Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Motherhood


It is a given that motherhood is probably the hardest job any one will ever do.... those sweet little bundles don't come with instructions manuals (and most don't read manuals anyway!) It is - in my humble opinion - very much a "hit and miss" thing... being a good mother i mean..........

When i had my first daughter.. i followed the philosophy "it takes a village to raise a child" and both sides of the family made (strong) suggestions on what i was doing wrong.. how to do it better.. basically how to raise her. It was the most stressful time of my life (ok ok .. one of the most stressful times) When i was pregnant with the second one.. i was sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table surrounding by family when i announced that the first one had been an experiment - everyone raising her...... but that this one (patting my tummy) was MINE.. and i would raise her as i saw fit. Needless to say both my girls were raised very very differently.

As they matured and moved on to womanhood... i had to adjust my thinking.... i had raised them.. they were now setting off on their own. i held my breath and watched as they took faltering steps into the big wide world. It hasn't been easy..... hell sometimes it has been damn hard to watch and bite my tongue.... but i have done it. i have tried so damn hard to follow a hands off rule with both of them.. sometimes thinking that i would land up being old and alone and known as "the crazy old cat lady"... BUT i had to give them their wings and let them fly..

When youngest daughter announced she had had a "little accident"... and after i got over thinking she had cracked up her car.. i had a minor fit. She was 19 years old... my "party girl".. and one pretty damn sick girl. She had spent nearly 8 months at the Neuro undergoing every test known to man for seizures. So i was less than thrilled with this "little accident".... (and yeah yeah i know i am excusing my reaction with the mention of the seizures) She had the baby (and the seizures mysteriously vanished)...... and i was at her side through it all.... that was 6 years ago now.. and another baby later.
i have tried very very hard to be the granny who doesn't interfere.. i do NOT want to be a carbon copy of either of my "mothers"! And so i have pretty much let sleeping dogs lie.

And now....... today for some stupid reason... my heart feels like it is breaking.. and it is SUCH a stupid reason...... youngest daughter told me on the weekend she and boyfriend (father of my grandsons) are shopping for a new home..... and they think they have found one. i literally bounced up and down on my chair.. exclaiming how excited i was for them.. how proud i was of them....... and i blurted out .. "can i come and see the house??" .. dead silence.... then some stammerings from her end...... and i stepped up to the plate one more time.. and said.. "ok i understand if you are too busy to take me over"....... and it came out that the 'inlaws' will be going and she doesn't want to overload the home owner with family.

i blundered along like normal.. pretending every thing was just okey dokey...... but it wasn't.. my heart hurt. It hurts to know that they don't want my help or advise.. i am guessing all those years of biting my tongue paid off.. they don't expect or need my 2 cents worth. In my blabbering on .. i told youngest daughter that i wanted to celebrate summer with a family barbque next weekend. She said sure .. and we said goodbye

When i hung up the phone i dissolved in tears in Sir's arms.. i was / am so hurt. i blurted out that i was going to cancel the family dinner.. i just didn't want to see her. Sir concurred. Sir wanted to phone her and tear a strip off her and tell her how hurt i was. i begged him not to. IF she wanted me it had to come from her.. not from some guilt trip. (and trust me.. Sir is pretty damn good at laying on a "jewish" guilt trip)

Today...... i am cleaning the house and crying. i so wanted to have a happy family summer celebration barbque..... play with my grandsons... see my two daughters together with their significant others... just enjoy the moment. And now i have ruined it........ Sir will hold me to my word. And i wonder even IF i did convince Sir to allow me to hold the dinner..... would it be the happy occasion i originally pictured?? Norman Rockwell picture perfect.

Were my parents and inlaw parents correct in being in my face all the time.. driving me nuts.. making me feel guilty if i didn't visit?? At least to the bitter end i was always there for my parents.. always asking for their advise ... making them feel they had a place in my life. And i guess that is it.. they needed to feel they had a place.......

Now i am feeling as though i am going to grow old and be known as the "crazy cat lady"............




6 comments:

Buffalo said...

That you are hurt is perfectly understandable. In my opinion, for which you didn't ask, you need to confront your daughter at some point. She needs to know you were deeply hurt. It will probably make her quite uncomfortable. That is part of being an adult though. It is possible there is more to the story - not that it would mitigate things, but would give you new knowledge.

T said...

awww sucks growing up. I bet after she hung up she was thinking "Damn, I hurt Mom" and was not quite sure how to fix it without messing already-made plans. A conversation is probably in order, but a gentle one, me thinks. She needs to know that you love her and value her independence and growth as a woman, but that you want to her to know that you are there and would LOVE to be included when the time is right for the "special times", too. I am sure she is still trying to find her way in the never-ending struggle of melding a new family dynamic. She wants to please her boyfriend by being extra-inclusive of his family, and that is not leaving much time for her side of the clan.

Talk to her. I bet she is concerned about this, too. She may just surprise you.

T/sly

swan said...

It is hard when we raise up our babies to be independent adults and then have to actually let them go and do whatever it is that they will do. You have done a very good job. You have strong, capable, self-aware young adults on your hands. That she did not handle this particular interaction as gracefully as she might is probably an indication of inexperience. She will learn and do better with time. If this were one of your "kiddos" you would understand it and help her "get" what is missing from her knowledge base. But this is your child and it hurts.

You are not a crazy old cat lady. You are a mom... And she will always be your girl. Don't despair. Celebrate the milestone -- and find a day (soon) to have that talk.

hugs, swan

littleone said...

Buffalo....... you know your opinions and words of wisdom are always welcome here !!! thank you

T..... what a nice surprise to hear from you!! you hit a nerve when you talked about her wanting to be "extra-inclusive".. that is her way for sure.... and is probably what is hurting me more than the issue at hand.... shame on me!

swan.. dear swan.. god did you slap me upside the head with the comment about my kiddies at school... how right you are !!! i WOULD want to help them "get it".. thank you too for opening my eyes....

i started off this post writing for me... to get the hurt out... and leave it here.. but thanks to you all i have a new perspective.... i think a luncheon date is in the works real soon.......

morningstar

Laura said...

You would need more than 2 cats to be a crazy cat lady... ;)

Anonymous said...

I do understand why it hurt. Parenting is full of pain, thank God it's also full of love and joy or we'd probably never do it. ;)

Perhaps it wasn't that she "wanted" the in-laws there and didn't "want" you, but that the in-laws pushed their way in, and she knew you wouldn't. You are the one she can count on to trust her and her decisions about a house, the one who, when she shows you the house after it's purchased will encourage her and support her.

She's probably less confident that the in-laws would be as supportive after the fact?

Or perhaps the in-laws are helping with the purchase?

Obviously I don't know, and no matter what the reason it doesn't lessen your pain any. I'm sorry you are hurting.

kaya