Never Good Enough...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by lovemysons, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I have a mom that I don't seem to be "good enough" for.

    I don't really know what to say to her regarding where I am in my life. She expects me to be so much further along. She raised me as a single mom, working full time and she also got her Bachelors degree along the way too. She is the President of a womans social group and feels I should be more outgoing, involved, degreed, job oriented, etc than I am.

    She actually told me that she couldn't understand how "I could raise a daughter with so little ambition".

    But here's the thing...I DID get what I wanted out of life. I told her in my teen years that all I wanted was a Family. In fact, I told her that I wanted 6 kids, lol...3 is definitely all I could handle. But the point is I wanted to be a wife and a mom...Not a career oriented woman of the world.

    My aunt tells me to tell her that I am a Success because I DID achieve what I wanted out of life.
    What do you think I should say to my mother? I don't want to hurt her for HER choices but I do want her to understand that mine are okay too...are GOOD ENOUGH, ya know.

  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I too had these issues with my mother. It took several conversations regarding our individual definitions of success.

    With four of us kids, we all achieved at different rates and at different things. My brother and I (the sensitive ones) dedicated ourselves to raising our family (stay at home mom for me, basic 9-3 for him while his wife had the high-powered professional one) and I know I was born to be a mom and got immense satisfaction from every moment of being a stay at home and raising my kids every moment. To me, it was a dream come true and I was doing what I loved, what made me happy, and what I was good at = success. My sister and other brother are both highly degreed and professional - sister has children and brother has none - and she is a vastly different mother than I was. She would not consider herself successful without a job - and actually says she is a better mother for being professionally fulfilled.

    My mother knows how much it meant, and still means, to me to be able to be home with my children. Here is the first definition of success from the dictionary: "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose".

    Now that easy child is out of the house and difficult child is in high school, I have a little more leeway in my schedule which is why I've gone back to work 4 days a week. But, I leave to pick up difficult child at school and am home from that point. I do find pleasure in goals accomplished at work but will always hold my job as my children's mom my greatest joy and accomplishment in life!

  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My mother doesn't SAY that I'm not good enough, but...she wanted to stay home with her kids 24/7, and was bitter that she had to go back to work after she and my dad divorced. She's still angry nearly 35 years later. I never wanted a houseful of kids, I enjoyed working, and I'm fortunate enough now that I don't have to scramble to survive; Hubby is fine with my working part time.

    But my perfect brother and his perfect wife...with their two perfect children, two houses, always new cars, the latest electronic whatever for them and their kids...oh, well. I figure that as long as we can make our house payment, keep up with the bills, and have money left over, we're golden, and I'm doing what I want to do. That in itself is success. How many people are working at miserable jobs and hate their lives?
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My Mom never "got" the stay at home mom thing until recent years. She was also single, raising 5 kids, working full time, and out with her social groups when not working. I suppose you can call dating ect social groups. lol

    Like you, all I ever wanted to be was a Mom. I wanted to stay home and have the time ect to do all the things that we never done for me growing up. So that's what I did. Besides, husband and I figured up what we'd have paid in daycare and it turned out it that I wouldn't have made enough to justify working.

    I enjoyed staying home. And honestly I did still "work" (yeah like staying home 24/7 isn't work) I ran a daycare for years that brought in extra money.

    Nichole is like me. And she's now doing the stay at home mom thing, babysitting once in a while to supplement income. easy child has always loved working. She gets so bored staying home all of the time. And I can understand that. (unlike my mom) Only thing I wish is that she'd drop the school thing on top of the full time job......and maybe at least drop to part time until all 3 boys are in school. They're only little once........and in my opinion they really need their mother during those formative years. But that is MY opinion. They're her kids.

    My kids are not extensions of myself, they are individuals, their own person. They do their own thing and they both do it very well, which is why I'm so proud of them.

    Tell your Mom that your career choice was as a domestic engineer, and that you totally aced the job. Then let it go. She'll either understand, or not.

  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Ya know I have absolutely NO problem with any mom or dad that gets satisfaction from a "job outside of home". I just wish my mom could be satisfied with where I'm at...what I did with MY life.

    Like you all I wanted was what I couldn't/didn't have growing up. I had no dad and no brothers or sisters that I was raised with and my mom loved to move. And I mean we moved ALL the time...went to at least 10 different schools by the time I was in the 9th grade. I also had anxiety problems as well as undxd Bipolar disorder and addiction issues.

    My mom did the best she could...but honestly I was raised by babysitters or by myself. I think I started walking home and being alone after school by 2nd grade. So there was no one there for me growing up...the only rooted "family" I had was my aunt uncle and cousins who lived on a farm in Oklahoma. I am especially close to my aunt and she, unlike my mom, chose to stay at home and raise her children.

    My mom and I are just not cut from the same cloth. Ya know, come to think of it, my mom is not easily satisfied with ANYTHING in her life. I don't know that it is just me that isn't good enough.
    She is a perfectionist and has a showroom home. She is fairly superficial too and gets her nails, hair, cosmetic surgery done etc. She is an Awesome friend...just??? She is a "great" grandmother but rarely sees them. I love her...I accept our differences...I only wish she would accept me "As Is" ya know. It is somewhat painful to feel like a disappointment or letdown for my mother.

