Friday, July 23, 2010

Parent/Child Dynamic in Adulthood

Do you ever call your Mom (or Dad) all excited to share good news and as you're doing so this happens...

"Well, did you say this ----?"


"Why didn't you ask this ----?"

or my favorite:

"You should have done this ----."

Kind of takes the wind right outta your sails.

I know the role of a parent is to look out for their children no matter what age we grow up to be but sometimes, it's frustrating when you feel judgement or criticism for things you may have done "wrong" in their eyes, when in fact, they aren't wrong at all - maybe just different from what they would have done. Then why do I second guess myself?!?

Sometimes in these conversations, I need to remind myself that I'm an adult. I've managed to live on my own since 17 (tho I did move home for 10 months after college) but guess what, I'm still here. I purchased our first home at the age of 28 completely on my own solely with my income and credit (at that time Tom still had what I'd call "post college credit") and now 5 homes later, feel like I know a thing or two when it comes to that whole process.

But it's really not about that or any specific situation. It's about feeling the need for approval and then second guessing myself when I don't get it.


jess said...

Its funny well not funny but I just had this exact thing happen with my mom when I went home. I will have to stop telling her things from now on. So yes this upsets me too!

jess said...

ps I love that photo! Where did you find it?

Anonymous said...

I lost my mom when I was 16, so didn't have an adult relationship with my mom. But, I have a daughter and I try hard not to be judgmental, nagging, or patronizing--but MY GOD she can read me like a book! My guess is that there will almost always be "issues" in a mother-daughter relationship. My mantra is "It's her life--but why did I issue her her own will!!" She is near perfect, but some of my less than admirable qualities have been passed on to her.


K@tie said...

I know this feeling all too well. Every time my mom comes over and tells me I need to scrub the grout better or I painted my walls to0 dark. I know she isn't intentionally trying to hurt me but it does.

karen gerstenberger said...

I get this. Yes.

ChiTown Girl said...

We (moms) can't help it, I guess. However, it TOTALLY pisses me off when my mom does it to me!!

Rebekah said...

Oh my gosh. My Mom does this to me A LOT. Drives me insane. Yet I still always call her because I feel like I still need approval, and I'm 30. And the sad part, as much as it pisses me off, I will usually not do whatever it is I had planned because she didn't approve.

On a happier note (for me), I'm going to be moving back to Seattle in 5 months. I can't wait! I know as much as you hate it up there you can't imagine anyone being excited about it, but I can't wait for the gloomy days, rain, mild summers (even if summer is really only a weekend and not a season :) ), Mt. Rainier, Valley Drive-In in Auburn, The Rock pizza, fresh fruit and tons and tons of live concert venues. :)

Smileygirl said...

Jess it sucks to have to censor what you share but I guess in the long run it's less stress for all. I found that pic doing a google image search.

TLW7CA1G it's almost as if our defenses are already up and we're sensing those judgments maybe even before they happen? It's such a complex dynamic and can really leave you feeling drained sometimes.

K@tie, when it's those little insignificant things I just want to say REALLY?? Is that sooo important for you to tell me? And sometimes I do. I guess it's a learning experience and I just hope I don't do that to others.

Karen you seem to get it from someone else too! blue baby????

Chitown I wonder what Lex would say if you asked him if you do this???

Rebekah, it's so tough because on the one hand when we don't get that approval even though we're in our 30s, it's like we feel almost deviant if we don't do what was expected. Do you know what I mean? Then there are times when I purposely have to avoid conversations and this could be something sooooo little and insignificant to, but I just gloss over it or change the subject because I can feel the tension start to rise. I'm happy you're happy to be moving back. We are due for 4 days in a row of sunshine and I'm about to explode! I can finally relax for a few more days!!! :O)

Anonymous said...

I can COMPLETELY identify with your post. I sm in my late 20's and living a fairly balanced life. I still have a lot to learm, but I am hopeful that most everything will come with age and experience.

A couple years ago my mom mentioned that she was reading a book called "Walking On Eggshells." It's about having a healthy relationship with adult children, hence "Walking On Eggshells" :-) I would highly recommend this book for adults of any age (whether you are the adult parent, or the child.) I too read it, and the book gave me tips about how to deal with my mom.

I have to say that our relationship is much more solid now. She still occasionally voices her opinion or tells me what to do. I calmly remind her that I appreciate her feedback, but I am less likely to share information about my life if she continues to voice an opinion where it's not wanted.

Smileygirl said...

Anon I read that book too! I guess I should pass it onto my mom. Glad that your relationship has improved. There is hope for us all!!!

Anonymous said...

Totally could have been the same conversation with my mother.

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