Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Mother Load

Let me just get this out there. I love my mom.

She is one of the most selfless people I've ever been around. She thinks of other people first, she volunteers for many organizations and churches, she crochets prayer shawls, and is the Godmother to countless children. If she says she's going to pray for you, she means it and when she commits to anything, she follows through.


Sometimes she tap dances on my very last nerve.

And here's where I feel like crap...because I know some of you would probably give anything to have your mom back. Joe's mom (whom he was very close to) died a few years ago and I know he would do just about anything to have her back in his life. So I get that some of you may roll your eyes at my blog post and make a sarcastic "Boo hoo" in the back of your throat.

But I know there are some of you who love your mothers and STILL can understand that they drive you nuts once in a while.

Because, like a helicopter, she hovers. The hovering and wanting to be right next to me all of the time drives me batty.

I just wrote about eleventy hundred paragraphs trying to explain why our relationship is the way that it is, but truthfully I'm still no closer to figuring it out, so I deleted them all.

Why am I writing about it now? She (who lives 12 hours away from here) will be at our place tonight through Sunday morning. All I can say is that this weekend is probably going to be really great or really NOT great. It's hardly ever anything in between with us.

I hope it's the first one.

I've cleaned the house (literally scrubbing the walls and baseboards), I've arranged to have wine and cheese out for when she and her friend arrive at our place tonight for snacks before we all go to dinner. I've arranged for activities that allow her to feel valuable and helpful (which is what she seems to love best) while still leaving time to relax.

I've prepared this weekend as best as I know how and hope that it will not end in tears, hurt feelings, and slamming doors as it has too many times in the recent past.

I need to remember to go for a run each morning because it helps me clear my head and feel more centered. I need to remember that the places we're going to eat are just places TO eat - and not places where I have to eat some sort of right combination of what my mom thinks is appropriate. I need to remember that I don't have to clean my plate, even if my mom thinks so. And I need to remember that just because my pants feel a bit tighter these days does not mean that I am less worthy of love.

Eesh. It's going to be one heck of a way or another.


Jams said...

I hope you get to enjoy your visit with your mom. I know how it is. Relationships are never easy. Do what you can with what you have and remember, no matter what, you are loved.

Vb said...

I think we might have the same mom?

Katy said...

I love that you scrubbed the walls and baseboards. A friend and myself like to refer to this as "the mom clean" ie: when you have friends come over, you clean up, but when mom is coming to do the mom clean!

Fat Girl vs. World said...

You know, my dad and I had that tempestuous relationship for many years. I never knew when a visit would be good, or when we'd part ways without even speaking with each other.

One day I just took dad on a walk and leveled with him. I told him (1) I didn't want to fight any more (2) that he had to give me a little credit for having grown up (i.e., I am not 13 anymore) and (3) that I actually wanted to have a relationship with him.

I asked him what kind of relationship he envisioned us having -- and he said "heathy, constructive, loving." And I told him that if he wants that kind of relationship, all words, thoughts, and actions had to be healthy, constructive, and loving.

Basically I put it out there that I wasn't willing to fight anymore, I wasn't willing to argue anymore. I wasn't going to engage in a dysfunctional relationship. No more talking over each other, no more forcing the other person to be what you expect of them. And huge doses of patience, compassion and forgiveness.

And you know what? It worked. Now whenever things go down the wrong path, we try to remember that walk & talk at the National Sculpture Garden -- where we resolved to get to know each other again, to start over anew.

One just has to be willing to let so much of the past go.

Happy Fun Pants said...


I'm so glad that your dad responded in a kind, practical, and loving manner.

There are some things I'm happy to blog about and some that I'm not...and unfortunately, the reasons why your approach doesn't work in our situation fall into that category.

But I'm so glad that your relationship with your dad has blossomed and is wonderful!

Fat Girl vs. World said...

SFP -- I can respect that it is a tough relationship and probably not one that you want to get into here. I just wanted to give you a little hope that sometimes if you just can speak openly and honestly wiht someone, that you might be able to come to a civil arrangement.

Lesia said...

All I can say is "Good luck and remember she WON'T be around forever so enjoy her while you can."smile.

Happy Fun Pants said...

FGvW: I'm not sure what gave you the impression that I don't speak openly and honestly about my feelings...I believe that I do.

I'm happy to have this conversation with you - just via email versus on the comment section of my blog. :)

POD said...

I love that you wrote eleventy hundred paragraphs and had to erase them. That killed me.

My mom..well, I used to break out in excema when I knew I was going to be around her. Then one day I grew up. I no longer get a rash.

I'm not a mother hoverer myself. I used to have a boss who was hovery and that was just creepy.

Lanie Painie said...

Eleventy hundred is my lucky number!

My advice is to treat your mom like an old friend at this point. Nobody can hurt us like are parents can - intentional or not - but just think when the barbs sink in - "would I feel this way if anybody else said this to me? How would I respond if anybody else said this to me?" Don't be afraid to take your mental health breaks to run or meditate or be alone.

A few years ago I fantasized about taking up smoking just so I could go be alone outside for a few minutes to get out of social situations, especially involving my family of origin. I thought my neighbor man really had it made and decided that's why people say that smoking can cut down on stress. I've never tried a cigarette and just being near a lit one gives me a headache, but I envied his automatic solitude and started daydreaming about cig breaks.

TinaM said...

Mothers... haha. Good luck!
Definitely do not let her effect how you eat! maybe even show your independence and that your grown up by NOT eating everything on your plate :) And next time, don't scrub the baseboards either lol. She's going to have to except that you are grown and your own person.

carla said...

I know I beat this power of positive thinking thing to death :) but I need it with my mom as well.

a chant in my head for when she heads down the path of no return...

I swear Ill never do that to my daughter :) tho I know Ill do something ---or can we moms really avoid it all entirely?