Daughter one wrote back and said that she did kind of get that message about looking good but not about having a man. She wrote to me in length about her wedding dress though – she was married 2 years ago. She wanted me to order a size 10 for her and I suggested a size 12. She said she’d lose weight. I said ok. So, we got it and it was pretty snug, I said, “daughter, you didn’t do your job.” That crushed her, understandably. She said she would never forget it and she would say to her daughter, no matter what she looked like on her wedding day, that she was beautiful. I did say that to her too…
So I apologized again for saying that. I don’t remember it but I’m sure I did.
I’m not sure what to say from here on out. She is 24 and has a right to live her life the way she wants and I am TOTALLY cool with that. She is obese and an occasional drug user. But she says she is happy and proud of herself. She loves her husband and he is her world and she feels like he is half of her. She knows we all love her and support her.
But this was all hard to hear.. if there is anything I’ve learned the past three years is that we have to forgive others for not being the person WE want them to be. I suppose it works both ways.
I've found that with my DS, he will find the ONE thing that hurt him, when there might be 1,000 that I know were productive, helping, wonderful, etc. He just focuses on that one negative thing.
Maybe it's not intentional, but maybe they do it so they can blame us for things they feel bad about and not be accountable. My DS was obese growing up. I spent his childhood trying to 'fix' that. I bought healthy foods, I took him to Weight Watchers meetings, I signed him up for exercise classes, put him in sports, made him talk to a therapist...everything I could think of.
You know what he said to me recently? He said that the reason why he was fat was because he knew his dad and I wanted him to be thinner and healthier and that just made him want to eat more. He admitted that he did it to bug us. I was like, WTF? How messed up is that?
He has blamed his drug use on us. We should have been 'more accepting' when we found him smoking pot as a teenager.
I wasn't about to say, 'Cool, you're getting high every day! Awesome, go for it, dude!' when I found him smoking pot.
You know what, Rachel? I think you've got this. Because when I read this:
if there is anything I’ve learned the past three years is that we have to forgive others for not being the person WE want them to be. I suppose it works both ways.
Parenting is definitely not for the weak.
I don't offer unsolicited opinions or advice to friends and family, but I will tell you how I see it if you ask me.
[This message edited by rachelc at 8:01 PM, May 3rd (Friday)]
Truth be told, you sound a lot like my mom. I have a very minimal relationship with her, because she is highly critical, very rarely encouraging, and doesn't bring much (maybe any?) positive energy to my life. I sympathize with your daughter in this instance.
I understand that that may be hard to read, or that my post may come across as critical. The thing is though, you have a chance to change (yourself and your relationship with her). Your apology to your daughters is a good start.
My mother told my every day of my life I "just need to do some sit ups" whether I weighed 99 pounds or 140. I do not believe my mother has told me I was pretty or beautiful, once. Ever. Of course, I can count on one hand how many times she told me she loved me, too. So, you know. I did finally learn those were HER issues, and not my failures.
I don't feel i've failed as a mom at all. I am good with however she decides to live her life. And that wedding comment was two years ago. But, alas, she still feels it and hopefully the apology helped.
Yes, i think that mother's and daugthers all go through this...i think that children and parents will constantly go through growing pains.
A parents job is to make sure the child is safe, secure, and learned. That is why we are parents.
Its very hard to give up those modes when our children are adults and grown up because to us, they are still the 'almost walking' 'almost talking' 'needs a helping hand' kids that we hold in our hearts.
Without knowing the extent of your involvement and how often you inject 'opinions' about her life ect - I honestly do not believe that what you said was just beyond hurtful.
She said she would lose weight - she did not. Telling her that, while not very tactful or at the right moment - was not horrible beyond words.
There are things that I remember my mom saying to me - and at the time they stung a little - but after becoming a mom myself, I realized that 1. Parents are only human and they will never say the right things at all the right times. Sometimes they will mess up. 2. I did not come with an instruction manual, so they couldnt possibly know what would hurt and what wouldnt hurt. 3. No matter how old I get, my mom will always have an opinion about how I have handled situations - and that is ok with me. I dont have to take her advice, but its very nice to know that all she wants to do is help me.
AND for the record....mama said the same thing to me on my wedding day - We ordered one size down and low and behold, I barely fit in mine as well. It was a fleeting moment and truth be told, it was all my fault that I didnt do what I said I was going to do. I wasnt mad at her. I still rocked that dress even if it was a bit snug LOL.