Quick Hits Supplemental – Mother’s Day ain’t for sissies!

It’s  actually Kinda fun watching all the odes to mothers on Facebook, but the truth is, I can’t even begin to muster that same sentiment. You see, I survived my mother. I endured her. Growing up in my family is something I wouldn’t have wished on anyone.

It was only by sheer semi-autistic persistence and will that we managed to come to some sort of detente and make peace before she died of cancer some seven years ago.

Sure! My sense of what’s right, my relentlessness, my capacity to roll with the punches, and my willingness to call the bad guys out are directly the result of her influence. But it wasn’t a positive dynamic – it was a response to her abject dysfunction and inability to correct her own life.

So, when my good friend and former programming partner Karen Tellef penned this short piece on the very dynamic of which I speak, it turned into one of those rare occasions when this author extemporaneously exclaimed, “Damn! I wish I wrote that!”

To all my friends and readers who find Mother’s Day to be a difficult challenge, here’s what she said:

“This post is for those of us who feel estranged from the Happy Mother’s Day posts. For us, we can only sit back and wish we had those sentiments.

Tellef Mother

Karen’s Mother

Some of us had mothers who were unhappy with that responsibility, and who stayed in bad marriages. And that unhappiness affected everyone, for their entire lives. Sometimes when the children become adults, you can understand what they were going through, and achieve a kind of “truce”. Sometimes the child never gets over it and finds it almost impossible to forget.

It’s just a roll of the dice whether the children will grow up to be good people, or whether a bad environment will negatively affect them. In my case, both my sister and I seemed to turn out to be good, well-behaved adults (although neither of us ever wanted children, and I didn’t even want to be married).

You have no idea how I wish I had just one picture in my photo album of my mother and I sharing a good time together. I wish I could truthfully wax poetically about what a wonderful mother she was, the amazing things she taught me… but I can’t. I have some satisfaction that we did have that “truce” before she passed, but it was never easy. I watch women of my generation and their daughters be amazing mothers and grandmothers and be genuinely “liked” by their children. And I am happy, and jealous.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself!

 

3 thoughts on “Quick Hits Supplemental – Mother’s Day ain’t for sissies!

  1. I get the whole thing “Mom was abused”. Seen it with my own mom. But, with today’s divorce rate, and words like kids are “Resilient” (Dr. Phil’s approval to divorce statement), we have kids being used as pawns. Mom has to out do dad, dad has to out do mom…..And here we are with a generation of kids that expect society to compete like mom and dad did. Nowadays Moms are less abused, but kids are being bullied everywhere and most of these MILFS have been on POF for years, one date after another. Family values didn’t exist. Why? I don’t know, but moms are so much happier being able to date however many men they want. Kids in their teens are having less sex and bus need to feel like they are less than a man. You tell me what the issue is.

  2. You know how much I admire you, Jeff, and all your skills. We’ve known each other for decades and got along extremely well. Compliments from you are HIGH on my “cool to have” list. So thanks for sharing my FB post.

    Looking at Junior’s comment — I was born in the 50s. My mom was expected to be a homemaker and a mother, she really had no other options. My father had no part in child-rearing, altho he was forced to many years later as my mother continued to unravel. And both of those roles were “normal” back then.

    But my mother did not fit that role. They fought constantly, in front of us, often getting physical. But they did literally “stay together for the children”. Hard to believe either of them thought that was the better option, but divorce just wasn’t done back then. They got divorced almost to the day that my younger sister graduated high school. They felt they had “done their job” and now could split. My mom went on to marry the guy she’d been having an affair with for a few years, and he was wonderful for her.

    With all the Baby Boomer griping about the state of families today, I see only positives. My parents would have been better parents to us if they had split and found happy separate lives. Today, parents are genuinely liked by their children. My mother once told me when I was an adult that “kids aren’t supposed to like their parents, they are supposed to respect them”. In other words, “fear them”. And we did fear them.

    Have a happy day, my brother-in-dysfunctional-families!

    Karen

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