Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carefully Orchestrated, Yet Unexpected

I told my mom.

I had agonized for months about this, given how she reacts to just about anything I ever say. And I had gone over every possible option as far as setting up the conversation for the least chance of her saying anything dismissive or judgmental. It took me this long to come up with the one sure-fire way to get her out of her negativity for at least a few seconds while I told her about the baby.

It was simple. It was easy. It was brilliant, if I do say so myself. I used that negativity to my advantage, setting her up against her least-favorite sister in a way that let her be the one who could "win" in the good-news contest. It was so obvious, I can't believe that I didn't think of it before. In any case, it worked, its done, she said most of the right things and now we can get on with it - she has staked a claim in the happiness of this situation, and I know her well enough that she will not deign to reverse that position now.

I just wish I had a mom that I could really share these things with. I'm so wistful about other people's wonderful relationships with their mothers. I don't need any more therapy to see that she is doing her best, that she can't help it and that she has so many other things that get in the way of being the ideal mom that I can't expect anything more that what she does try to give. But I'm still nostalgic for a mother-daughter relationship that I never even had, if that makes sense. I remember reading Little Women for the first time, and being sadder for the fact that I would never have a beloved mother like Marmee than for Beth dying. Completely selfish interpretation of a classic, but it's true.

Still, my mother came through today. Even if she needed a little manipulation to get there, she did seem to be genuinely happy for me. She asked if she could be the one to tell her mother, of course, which was fine with me - why not encourage the mother-daughter relationship where I can? Now that she knows, everything seems less fraught, somehow.





12 comments:

lastchanceivf said...

Mother and daughter relationships are complicated. My Mom has no idea about our latest IVF...which I realize is as much as to protect HER as it is to protect ME. I'm glad you told your Mom and I'm glad it went as well as it could!

Sky said...

That's so funny. I thought it was just me with the complicated relationships that makes news like this a little less-than-joyous to give. I miscarried a couple of weeks before I was going to tell my aunt and my cousin (not her daughter). I didn't worry too much about my aunt - she tends to lace a silver lining over every cloud and she's been my biggest supporter all of my life. I love her to pieces. But my cousin, whom I also love, is more pragmatic and no-nonsense and, like me, not really a kid person. I can imagine her saying, You're out of your mind having a child at 42 and without a husband! Do you know how much that'll change your life?!

And, sadly, I already have all of those fears and apprehensions so anything but genuine support and encouragement is just not good for me.

I'm thrilled that you found a way to achieve the result you wanted. And if you had to orchestrate it a little, who cares! Sometimes the happy ending really does justify the means. :)

PJ said...

Yay, Lorraine!

Mad Hatter said...

Good work! It must be a relief to have it out in the open, and to have been in control of the situation. My heart goes out to anyone who has a challenging relationship with their mom - I have my own complicated crazy relationship with mine and I realize how it can take up a lot of emotional energy. Give yourself a pat on the back.

just me, dawn said...

I totally get it!! and have the same kind of relationship with my mother, in fact i don't know if she knows baby girl is a girl as she is so...eh, this is your post. so glad that you figured out a way to make it work for you!!

Best When Used By said...

I'm glad the deed is done. And that it went relatively well. I'm in the same boat as you - wistful for the kind of relationship I never had with my mom, and never will. It just goes to show there is an innate longing to connect with the one who gave birth to us. And sad that the longing simply cannot be fulfilled.

InfertileMadWoman said...

I am glad that she came through for you!! I totally understand where you are, and glad that you were finally able to tell her!! I hope all is well!!

Hugs,
Rebel

talesphoenix said...

I'm glad it went well. I'm one of those daughters that doesn't have a stellar relationship with my distant mother either. I'm glad your mom came through for you this time.

the Babychaser: said...

I went through a really sad phase, where I was angry that I had to go through life--and lately a really difficult life--without a mom to rely on. I think I'm kind of past that now, or maybe I'm just repressing it. Who knows.

I'm glad you figured out a way to make this anouncement work. And I'm sorry that it couldn't be the genuine support and happiness that you deserve.

Sarah said...

smart. maybe one day i'll be wise enough to accept that my mom does her best too. if only she didn't drive me nuts in the process!

Celia said...

I always wonder what it is like to have a real, supportive relationship with your Mom. No clue. Or what it is like not to have a materialistic, self centered Mom. No. Clue. But you know what, our children will know.

I am glad the telling went as well as could be.

Gwynn said...

I'm so glad that it went as smoothly as it could. It sounds like you ended up playing it perfectly.

I think lastchanceivf said it perfectly,"Mother and daughter relationships are complicated."