My mom just doesn't accept that I want to be a SAHM. She keeps telling me (not asking) that I am depressed. She complains that all I ever talk about is my daughter and that I need to get a life. I have told her that this is hurtful and that I need her to respect my decisions and not project her perceived emotions on me. I love being a SAHM. My daughter is almost 2.
My mother also complains that I don't respect her parenting advice. Yesterday she wasn't backing down and out of pure frustration I agreed that I didn't. I mean, I respect that she HAS it but it isn't anything I want to follow. I am actually very respectful in dealing with her advice but she is implying that since I don't take her advice that I don't respect it. That is my mom.
She asked why I don't take her advice and I explained that I didn't want to parent like her and after being pressed I brought up some examples from my childhood, including her decision to be a flight attendant and leaving me with various people for several days at a time. After my parents divorced she left me around 14 with an abusive father to go live in another state with a rich boyfriend. There were many many more examples I could have given, like biting me to teach me not to bite when I was a toddler (she thinks this story is hilarious) and going against my teachers and refusing to put me in therapy for very obvious problems in grade school. But before I could even get that far she freaked out and said that I was basically an awful teenager and I was mean to her, so she left. (Wow I just thought she was broke and had to shack up, I didn't realize it was ME.) Then she said that all parents make mistakes and I'm kidding myself if I expect anyone to be perfect.
I agree that no one is perfect. We have worked out a lot of our differences and I thought I had forgiven her for leaving me and treating me the way she has ... but then I became a mother and see her so differently now. It was really hard to be close to her after I gave birth but I've slowly come to terms with my feelings about her treatment of me as a child ... until she became so opinionated about my style of parenting.
The conversation ended on a tense note but I told her that I loved her and I would talk to her later. She was planning a visit for Thanksgiving and before our difficult conversation was planning on purchasing her tickets today. So I called today and left her a friendly message and she never called me back. This really hurt my feelings. She has really been dragging her heels about purchasing tickets. Last year she swore she would come for Christmas and never bought tickets ... my husband's side of the family planned around it and it was uncomfortable because they knew I was expecting her. Then she said she'd come in February but never made it.
I don't know of many women who have these issues with their mom after becoming a mom. I accept that my childhood is in my past but I had no idea that I would have such a strong reaction to the parent I had once I became one. I guess what I am looking for here are more stories about seeing your mother differently after becoming one. Is anyone else struggling with this or is my situation exceptional?
Any insight into this situation is appreciated.