Thursday, July 22, 2010

Confronting my mother

I don't know if there's anybody who LOVES or thrives on confrontation.

I don't mind it but that's because I hate the feeling more of having things unresolved.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, so remember my mother favours Kendra?

After the last incident, D and I decided that either both get something or no-one gets anything.

My brother came up to Jhb for a few days a few weeks ago and after unpacking his stuff, hands me a gift for K from my mother.

First thing I say, "where's Connor's?"

My mother didn't send anything for Connor!

I was incredulous. And gave my brother quite a stern talking-to. In hindsight he didn't deserve it but I said "you're old enough to ask where Connor's present is" and he agreed. But I don't blame him - he doesn't want all that hassle.

So he said he had money from her and instructions to buy some clothes for the babies' birthday.

I told him that he'd "better buy something for Connor first and then get something else" which he did, so technically all is well.

BUT... I need to have a talk to her.

And I'm dreading it. She is highly defensive over anything and will absolutely FREAK out. Either that or she will go all or nothing on me "well then I'll never buy them anything again". I can just hear it.

Why can't life be easy?

But I have to deal with it properly. We tried joking about it in December and that didn't work.

Do any of you have favouritism issues with grandparents and one kid over the other?

We have such a weird relationship. She's intensely private and will not discuss anything properly.

"How are you enjoying your new job?" "It's fine" "Fine how" "Just FINE!" (end of story)

And of course I hate superficial relationships so I find myself frustrated all the time. This is not just with me; she's the same with my siblings.

I think she still sees us as kids and that's why she refuses to engage properly. Strange thing is she has a much better relationship with my cousins than she does with us. Again, very frustrating.

And of course, I've never heard a "I'm proud of you" or anything like that. Something Dr Phil said years ago freed me up totally in this area - he said "sometimes you have to tell yourself what you wish you heard from others". Wise man, that Dr Phil.

What's your relationship like with your mother?


  1. Why oh why is are mother daughter relationships often so difficult. I really do not want it for me and A, but yes, my mom and I do have differences, but not about this type of thing. She will NEVER favor one over the other. If someone gets something, all 3 will. Apart form birthdays where I do believe only the Bday kid gets a pressie. If I let the grandparents be (all 3 of them) all the kids will get something then too. My in-laws are also very fair.

    My mom has two things though, that by agreement with us, she has done. Firstly she pays for the princess' ballet. When the boys get activities later, she will pay for one of those each. I think it's fair. She did ask us if she can leave a small bachelor flat she owns as investment for the princess as she carries her name. We have agreed to this on provision that she leaves a bit of money for each of the boys directly as the rest comes to me with her main property.

  2. Oh mothers!

    Mother favors them in person but buys for the equally, and abundantly. Personally I would send Kendra's gift back with a little frownie face picture of Conner with a little message. Being this is a repeat offense, maybe you should just go ballistic on her. If she says she'll never do anything ago inform her she doesn't have to see them again. It's fun to be evil! Let her sweat it out! No sense in getting yourself worked up!

  3. Yep, My mother favors my daughter now. It used to be my oldest son. My poor middle child has never been her favorite...

  4. I do find it a bit strange of your mom to give a present to only 1 baby, I would def talk to her about it. Luckily my mom and I have a great relationship, we talk for hours on the phone. I hope that it stays this way with the babies coming but Im sure it will. My mom even to this day calculates how much she has spent on my sister and I at birthdays/Christmas and evens it out, even if she buys just a pair of socks to make it even!

  5. Both my mother and my sister-in-law THRIVE on conflict. (My mother-in-law is the opposite; I'm glad that I have evolved from being much like my mother to being more like my mother-in-law.) It's pathological, and we limit and monitor our children's exposure to them.

    That said, we haven't had any favouritism issues, probably because the folks who would lean that way can't tell the girls apart anyway!

    My relationship with my Mum ... well, that's a topic for both years worth of therapy and entirely separate blog. ;)

  6. I almost can't imagine having that kind of relationship with my mother. My mom is one of my very best friends...we talk daily, and there is nothing I can't tell her. She would never favor one of my girls over the other. Like Dee said, she has always kept things equal between my sister and me, and I feel like she will do the same for my girls.

    Now my MIL? I can totally imagine having an issue like this. I don't think we will, as she really loves buying two of everything (usually totally impractical outfits, but that's another story!). If we had a boy/girl, it might be more of an issue. Anyway, I just have a lot more conflict with her than I do with my own mom.

    I think you definitely need to say something strong...if your mom doesn't know by now that you're the type to take notice of something like favoring one child over the other; well, it's high time she learns!! : )

  7. I have identical twins, and unfortunately the grandparents can't tell them apart. They refer to the girls as "the twins," but at least they don't have a favorite.


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