Monday, May 07, 2012

Trials and Tribulations

I don't know too many families who don't have some Norman Rockwell definition of "happy family" as... their goal??... their desire???... their ambition???

I know I for one have always felt a great sadness when - after some family celebration - I am not left with Norman Rockwell type pictures of a happy family reunion.

The truth of the matter is........ Norman Rockwell painted posed fictional families.  Every family has it's problems - it's "characters" - it's trials and tribulations.  

Mine is no different.

No matter how hard I strive to have this "happy well adjusted family" it just ain't happening.......... never has ... and I am slowly coming to the realization that it never will.  (yeah yeah I know I hear you all saying "DUH"... well I have never claimed to be a bright spot)

For the last year or so......... there have been rumblings underneath the pretty happy family veneer that we present to the world.  W won't come to family functions anymore because words were said - hurtful mean spiteful words - and no sincere apology has been forth coming.  I have been trudging along with the plastic phoney smile plastered to my face - working harder than ever to try and create a Norman Rockwell happy family......... but it is all wearing very thin...... very thin indeed.

Now things have been said - straight out - plain as day - to me.  And I am hurt.  I don't think I deserved the criticism .......... I have tried for 30+ years to be a good "mom" .. to do what everyone expected of me - ok ok except maybe divorcing the girls' father.. except maybe trying to be more independent... except maybe trying to find my own life - and living it.  That was wrong - oh I know that now.  (tongue firmly planted in cheek folks) 

But it would seem I have allowed one of my children to get away with murder....... to throw temper tantrums as bad as a 2 year old -  tantrums over  - are you ready for this??  her birthday.  That's right - her birthday. You see she was working on the day - and the weekend after - and so it had to be postponed.  I am a bad mother because I didn't make her feel special on her birthday - I didn't find a way to celebrate her birthday.  (We'll ignore the fact I sent off birthday wishes at 12:01 the morning of her birthday - we'll ignore the fact that her card and gift are sitting here - we'll ignore the fact that her sister and I had arranged a party for this weekend - only to be told she was working) 


So I have been mulling over an email this daughter sent me a week ago - the day before her birthday - filled with anger and hurt and pointing fingers at how hard SHE works to make everyone else's birthday special and NO ONE ever does it for her.  

I sent her an email on Saturday night.  I had waited till I cooled off - it took a week for me to cool down....... cause IF I had sent off an answer to that angry email immediately I would probably be "estranged" from my daughter and her family and my grandkids for the rest of my life. 

If anyone had told me I spoiled my kids I would have denied it vehemently.  I don't believe in spoiling - I didn't EVER spoil my kids.   

BUT I am rethinking that 

Perhaps I did........... and perhaps now I am reaping the rewards for that spoiling.

It makes me very sad. 

I guess I failed in raising independent free spirited women.  I guess - like so many others - I raised (at least one) spoiled "me me me" woman. Maybe it is way past time for me to burn those Norman Rockwell images of a happy family - and replace them with more realistic pictures of "trials and tribulations of family life". I think it is way past time for me to finally cut the umbilical cord and literally and figuratively move on with my life.........


  1. Oh my dear morningstar, even the happiest of families have bad times. And sometimes, we are hardest on the ones we love most, even if they were not responsible for our bad mood- a terrible human trait we all possess.
    I give you a virtual hug, for being strong enough to send your message after you cooled off - because that's part of my definition of what love is.

  2. Anonymous12:57 pm

    morninstar, newgirl said it best, "even the happiest of families have bad times". Your daughter's reaction does seem a bit much, perhaps she is having other problems you aren't aware of and the 'birthday' issue pushed her over the edge and she took it out on you.

    Sad to say, The 'trials and tribulations of family life" never quite go away. Move on with your life and enjoy it with W to the best of your ability. The past is over, the future unknow, we can only live in the present.


  3. As one of the badges on my blog says, "We're all Dysfunctional. Get over it!"
    It's really true.
    We ARE all dysfunctional ... and yes, we all do need to get over it and ourselves.
    You can't control how she feels.
    All you can do is express to her that plans were made, she wasn't forgotten.

    You didn't fail .... she's a grown woman who is responsible for her own happiness.

  4. We raise the children that come to us. We don't have any guarantees about how the love and time and work we invest will turn out. They become the people they choose to be -- and we don't get much say in that. This one of yours has some hurt she is carrying around. Tell her you love her no matter how angry she is, and leave it up to her. Hopefully, she'll come around sooner rather than later. But, Dear, you've done your job. Time for your "adult" daughter to figure out how she wants to go forward with the relationship with you.

    Hugs, swan

  5. I just want to say a big "Thank you" to all of you for your comments...

    It meant more than I can express


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