother-in-law... now there is a case study in narcissism if ever you wanted one. My wife has given her grandchildren, been to numerous hospital emergencies and appointments with her, was there when her husband died, was there when her son died - who remember are my wife's Dad and brother too. But she phones up says hello and listens for ages not saying a word then says - "not much. I'll see you Wednesday". She puts the phone down and I say "You never mentioned A or that daugther as B etc." "Why bother it isn't about her she won't care"
The worst of all is Christmas she sits in our house surrounded by her family that is left and rather than revel in what she has she goes on about how "my world ended when your brother died". My wife is the definition of stoic in the face of this abuse frankly - but one Christmas I did lose it a couple of years ago and tell her precisely what a self centred old bat she was. Her reaction was to ask my wife to dismiss me from our house.
So - I know this doesn't help you directly but I do sense and understand some of your pain

Suburbia said...

Thank you Rose :-)

Suburbia said...

Oh it does help Graham! Thanks a lot. :-)

Liz Hinds said...

I was going to say that I think it's symptomatic of living alone for some time - then I remembered your mum doesn't!

I'm seeing a lot more of my uncle now he's in hospital and though he asks how we are and what I'm doing it's not really interest unless it involves him in some way. That's not to say he's selfish but, I don't know, maybe it's an age thing.