This morning I asked my mother to confirm that she was coming to visit with my sister at the end of August.  She demurred, stating that if I was going to pay for her ticket then she preferred that I pay for something else that she wanted.  Something that I had already said that I was going to contribute to for her birthday.

And. I. lost it. Again.


I don’t feel like you’re acting like a grandmother.  You’ve been saying you want a grandchild.  Why don’t you want to come see her and see about me.

Why can’t you just say that you want me to come?

I’m just saying.  If I had a baby, everyone would be around washing bottles and folding clothes.  I had a bad weekend.  Why wouldn’t you want to come and help?  What about spending time with Nana?

*more tears*

Well, if you are having problems handling Nana, why are you thinking about adding another one?

*yelling, tears, snot, chest heaves, more tears*

I can’t believe you said that.  You’re acting like you never had a bad day when we were little.  AND Mamah lived across the street so you could send us over there for a break.  I have no one here.  And, and, and, no one remembers that I’m still a new mother!  waaaaaah!

*soft tones, soothing voices, apologies, reconciliation*

There is a lot that wasn’t captured in this conversation.  We hurt each other’s feelings many times over. She felt like I was making her feel guilty for doing the thing that she wanted by making it in opposition to seeing Nana.  I felt like she was wrong for deciding that instead of coming to see her grandchild, she wanted to take the ticket that I was offering and exchange it for cash.

But on top of that, I wanted her to want to come see about me. I wanted her mother instinct to kick in and for her to just “know” that she needed to come see about her child. I wanted her to be empathetic and soothing and mothering and supportive.  And she wanted me to ask for help. Directly.  She was willing to come at anytime and I didn’t have to wait until a holiday.  Perhaps she needed me to need her.

We are reflections of each other.

In other news, tickets have been purchased.  Mom is coming to stay a week.


8 thoughts on “Miscommunication

      • Yes, it does kinda put the heart outside the rib cage when we make ourselves vulnerable like that. I have a few scars on the ole heart but the rewards are worth the pain and the scar tissue is actually stronger for it.

  1. I know exactly how that feels, sometimes you just need your mother to know without having to be told, especially when you are a new mother. You need someone to bounce things off, someone who is not your partner.

  2. I struggled to read this since I know what it feels like. I am glad that she’s coming to visit–that’s a win. It’s hard to admit what we need; it requires us to be even more vulnerable than we already are.

  3. I’m glad that your mom is coming to visit after all, but I’m sorry you had to go through the emotional roller coaster of making the trip happen.

  4. …….*cyber hugs* The mother/grandmother situation can be so tough. I blamed our issues on the fact we skipped the months of pregnancy that “lead to motherhood”. I wish I knew why it seems to become somewhat of a passive aggressive power struggle. I agree with you, if you had a newborn, it probably would be like night and day.

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