Crazy Mom – Take 2

Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t start counting the crazy incidents now … frankly because I probably just can’t count that high. (You don’t know my mom.)

So, yesterday I hung out with my mother, ostensibly to go maternity clothes shopping (cashing in my “rain checks” for X-mas and my birthday in March). I also decided I couldn’t keep up my we-don’t-know-the-baby’s-gender charade for much longer. To that end, I prepared a very cute little gift bag with a crystal pacifier, a bunch of pink “It’s a Girl” lollipops and a card. She loved it! We cried. It was a great mother-daughter bonding moment that unfortunately, I’ve learned to fear when it comes to my mother because – without fail – she will do something to ruin a beautiful day.

Much to my surprise, the shopping went well and we came home after several hours and a light lunch to rest for a bit before she headed back to her place. She asked to see the nursery that we had painted a few weeks ago, and thinking nothing of it, other than she would probably dislike the color, I walked her down the hall to what was formerly the exercise room and now, the baby’s room. She inspected the room. I pointed out the beautiful crown moldings we added (largely because my well-meaning father can’t paint a straight line!) She agreed they looked nice. And I was temporarily lulled into a false sense of security. Maybe nothing bad would happen on this visit… wouldn’t that be great?

“Where are you planning on putting the crib?” she asked. And I showed her the placement my husband and I had decided on after some debate and careful consideration. “No, you can’t do that!” she said, alarmed, “That’s the COFFIN position in Feng Shui!”

The feeling in my body when she said that was like I’d suddenly been submerged in below-freezing ice water. My brain short-circuited and I was enraged (I’ve been getting upset pretty easily lately, so I was actually really proud of myself for not completely blowing up). She set off so many emotional buttons at once: fear (more like terror as I imagined a dead baby because I had placed her in a death position), anger that she would say something so incendiary and thoughtless, disgust that she actually believes in this Feng Shui crap like it’s real, and really disappointed that she would say something like that to her pregnant & emotionally vulnerable daughter.

In a loud, steady voice – not yelling – I said, “Don’t ever say anything like that to me again.” (I said more, too, but can’t remember what now.) She insisted that it wasn’t her wording,that that’s what it’s called in Feng Shui when your sleeping position has your feet pointing directly at the door. We had a 5 minute discussion about it where I also told her I don’t believe in Feng Shui, so didn’t really care, but I didn’t want her putting ideas like that into my subconscious. We didn’t really get anywhere. A few minutes later, we said our awkward goodbyes and I knew that wouldn’t be the last of it.

This morning, I awoke to an email from her in my inbox:

Subject: MOTHERHOOD

Sweetheart, thank you for the beautiful souvenirs you gave me to announce the news. It was an unforgettable moment.
 
But I think you still owe me an apology: you sent me driving home with tears of pain in my eyes.
 
“Respect a mother even you don’t agree with her.”
 
“Do not wound her heart with a threat, or anything else for that matter. Her heart is connected with yours. For the same reason, your child, even as an embryo, can learn faster than the speed of light.”
 
(RULES OF THE UNIVERSE  on  MOTHERHOOD 101)
 
Love,
mom
{insert deep sigh here}
 
My response:
Mom, we had such a lovely time yesterday and I’m sorry that we had a bad moment at the end. 

 
For hurting your feelings, I definitely apologize. And you can teach me about motherhood, but I think I have to remind you about pregnancy! A pregnant woman is so emotionally open – and in many ways, fragile – because of all the new and overwhelming experiences. When she tells you where she wants to put the crib and you tell her, “No, that’s the COFFIN position” it’s like a stab right into the heart of her fear. You cannot say things like that. You have to think about the words you’re using.

 
I never wanted to hurt your feelings and I am sorry. I also hope that you will think more carefully about how you say things to me, especially when it involves my daughter’s life.
 
Love,
Your daughter
Update, 1:20 p.m.
Response from Crazy mom:
Apologies accepted.
 
Regarding my words, I will try to be more careful, but take into account that my comment was not that abrupt as you describe it. I went through different steps. First I told you not to put it there because if was bad fung shui. Then I suggested some other positions. Only when you insisted on your choice, I didn’t have any alternative but to tell you that that position was called the C position in fung shui. You have to understand that no matter how sensitive you could be, I couldn’t silence, for your own good, what I know, whether it’s a close, remote or no possibility. Advise, you will learn, comes with the territory of motherhood. I, personally, would not take the chance to challenge an ancient knowledge or wisdom.
 
My love for my daughter and grandchild are at the top of my priorities.
 
Love always,
Mom
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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dorothy
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 12:06:40

    I’m so sorry she said that, and she should read her own email “Respect a mother even you don’t agree with her.” You are a mother too! She needs to respect your decisions.

    Reply

  2. Daryl
    May 02, 2012 @ 16:42:04

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to read this–I’ve been a bit behind.

    I think your mother has a real talent for saying exactly the wrong thing–and not even realizing it???!! I’m not sure how she could defend herself on that one, but whatever. It sounds like you handled it well, under the circumstances. I could picture myself completely losing my shit if someone said that to me (pregnant or not–if you say something like that concerning my decisions for my future child, you might lose an eye). So good for you. That’s what I’m trying to get at with this wordy, unwieldy comment.

    Oh, and the way you let her know you’re having a girl was really sweet! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Daryl
    May 04, 2012 @ 22:12:41

    Hello, my dear. Just came back to let you know I gave you an award:
    http://soonafamily.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/a-lovely-little-something/

    Have a good day! 🙂

    Reply

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