An Open Letter to My Mother

May 12 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Dear Mother,

Two weeks ago I invited you over for dinner, along with Dad bc you had not seen your grandson for about a month. The same amount of time it has been since Mr.SM's grandmother and parents have not seen their great/ grandson.  In march, after spending the whole weekend installing floors , still have a shit load of stuff to do and wanting to do nothing but sit on my couch with take out, I packed up my family and drove out 30 minutes to see you guys.  That night, just like the night 2 week ago, you did not ask me how I was doing. Was I feeling OK, did I need any help. How was the pregnancy. All you cared about was playing with monkey and figuring if you were going to have another grandson or finally get a granddaughter.

Except the night two weeks ago, you decided to guilt trip me about how little time you get with your grandson. You said you understood that Mr.SM and I work fulltime and only get the weekends to be a family but you still demanded, not asked but demanded that monkey sleep over at least 1x every 3 weeks. You know we have a lot going. You know that Mr.SM has a huge family, whom we are quiet close to. Yet you have the balls to say that monkey doesn't need to go to every extended family members function.  Guess what woman, you're extended family too. And yes he does need to go to the functions that we go to. We pick and choose what is important to for us to attend and if we feel it is important for Mr.SM and I to attend, it is important for our child(ren) to attend. This is how they learn the importance of family.

Instead of ensuring that in the final weeks of my pregnancy, I was relaxed and healthy. You decided to demand that since it works better for your holidays, my husband can go back to work right after his child is born.  When I refused and informed you that after my child was born, I would like the father of my child around, you chose to act is if I was some how insulting you.

On Sunday, I left a scientific retreat, immediately after my talk to attend my nephews birthday. Do you know how pointless it is to give a talk and then not stick around to chat with colleagues about it? But I did that. Why? Because if I didn't you and my dear sister would use it as another example of how selfish I am, despite the fact that Mr.SM took monkey to the party on time. He did this, despite my sister never showing up for our grandfathers funeral or acknowledging in anyway, shape or form, the emotional trauma we may be dealing with after the fact. Despite completing disrespecting him at her FIL's funeral.

When her father-in-law recently passed away, we did our family responsibility. We did not do tit for tat.  We went to her MILs house the day of the death, we went to the funeral, to the prayer and back to her MILs house after. Even though my sister blatantly ignored both Mr.SM and myself.  She walked up to the man standing next to my husband and thanked him for coming. Then she looked at my husband and walked away. You know what I did? Nothing. I took, as I keep doing, taking the higher road.

It was Mothers Day on Sunday. Do you know that it was the 4th year that I have been a mother and you have not acknowledged that.  Despite this I still called you last week to ask if you wanted to come for dinner. I asked both my bitch sister and my brother to come. Understandably, my sister did not want to come since she was throwing a party that morning. Your son and other daughter (me) were going to be there. Notice that I was not having any time to spend with my child on mothers day? Because mothers day is not about me. its about you.

At the party you noticed I was tired. Shit I wonder why I would be tired mother?  Did you ask me how I was feeling? Did I need any help? Nope. Nor would  you give me a straight answer on dinner. Later on you called that you were not coming and I was happy. I did not want to spend another evening with you. You choose not come. Remember that.

Do not send me an email at work 3 days later trying to guilt me about how mothers day is about family and how dare all of your children not be around you.. You know nothing about family. You only know how to try and use guilt to make me do what you want. I am slowly getting to a point where you can't push my buttons. You will be losing out because of that.

You ruined my day with your email and are adding stress that I don't need. I am done with you. I told you two weeks ago that I am done trying to make you happy. Now I am telling the world. Sunday was the last mothers day that was about you.  You will see your grandchild(ren). I will not poison them against you. Your access will be limited. The less they have to deal with your selfish and manipulating ways the better.  You will get to spend time with them 1/month for a few hours. Sorry you did this. not me.

Your daughter

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13 responses so far

  • Anonymous says:

    Yikes! Sounds like my in-laws.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    Oh, dear. Many, many years ago, I gave my mother an ultimatum: Give up trying to control my life or lose access to any of it. I understand a small fraction of what you're going through, but I never had to make decisions complicated by grandchildren. You're doing a scary, brave thing.

  • Isis the Scientist says:

    This is why I keep my contact with some family to a minimal. Who cares if they think you're selfish. What do you owe them?

  • leigh says:

    you owe them nothing, that's what.

    i still fight with this stupid sense of obligation to the most toxic people in my life, despite intellectually knowing better.

  • gerty-z says:

    yes. you don't owe your family jack. you SHOULD be selfish, and do what you need to for you and your (immediate) family.

  • rizen says:

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  • DrugMonkey says:

    Your focus is on your kids now, not your parents. Rightfully so. If the can't get that, they get kicked to the curb.

    Happy belated Mother's Day to you.

  • Kevin Z says:

    We went through this with my wife's mother who lives in Europe. Its so bad to the point between her and everyone in her family that is abandoned by her children. She has never even met my 4 year old and we might keep it that way. Next time we visit her home country, we might no even tell her mother we were there.

    My parents thankfully understand what family is and make efforts to visit us and not to pressure us to come 2000 miles to there. My mom has came for every kids' birthday. But it took some training. I got the teary guilt trips about being too busy to come to Christmas etc. at the most inopportune and high stress times.

    Happy Mother's Day to you! Keep being an awesome mommy!

  • Sharon says:

    I am seeing so much hurt, anguish, loss and bitterness in your words - that my heart goes out to you. Please try to accept, forgive, let go and move on - you may make the decision to limit contact, but you will never find any peace and happiness unless you do this. Bitterness and anger will eat you alive - and you cannot be a loving and compassionate mother, wife, friend when your heart is filled with these negative emotions. May God bless you and help you.

    • mousefeathers says:

      If you can benefit from reading self-help books (some can, some don't, it's just a thing, y'know?), find some of the Harriet Lerner books--Dance of Anger, Dance of other things, some newer titles I don't know. I read several of them a few years ago, and got an amazing amount of help out of them.

      I found that knowing I COULD figure out how to find a voice that might be heard, find a way to make things "work" for both sides of a painful relationship, maybe without losing the relationship (just the painful part, or the worst of it), or knowing that I had done MY best if the relationship ruptured, was enough. You might get even more from them.

      I really can't describe HOW her methods work, because I'm no longer where I was when I needed them (I kept them with me so much, they were in my car when it was stolen--and recovered two hours later, without the books. I was royally peeved about that!), and my vocabulary for such is limited to the point of incoherence (obviously!).

      She doesn't promise you success in finding peace for your relationships--she's no snake oil doctor--she just helps you figure out ways to see what's happening and get yourself in a better place for YOU. Like I said, I'm fairly incoherent--but SHE isn't! Give her a try.

  • anon says:

    It could always be worse ... but it is important not to allow other people to dictate the course and pattern of your life. Luckily, you are in a situation where you are dependent upon these people for anything and vice versa.

    Focus on the good in your life and continue to take the high road. They are obviously unhappy, and if they knew better, they'd do better.

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