motherhood relationships

I still don’t understand my mother after becoming one myself.

How could I be a good mother and have a great relationship with my daughter if I've never experienced a healthy relationship with my own?

“I still don’t understand my mother after becoming one myself.”

I’ve always heard once I became a mother I would truly understand all that my parents went through. I’d understand everything they did, even the things I resented, was due to them protecting me or looking out for my best interests, that I could not understand the sacrifice my parents made until I became one myself. More particularly, when I became a mother only then would I understand how difficult it truly is. I would understand why my mother and I may have bumped heads, that she is human and made mistakes but did her best. It’s no secret to most that my mother and I have had a rocky relationship. In fact my mother has a rocky relationship with all of her children. 

“My relationship with my mother has been the most difficult relationship I’ve ever had. The most difficult part was coming to the realization that our relationship was toxic.”

Ever since I could remember she has never been on speaking terms with all three of us at once. My relationship with my mother has been the most difficult relationship I’ve ever had. The most difficult part was coming to the realization that our relationship was toxic. It was taking away my happiness. It’s been difficult to explain to people that my mother is alive and well, yet we do not speak or see each other. I’ve recently become a mother myself. I have to admit, becoming a mother terrified me. How could I be a good mother and have a great relationship with my daughter if I’ve never experienced a healthy relationship with my own? 

I’ve asked myself this many times. And many have asked me, will I seek a relationship with my mother now that I am one myself? Most people I know, have great relationships with their mothers and therefore are baffled that I am not close with my own.
I can get how it may be difficult for people to understand. I would be heartbroken if my daughter and I no longer had a relationship once she grew up. It’s true, after becoming a mother, like most of us I’m sure, I see things differently. Now I truly understand unconditional love and sacrifice. But I have not discovered any new information or any answers that would better explain or help me understand my mother. I’ve spent years excusing her actions and blamed it on her upbringing. And perhaps a lot of her issues stem from her childhood, I don’t know. But now that I am a mother, am I allowed to lash out at my daughter and place blame on my upbringing? My mother and I have not gone our separate ways because of unfair curfews, allowances, chores, or anything trivial like that. And I’d rather not go into detail. Even though we live separate lives I have enough respect not to air out all of our dirty laundry. 

“How could she go through all the things that mothers go through like sleepness nights and worrying, and yet walk away?”

What I will say is, now that I am a mother I have been left more confused by a lot of the things she’s said and done. I am pressured to look past her mistakes, because she is my mother after all. But the truth is we have tried to get along on many occasions. My mother has a lot of issues that I have accepted are not my fault or my problems to fix. Even if I wanted to fix her, I cannot. As a child, I’ve messed up a lot. As a mother, I have made mistakes too. But it’s my undying need to see my child happy that sets us apart. I would do anything to make sure she knows that she is loved. I know I have many hard decisions ahead as a mother, and we won’t always see eye to eye. But she is not my replacement or competition and I accept her and will accept her in all the stages of her life. Now that I am a mother, I have even more questions than answers when it comes to my mother. Why is she filled with so much pride? Why is she so angry? How could a mother be okay with being in and out of their children’s lives? Why did she hate the very thought of me growing up? How could she go through all the things that mothers go through like sleepness nights and worrying, and yet walk away? 

So, no, I do not understand my mother more now that I am one and I do not feel the need to force a relationship with her. I know people mean well when they encourage us to “work it out” but not all mothers are created equally. I forgive her for the things she has put me through. I’m lucky enough that I can look back, and not feel worthless or unloved because of some of the things she has done or said. And it doesn’t hurt me that we do not share memories and special moments that other women share with their mothers, because I simply don’t have a mother that can perform these “motherly duties”. I don’t know why, and I’ve stopped searching for the answers. All I know is to not repeat her mistakes, and for that, I should be grateful.
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  1. I 100% agree. All I know is that sometimes you just have to take the bad example and do the opposite. I’ll take my second chance at a family and leave that relationship alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Girl I can totally relate to you and to this article! I am on speaking terms with my mother but it is not an easy relationship for me. My mom has done and said a lot of things to me as well but she has always blamed our bad relationship on me and has NEVER really taken responsibility for any of her part. She plays the victim all the time and has no accountability. On top of that she’d rather just pretend like we’re close so that everybody thinks that we are Claire and Denise Huxtable. She is a Pastor’s wife so the perception is more important to her than the reality. As for me, all my life I have pretty much had to hide my pain and hurt to cover and protect her. The people that go to their church think she is so wonderful and I can’t confide in anybody because it would ruin her reputation.
    It is extremely hard to bare the weight of all of that alone. The only person who knows the depths of it is my husband, I can’t even talk to my sister. She and my mom have a better relationship than I do with her, so she just doesn’t get it. Being a mother was scary for me because I had no point of reference for how to do it the right way. When my daughter came it was even worse because I could see so clearly what was wrong and missing in my mom and I’s relationship. I am determined to be the most amazing mother to my kids that I can be! By any means necessary! God has really helped me in forgiving and healing so that I can be a great mom for my kids, and He has taught me how to be a good mother. It’s a journey and a process everyday but I am still alive and it has made me stronger. You are not alone in how you feel, and I pray for your continued healing in these areas of your life! Thank you for your transparency and honesty! Great post! Love you girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I definitely want to dig deeper into this topic as a lot of moms struggle with the idea of motherhood if they do not have a great relationship with their own mother and society tends to judge us for not having perfect relationships with them. It’s as though, if we do not have perfect relationships with our mothers it’s like we are ungrateful or something must be wrong with us. Thank you again!


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