being a mom

Having A Child Won’t Mend Your Bad Relationship With Your Mother

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grandmother-with-daughter-and-childA lot of new parents find that having a baby makes them love and appreciate their own mothers that much more, but those of us who have strained or neutral relationships with our moms know that’s not always the case. I was reading a post on Babble recently by a woman who says she didn’t truly appreciate her mom until she had kids of her own, and though it was supposed to be a positive post, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad and envious.

In the post, the author goes through all the ways her mom has supported her and helped her in her motherhood journey. She talks about telling her mom she loves her 20 times a day and how good it feels to know your kid’s grandma always has your back. She even says her mom always knows exactly how she’s feeling and can identify with so many of her emotions. My post-kids relationship with my mom doesn’t feel anything like that. In fact, I’d say the birth of my kids solidified the wedge between us more than anything else ever has, and it makes feel like I’m really missing out on something special.

Like the author’s mom, my mom was a single mom who worked hard and sacrificed to raise me. By definition, there is a lot I should praise about her, but the similarities between our stories end there. Where pregnancy and eventual motherhood made the author feel thankful for her mother’s support and like she could more easily relate to her, the process left me feeling isolated and alone.

Throughout my pregnancy and even after my daughter’s birth, my mother could only see my needs and feelings so far as they mirrored her own. Rather than sharing our experiences, any instance in which my own journey of motherhood diverted away from my mother’s wishes was seen as a direct betrayal of our relationship. I can remember vividly times when she threatened to disown me, judged my choices, ignored my boundaries, and left me in tears over wanting a say in my own pregnancy and parenthood.

Most of the time, I feel like the struggles I have as a mom are totally foreign to my mom and like I’m failing her somehow by not experiencing motherhood the way she thinks I should. I feel voiceless and like she expects to have some sort of say in how I raise my children specifically because she sacrificed so much to raise me.

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