Friday, March 12, 2010

Rating Your Mother

It is going to be Mother's Day this weekend in the UK. I'm aware of this because my son now lives there. I'm going to see him on the American Mother's Day. But I'm sure he'll think of his Mom this weekend as he sees the flowers for sale at the store or on the street.

Now that my kids are grown, I often wonder if I did a good enough job. I tried to do everything that seemed to be correct, but you never know...

It took a long time for me to appreciate my own Mom. Now that I'm older, I realize the difficulties she had to face and how she actually did very well for herself in a time that women really were not taken seriously. We had our difficult (and hysterical) moments. She has somewhat of temper (understatement). But then she also did a lot for me. I probably wouldn't know enough to write this blog if it wasn't for her.

The question is, can I forgive her for her faults? I'm trying to, even though she is now 85 and is much more stubborn than she ever was. Maybe the one thing I got from her that has probably helped me the most is that she gave me the guts and stamina to keep going; to keep learning; to keep asking questions. I hope I have done half that much for my own daughter.
The London Independent

March 13, 2010
by Terri Apter

Mummy, dearest?: The pitfalls of life with a difficult mother

It's Mother's Day tomorrow... but behind the cards and flowers lurks an uncomfortable truth: many mums have complicated, damaging relationships with their offspring. Here, a leading psychologist examines the pitfalls of life with a difficult mother

Saturday, 13 March 2010


Who has a difficult mother?

I pose the question to a group of teenage girls, who raise their hands high. Grown women, too, nod knowingly, while adding, "I hope I don't turn out to be like her". Teenage boys and men are, of course, less absorbed with wondering how to be different from their mum. None the less, their highly charged love and empathy with her can make them uneasy about regulating closeness and distance.

In a sense, difficult mothers are the norm. Our need for a mother's attention, appreciation and understanding is great; our expectations are high. We tend to be critical of responses that are not precisely what we hope for. Her shortcomings – the endless reminders to be careful; her compulsive checking-up whether you have your keys as you head out the door, when you forgot them only once, two years ago; her inability to read an instruction manual – irritate and embarrass us, because we retain our idealisation of the powerful nurturer of to complete article

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