Monday, 1 August 2011

the parent story - part 2

It happened again.
I'm just closing the door to my child's room and my mum is getting ready to just go.
To leave, almost without saying goodbye, again.
I wanted to say to her, that she is running away, like I used to do when I was younger, but I didn't.
Instead, we started to talk about the stuff that had been building up.
She feels that I am always exasperated with her, that I'm rolling my eyes.
And I feel that she is always critical of how I do things.
She doesn't feel very welcome at the moment and feels that she is only around when needed as the babysitter.  Which isn't true.  She has a busy life and will tell me that she wants 'a day' to herself.  Yes I do need her as a babysitter, but it's not just that, I also enjoy her company.
The problem is, is that I don't do things the way that she would and so she criticizes me for that, saying wouldn't it be better to do this or to that.  She feels that I don't give my child enough time to wind down at the end of the day, that I expect to be ready when I am.  But what she misses out on is seeing me tell my child that she has until the end of that programme, or she has 10 minutes, or that she has until the end of the chapter.  After that, I do a countdown from 5.
Mum says that I don't have much patience with my child, which harks back to not being a good enough mother.
But tonight what hurt the most was when she said that she felt no warmth from me and that I had become harder.
I looked at her, amazed that she could say that and pointed out that it would be difficult for me not to have changed after some of the stuff that I had been through.
I can't expect her to be able to put herself in my shoes, but I would have hoped for a modicum of empathy.  Her early life was no bed of roses, but she had a good marriage, 3 healthy children, a house, a career grandchildren who love her.
She is not living my life.
My life could be worse, but it is certainly, most definitely not a bed of roses.


  1. Sometimes the people you expect the least empathy from, are the ones that actually give the most and of course vice versa. The main thing is that you have begun to talk to each other, which is a huge step in the right direction. Sending you a hug. These situations are always painful! Emma

  2. HI Emma,
    You always seem to have such sage advice - thank you.