Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Mother Post

I've been thinking lately about the relationship I have with my mother and while I could sit here and say, "Oh it's wonderful, we're so close," that's not always the case.  If I dig deep enough I most definitely have some resentment towards her.

For example, I really wanted to go away to college.  I was dying for freedom and I wanted so badly to experience what life would be like on my own.  Living in a dorm.  Getting a true college experience.  She talked me out of it.  Said it wasn't safe.  She would worry.  Wanted me close.  I was 18 and I should have just gone with what I wanted, but I felt bad and guilty and so I acquiesced.

Then she was insistent that I go to St. John's even though it was way out of my price range and I really didn't care much for the school.  She said it was because she wanted me to go to Catholic college, but there were a million other Catholic colleges that I could have chosen from.  She offered to pay half my student loans if I went.  Again, against my better judgement, I agreed.  I have still not seen a dime of the half she promised me, but I make my $300 payment to Sallie Mae each month like clockwork.  While I don't doubt I received an amazing education, I'm making the same as my colleagues who went to Brooklyn College and St. Francis and don't have a dollar of loans.

When I was engaged to Andy, I wanted to push the wedding back a year.  Not for any bad reasons, just to have a year to maybe live on my own in an apartment.  Have a job working in the city.  Live the life I had pictured in my head.  Again she talked me out of it.

What I don't understand is her motives.  The real motives, not the bs she says when I try to talk to her about it.  It's always, "I was worried about your safety."  I think I know the truth.  She's insecure and wanted me to "need" her.  She wanted me close.  She wanted a certain life for me and that was more important than the life I wanted for myself.

I hope that Isabella wants to spread her wings and fly.  I hope I'm strong enough as a mother to let her. I hope she lives with her girlfriends in a terrible apartment.  I hope she makes all the wrong choices.  I hope she spends the summer in Italy.  I hope I let her live her own life.

9 comments:

Organized Island said...

I can relate, my mom would not let me go far to college for the same reasons. She is 84 years old and if I do not email her every day, she will ask why. I think the fact that you can see it and not want to do the same with your kids is key, as I do the same.

torinelson said...

A really brave and honest post. Becoming a mom has forced me to really look at how my parents parented me. Some things I can't understand, even a little bit, just know enough to avoid that with my own son.

The Dose of Reality said...

Examining the reality of our mothers is often hard, but necessary. Like Tori said it shapes our own parenting.

Heather said...

I completely agree and understand. My parents wanted me to stay at home and do community college for two years before heading to university. I went anyway. I grew so much as a person during that time away from home,which really wasn't very far away. Now, my family is (temporarily)living 1000 miles away from home while my husband trains for a new job. I was nervous about the move but I have loved every moment of it. Mother doesn't always know best. But usually, she is trying to do her best by us.

The Liebers said...

As hard as it is to watch, sometimes we have to let our kids make their own mistakes. Hopefully they will learn from them and become better people. I think it's great that you are using your own experiences to shape how you parent.

Tammy said...

I think about stuff like this constantly now that I'm a parent, especially with my daughter. At what point will I reign in the over-protectiveness? Like someone else pointed out, I think the fact that you recognize it will allow you to encourage her choices and I hope I can do the same.

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

This is so sad. :-( But I think experiences like this help us be better parents to our kids. I know I am already doing a lot of things SO much differently than my parents did with me. And I'm sure our kids will learn from our mistakes, too.

Tara Lotufo said...

We are so much alike it's scary. Maybe it's a Brooklyn mom thing...I wasn't allowed to go away to college! I was also "guided" into making the decisions my mother wanted me to make.I wanted to go to FIT but was talked out of it. My mom still tries to control me but I put a stop to it many years ago!! I picked up when I was 19 and moved to Miami! She drove me away. I love her dearly and she is a great mother and grandmother...she is just a very controlling person. I want the same for Chloe- I want her to be independent...to go away to college...to study abroad. To find a career that makes her happy...whether she wants to be a photographer or a doctor- she will ALWAYS have my support.

Katie F said...

Great post. I think a lot about my relationship with my mom now that I'm a mom.

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