Walking on Eggshells or Trying Not to Be Motherly

I’ve been chewed up, mashed down and broken-hearted in the last year by my adult children, and what a shock it’s been!  My children and I have always been close, very loving and have communicated so well.  I’ve given them my heart and my best, tryed to support and love them unconditionally….and now I’m just devastated about the new responses I’m getting from the two I would never have expected it from!

Thus, my grasp for help in a book, of course.  I saw, “Walking on Eggshells, Navigating the Delicate Relationship Between Adult Children and Parents,” by Jane Isay at my local Borders and dove for it.  Judith Viorst (of childrens’ book fame) has a quote on the front of the book, “Read it and learn!”

Having just started the book, I have not too much to share other than that adult children don’t want moms and dads to tell them the SLIGHTEST things to do, in any way at all, ever!  It enrages them!  Really enrages them!  This is news to me…however, I have seen the purple monsters rise from my beloved adult children this year and I can testify that it’s a real issue.

Since I’ve already spent days in bed in sobbing grief over lost love and heartbreak from the new treatment and disrespect they have shown me for reasons I couldn’t figure out  (I was just being the same ol’ mom….now I know that’s absolutely not allowed anymore!),  I’m now ready for the boot camp of revising my relationships, I suppose.  It won’t be easy…it’s really like “walking on eggshells”…even I called it that before I saw the book.  And, I think the tough thing is learning how to negotiate the pitfalls and landmines without losing who we are as women and mothers.

I’m still a little heartbroken at the changes I will have to make.  No longer being the mom of my younger children…now Mother of my adult children…not as playful now, but more serious and grown up.  I always loved the light-heartedness and playfulness of childhood and young adulthood with them…I’m going to miss that….

If any of you are experiencing this, too.  I’d love to hear from you, whether you’re a mom or a new mother, or a son trying to balance a new wife and new child and your mom.  It’s a strange new world for everyone!

Your, Bookish Dame

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One thought on “Walking on Eggshells or Trying Not to Be Motherly

  1. Hi
    I was drawn to your heartfelt post while perusing your book site for the first time. I’m not a mother (no kids, by choice) but I was the obsessively devoted daughter of an invalid mother (dying of emphysema; she spent the last five years of her life in my home) and I watched my family completely break apart in ways I never thought possible. Though my siblings and I had had our past tiffs, we all considered our bond very strong, and a strong streak of politeness helped us ignore our differences for many years. But caretaking issues regarding my mother pushed me and my two siblings into open warfare (I did all the work; they did virtually nothing) and I found myself being pummeled, called names, etc. It was shocking, excruciating, and revealing. Our foundations were never as solid as we pretended, and when a diffciult situation tested that foundation, the cracks showed up, bigtime. To make a long story very short: I haven’t spoken to my brother and sister in a couple of years, and have no interest in reconnecting with them in the future; a link of respect and trust was broken and I’ll never look at them the same way again. The saddest part is that our mother’s single biggest mantra in life was “I am so blessed because I have good children and they all get along with each other,’ and the feud over her invalid issues broke her heard (I tried to shield her but my siblings made sure she got a blow-by-blow account.) She died despondent and disappointed in her children and, no doubt, feeling like her life had been ruined. I doubt my siblings care about the results one way or the other, but I mourn for what happened to her fantasy more than I mourn the breakup of the family.

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