Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Things I Learned From My Mother

Mom and I have never had an easy relationship. Now we have no relationship. I have not spoken with my parents since February. There was no argument, no disagreement, nothing at all that I know of. They just stopped answering the phone when I would call. They are still in contact with my siblings, but not me. My children have been asking lately if we would be able to visit Grandma & Grandpa this Christmas. What can I say to that??? "Grandma & Grandpa don't want to know us anymore," doesn't seem like a good answer. I haven't figured it out yet. Fortunately while we were in Knoxville it didn't come up. I suppose they were too busy playing with their cousin, aunts, and uncle to think of it.

So I started feeling sorry for myself just a little. Wishing that I could have the kind of mother I could call when I was down or share stories about my kids with... comparing the way my kids are with the way I used to be. The sort of stuff women tend to do with their mothers. I've come to accept that it will just never be that way for us. I am blessed to have a mother-in-law who is very maternal and is always interested in hearing about my kids. She calls to check in nearly every day, and lives close enough to come to dinner on weeknights.

When I started to feel sorry for myself, I decided that instead I would focus on the things my mother taught me that help me to be the wife and mother that I am.
Respect your husband; never "bad-mouth" him.
Do not usurp your husband's authority.
Do not demean your children with name-calling and insults.
Allow your children to make age-appropriate decisions.
House rules should be in line with Godly principles.
Do not voice your worries to your children.
Do not adopt worldly perspectives.
God first, husband second, children third. Do not allow anything or anyone to upset this balance. This, of course, does not mean to stand back and do nothing if you have a husband who abuses your children.
Continue to love your children when they make mistakes- and let them know it.
Control your tongue. Hurtful words tear down a child's self-worth.
Never say, "I wish I didn't have kids", "Don't come back", or "I'll leave you."

2 comments:

Tish said...

Geneva, this is a great post. And I'm very sorry for what you've had to go through with Mom and Dad. It hasn't been easy for any of us. I live only 15 minutes away from them and see them only 3 or 4 times a year - if even that. And phone calls are few and far between as well. It's sad, but I don't guess there's much we can do about it. At least I don't have children to explain it to.

I've become extremely independent over the years, and I don't really feel the need to be close to the parents - or anyone else for that matter. But as humans, we are social creatures, and we thrive around others. I'm proud of my independence, but sad to think that maybe I'll grow old alone - just because that's what I'm used to.

You're a wonderful mother, and you should take pride in that. You've made efforts to make peace with the parents, and they have gone unnoticed. You've done what you can do. Now it's up to them. Hopefully they will come around before it's too late.

I love you! :)

VoiceInTheWilderness said...

Tish,
Thanks for your kind words. I remember that you always were a tad strong-willed... which was great when we were kids. I never had to go head-to-head with Mom. You always stepped in and did it for me. As soon as any injustice was perceived, you got involved. I don't know that I ever thanked you for that, but I most certainly did appreciate it.
Whenever I think of our parents, I pray for them. Especially birthdays and Christmas & such. My prayer is not that they become better parents, but that they come to know and love God and are truly happy.
You will not be alone in your old age. Whether there is a special man in your life or not, we'll be around for you.
I love you, too!