Eva picked up the phone and said “yes”. It was the first time in three years she answered her mother’s call. She needed three years to heal her inner child of past abuses. Her mother called once a year, usually before her birthday, usually with new demands on top of usual demands. Eva was calm. Her heart rates – stable. Her mother was hysterical. “Come to me” she pleaded in a command-control emotional tone. “Do you think this will make me want to come?”, answered her daughter. “I do not know what else to do”, said her mother. “Maybe if you see that this is not working, you should stop pursuing it?”, Eva responded. Whining followed. “You can call me back when you calm down”, said Eva calmly and respectfully. Her mother called back in 30 minutes to say that she was fired and lost the case in court and wants her lawyer daughter to look into the case and remedy it. Eva said she will find a lawyer to help her, the same way she did it for any of her friends in legal trouble. And she did find a good lawyer. To Eva this conversation was an echo from a past life. A life she left behind through a rebirth. She healed her bleeding childhood through homeopathy, counseling, yoga, meditation, books and research, ups and downs until she reached the bliss of forgiveness and inner peace. Psychologists use the term “post-traumatic growth” to describe people who are changed for the better by a traumatic event, and it is both an outcome and a process, as explained by Richard Tedeschi, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/parental-estrangement_n_4317550.html . We go through life creating new families, learning from them and moving on ( “The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness” by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher). Eva is christian and the story of Jesus attending a wedding resonates with her: Jesus’ s mother and brother waited outside to see him. He let them wait and made it clear to the apostles that “you are my family now”. Eva congratulated herself for such a mature reaction. Her role of a mindful parent now was more important than succumbing to traps of a life, which is in the past. A past put to rest. For good. Everyone’s good. “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.” Regina Brett
– What’s hard, Maria?
Her daughter gave birth last week. Both mom and baby are fine.
– Nothing of what I do, pleases her.
They new family leaves with Maria. One roof, same walls.
Sobbing transforms into convulsive weeping. A hug is chasing it away.
– It’s the hormones and fatigue, Maria. Give her some time.
– It’s so hard. None of my advice or help is well received. I raised three kids and never followed a diet, or supplemented breast milk with formula….
– Give her some time. Be there when she needs you. It will get better, you’ ll see. It’s her experience as a mom now.
…. I made a mental note, a reminder to myself and I plan to stick to it. New moms need to learn and experience motherhood the way and at the pace they feel it. It’s their body. Their baby. Their decisions and their consequences. Being a mother does not automatically and for life make you “The expert-mom”.
I’ve seen women replacing their daughters as mothers and assuming full responsibility for a while. But a time comes when the mother will claim back her role and status. Or the child will want his bond with his mother to be real. What will the grandmother’s role be then? Substituting, even if through advice only, hits back, no matter how nobel the intentions were.
Found many reasonable insights in Melinda Blau’s article “Four difficult truths about your grand children’ parents”, link here
The ultimate objective is to have happy kids, happy parents and happy grandparents. Ego’s aside, “know it all” attitude will stay on my way to grandparent happiness. There are hundreds of ways to do dishes. There are hundreds of ways to embrace parenthood. I will face my insecurities without burdening my child. Grandparenting is not about compensating for whatever I missed or skipped doing as a parent. As grandparents, we owe this understanding to ourselves and our children, who would love a role model of wisdom and family balance and happiness. This is what grandparenting is ultimately about.