I am known for exposing the “elephant in the living room.” Those things everybody knows but nobody is talking about. Not every mother-daughter relationship reads like a Hallmark card, and our culture makes that a shameful secret to bear.
This is the article that wanted to be written in 2010 when my adult daughter was in the throes of blaming me for all that was wrong in her world. It wasn’t my first time in the barrel and with three adult children, I didn’t figure it would be my last.
People often have set ideas about what a grandmother should be like. However, grandmothers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – as well as in attitudes to that role. This became very clear to me when I wrote a book based on interviews conducted with 27 very different grandmothers.
Last month I wrote an article about how to deal with estranged adult children. It was in the choppy wake of Mother’s Day. Many of us were feeling the heightened sting of loss.
The 27-hour flight back to Bali from the U.S. socked it to me this time. So, while I was un-jetlagging and housebound, I rummaged through reading material, organized drawers and, in the process, stumbled upon Grandmother Remembers.
I often hear grandparents say, “I love spending time with the toddler grands but am glad to give them back to their parents at the end of the day. I’m exhausted, they have so much energy!”
Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It was filled with both blessings and pain.
Mothering is like that. Not too long ago, one of my children was estranged from me. It was not how I envisioned a relationship with an adult child. At the time, I wasn’t completely sure where she was living and had no reliable way to contact her.
Could you map read at three? I certainly couldn’t. These days children can. Are they a generation of geniuses or were we all rather stupid?
There are many ways that you can support your grandchild with pet loss. Your grandchild may look to you to help them through their feelings of grief and mourning, to help them understand that death is normal.
Motherhood in America is based on a myth. We are taught to believe that we can parent perfectly when we can’t. The myth also says that we parent better than our parents and that we can change the pattern for future generations.
In retrospect, it was some of our scariest minutes as parents of a then three-year-old.
The experience began innocently enough when my wife Judy, our son Michael, and I visited my mother’s house on a warm spring day in 1976.