Over the last few years, my mother has been trying really hard to build a relationship with me. She is calling more often, dropping by my house, and attempting to spend time with me and my two daughters. I don’t mean to come off as a bitter daughter, but it is hard for me to let her in. Partly because while I was growing up my mother was never there for me. When I was a child I was invisible to her. While I was not physically abused, my mother was very cold toward me. She never showed any interest in me or anything that I did. She was always so distant and I cannot ever remember her telling me that she loved me. I am 32 now with two children of my own and now she is trying to be the “good mother.” What should I do?
Dear Bitter Daughter:
First, let me say that I am sorry you grew up feeling unloved and can only imagine the effect this might have had on your life. And just maybe your mother is sorry too which may be why she is reaching out to you after all of this time and trying to develop a relationship with you and your children. I don’t know the full situation and circumstances, but any time there is a chance for reconciliation, I encourage you to take it. This may be what you need to move forward and release yourself from these childhood feelings. I am not making excuses for your mother, but as children, we don’t always fully understand that our parents are just “people” who dealt with many of the same life issues, pressures, hurts, and pains that we now face as adults. It’s not easy being an adult and/or a parent and not everyone handles the stresses and pressures the same. It sounds as if you have not had the opportunity to talk with your mother about these feelings. Now may be a good time to clear the air and move forward. Just like you only have one life to live, you also only have one mother.
Wishing you both the best!
A wife and mother of five, Tamara Hartley is also a speaker, coach, and author of Stop Wasting Your Time Blaming Others for Your Life. Having overcome many obstacles and challenges, Tamara combines her knowledge, expertise, life experiences, lessons learned and practical wisdom to help others. For additional advice, tips, and strategies for your Life, Relationships, and Career, you can also tune in to TamaraHartleyTV or subscribe to receive weekly updates.