Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has come and gone. I spoke to both my mothers. It was nice talking to my first mom. It was a little strange talking to my adoptive mom. But both conversations were pleasant. And they were both happy to hear from me.

And it got me thinking... What ever hang-ups I have with my father, they seem to pale in comparison with the hang-ups I have with my mother (my adoptive mother).

Is it because he was around and she wasn't? Is it because I expected more from her, and so could have a bigger let down? Is there something different about the way we think about our mothers?

It seems bizarre. I love my dad, but he's not exactly been emotionally available. Still, he provides a kind of comfort and support that I value. My mom has often not been that for me. I don't know why. Did I just not lean on her? Did I try and find that she wasn't strong enough? Did I expect too much of her? She always seemed to need supporting, rather than being able to support.

I'm not looking to trade one mom for another. I'm not trying to compare my mom unfairly to my dad. But I've pulled away so much from her, I don't know how to find my way back to our relationship. And I don't know what kind of relationship I would want to get back.

Nothing like a Hallmark holiday to get me thinking about my bizarre familial relationships.

2 comments:

Jade said...

mothers have traditionally always been held to a higher standard than fathers. we are saints or sinners and our children and society expect a lot more from us. the truth is that we are neither.

phil said...

You're right, Jade, we do hold our mothers to different standards. But that societal point does not fully explain the breakdown in my relationship with my a-mom. I have never expected much from her. And at times it seemed she could not give me even that much. She holds herself up as a caretaker, but she seems incapable of taking care of her own children sometimes. I don't mean to sound overly harsh. This is something I struggle with, and I don't want to dismiss it as just one more way I've let HER down by expecting too much from her.