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Dear Wendy

Mother issue

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by avatar convexed 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #753045 Reply

    Hi there, I really need some advice on how to handle a recent situation with my mother. My older daughter just graduated from Law school and has always had a very close relationship with my mother and she was devastated when my mother at last minute didnt go to her graduation. My mother and I are also very close and I had paid my mothers airline tickets and had found her a hotel. MY Mother 2 weeks prior to the graduation started complaining of high blood pressure and an overall feeling of being ill. She even went to the doctor and Doctor found nothing wrong with her. I finally had to ask her if she was still going and she answered with “LOOK AT ME”. She never really said no or that she is at least upset about not going. So fast forward to today.. My mother has still not asked me how the graduation went or has not even called my daughter to congratulate her. Of course I still call my mom and talk her bc I feel bad if I don’t, however hearing her talk more about the royal wedding and Trump and never asking how my daughters graduation went is really upsetting me.. What do I do? My mom is the type of person that hangs up and shuts down whenever she is called out.. Please let me know what to do? I want to feel better bc I have always felt my mom was great but what she did recentely really has me dissalusioned.
    Thank YOU so much

    #753047 Reply

    Ask her. There’s no need to call her out, just ask her what’s going on. Yes, it would be nice to congratulate your daughter but is there really anything to ask about a graduation ceremony? They’re universally long and boring.

    Is your mom well? How old is she? You may need to change your expectations for what she is able to do.

    #753050 Reply

    I think she is just getting old. Old people become more self-centered and everything can be too much for them. Just accept it, don’t expect too much of her. What you can do is send her a picture book of your daughter’s graduation, she will rejoice in it. Anyway, it is a sad moment, but it happens to everybody, when you realise that you can’t rely anymore on your parents because they are aging and can’t catch up anymore. Don’t be cross, protect her as an old person.

    #753082 Reply

    Did you mention the graduation on the phone? Have you mentioned it at all?
    Is your daughter devestated? Or is she a little upset?
    I’m not sure how you can just ignore this, especially if as you said, you have a very close relationship.

    #753223 Reply

    It’s hard to tell what she’s normally like. You say they are close, which makes me think that this is out of character, but then you mention that she hangs up. So, I guess my question is whether this is behavior you’d expect or not?

    If it seems like something she’d do, then I think this is just one of those times where you and your daughter have to accept that she’s flaky. You can what someone to be better, but in the end, they are who they are. If it seems like something she wouldn’t normally do, then I’d focus on understanding what’s going on. Sometimes when people get older they get really nervous about random things, especially if their health is freaking them out. If she’s honestly concerned about her health (and you can be concerned even if a doctor hasn’t diagnosed you with something), then maybe she’s preoccupied with that.

    Neither of my parents or my family came to my graduation from my master’s program. Several of my classmates who had one family member come still were lacking parents or others there. I’m sure this is upsetting to someone who has a close relationship with their grandmother, but having you there is a lot more than some people get, so I hope your daughter still feels loved and not super devastated.

    #753236 Reply

    If she is usually attentive to your daughter, then I think it is very possible she is having big worries about her health. If you feel really ill, a doctor saying they can’t find anything wrong with you provides no reassurance whatsoever. It would be sad to fall out over this- hopefully there will be plenty more chances for her to make it up to your daughter on future visits.

    #753240 Reply

    Neither of my grandparents, who loved me dearly, went to my law school graduation or my college graduation. It’s just a lot of travel and schlepping for a pretty short ceremony. Also, your daughter is in her mid 20s at least – she should be old enough to have a semi mature perspective about these things.

    To be honest, absent some kind of really bad problem, you shouldn’t be mediating these issues between your mother and adult child. If your daughter is upset about it she can bring it up with your mother.

    #753486 Reply

    You know your mom better than anyone – is this out of character for her or is she a little bit of a drama queen? Sometimes people don’t like when good things happen to other people – even people they love dearly. Sometimes they’re just jealous of the attention or the accomplishment.

    Sometimes people’s anxiety about being in a new place or a new city can be overwhelming. This can get worse as people get older.

    She may be embarrassed about her behavior. You can simply say “You know I didn’t get to tell you about Daughter’s graduation. It was lovely and I’m so proud of her.” It doesn’t mention the disappointment or anything else. If your mom wants to talk about it – she has an opportunity. If she cuts off the conversation you can ask “This was very important to Daughter and I’m very proud of her – you refuse to even hear about the day. What’s going on?”

    #753610 Reply

    I agree with fyodor…Why doesn’t your daughter ask her? If it was a big deal to her and they are so close, she should be the one to ask.
    It is kind of water under the bridge at this point. Graduation is over. I wouldn’t spend any money booking anything for Mom ever again though.

    #753734 Reply

    This may be a bit of a left field idea, but your mother may have a medical reason that’s embarrassing and one that she doesn’t want to speak to you about. For example, I have met a number of patients suffering from urinary or faecal incontinence and it has meant that they are too scared to travel or go anywhere that they don’t have easy access to a bathroom. So a flight and long graduation to sit through would be an extremely distressing thought for them. Or sometimes people just lose confidence in their ability to travel.

    #753834 Reply

    I think @tui brought up a good point about an illness she’s embarrassed about.

    I’m also curious: have you asked her if she’s feeling better? If you haven’t, perhaps she’s feeling just as neglected as you.

    #753846 Reply

    I get the impression that you didn’t ask your mom if she wanted to go to the graduation. If you didn’t ask before purchasing tickets and before booking a hotel room you were being rude, even arrogant. You were assuming that you were free to schedule your mom’s time without her knowledge or consent.

    Maybe your mom already had something scheduled during that time. Maybe even a doctor’s appointment where it took a while to get in. Maybe she is developing a medical condition that she doesn’t want you to see, something like Parkinson’s or is afraid that she is getting dementia or is developing diabetes and needs to figure out how to handle it before trying to handle it while on a trip. Maybe she is having joint pain or incontinence or needs a hysterectomy or takes anxiety medication and the dosage wasn’t working right. You don’t know what your mom considers personal and doesn’t share with you. She has a right to privacy. Assume she had a good reason to not go and leave it at that.

    Maybe your mom is finding travel more and more exhausting and didn’t feel up to a trip. How old is your mom?

    There is nothing to call your mom out on in this situation. She did nothing wrong. She decided to not go to a graduation. That shouldn’t devastate your daughter. Really, if that devastated your daughter she doesn’t sound mature enough to handle life. There is a huge difference between disappointment and devastation and it sounds like you exaggerate which makes you sound like a drama queen.

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