    As far as "Acing" the job of motherhood, well, hmmmm, I don't know that that the case Lisa. But, I do know I have given the job of motherhood everything I had and more along the way. I have never and will never give up on any of my kids. I have even "fostered" if you will several other kids along the way that were not mine but that have become part of our family. We have 2 young adults that are not ours living with husband and I at present.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Some people have a hard time ever treating their children as individuals -- unique beings SEPARATE from themselves -- who have their own likes, hopes, dreams, even after they are grown and living their adult life. They project themselves onto their children too much and only see THEIR OWN preferences in regard to their child and their whole ego/self-esteem, personal identity is wrapped up in this rather self-centered ideal. Perhaps this is also true for your mom.

    My husband struggles with this in regard to sports and our kids. He is very frustrated that none of his kids have chosen any of the sports he played as a child and young adult. And he is frustrated that neither of his boys is super athletic. However, all three of our kids play various sports, and have tried various sports because I do feel it's important for them to find something they enjoy doing. We'll try anything once, maybe even twice if we're on the fence about it or didn't have the best experience the first time. I don't expect my kids to be great at anything, but I do want them to find SOMETHING physically active to do.

    I try to remind husband that our goal as parents is not create carbon copies of ourselves, but to foster the growth and development of these children so they can become whatever person THEY want to be.

    I think it's just too bad that your mom cannot find satisfaction or pride in the direction you've chosen for your own life. Maybe she needs to hear that the things which bring meaning and purpose to YOUR life are, as you've said, the very things you couldn't/didn't have growing up. And that YOU are NOT HER and never will be. How boring life would be if we all were clones of our parents!

  7. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you gcvmom,
    I think you nailed it because my mom has told me that she believes I'm missing out on so much and that she "wishes she could brag on me and the difficult child's etc, even easy child for different reasons...but that she cannot. I wish...she was proud of me. For finding a purpose and meaning in life that is different from hers but that is still okay. And I wish she could find "something" good to say about my family to her friends.

    I can't change her...and I don't really want to throw guilt trips on her either. She made her choices and I have made mine. Maybe someday she will accept our differences.

    Hugs back to you all and thank you for the replies for giving this some thought.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Dear Mom,

    I don't know if I have ever thanked YOU for my life. For all the things that I have in my life. For all the things that I became in my life; I am because of YOU. I'm not WHO I am because of you, but your love, your guidance, your caring, your nurting, your teaching, your understanding of things the way I needed to know them. Your encouragement, your philosophies, your time, your investment, your intuition, your abilities and who your Mother was and how you were raised all went into making me, supporting me, guiding me, shaping me and ALLOWING ME the freedoms to become the person that I chose to be.

    Did I become the person that you dreamed I would be? Not necessarily. Did I become the person that teachers in school thought I would be? No. Did I become a good and caring person? Yes. Am I a person of character and good moral standing with my family and my God? Yes. Am I a person who is honest, just, kind, loving, decent, thoughtful, smart, understanding, brilliant, well liked by my friends and loved by my husband and children? Absolutely. As I see it, there is not much missing from my life. I feel complete, satisfied, whole, at peace except for one thing, and that thing is between you and I, and I desperately need it to feel complete.

    I need you to look at me with sincerity and tell me that you accept me as I am, that you are satisfied with my life. I feel at times that as my first teacher you think I missed your mark somehow and let you down in the success department, and Mom nothing could be farther from MY truth. I have all I ever wanted. I'm whole, except for this one very large missing thing from someone who is so large in my life. I love you more than I could tell you, and for so long your example and opinions have mattered to me. I just needed you to know this bothers me, and I hope as my Mother, my best friend you can once again help me so that I can put this behind me.. I need you to know that with or without your approval I am a complete success at my life. It would just mean more to me if you would see it that way too.

    I love you

    (I dunno - Maybe something like that?)
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    That was excellent Star.

    I had to have that conversation with my mother several times over the years for her to eventually get it.

    Then I had to have it again with her over my girls.

    Actually my mom probably doesn't totally "get it" as she can't understand that type of lifestyle. But what she does "get" is that I'm my own person unique from her.......and for a control freak who sees her kids as extensions of herself......that is HUGE. It helped that she saw I am soooooooooooooooo much closer to my children than she ever remotely came to being with us, even now. It's hard to get really close to others when you're running at full tilt 7 days a week, you just don't have time to enjoy much of anything.

    Which is actually the message I'm trying to get across to easy child. I'm so proud of what she's accomplished.....but she forgets it's worth squat if you don't stop and take the time to ENJOY what you've accomplished. Kids grow up FAST, and suddenly they're not kids anymore. Economies change, life throws your curve balls and suddenly despite all the work you put can all be gone in a flash and you're kicking yourself for not enjoying it when you had it. I want her to find a good balance instead of burning the candle at both ends to try to cram a lifetime worth of stuff into like a decade or so.

    That I think is one of the biggest mistakes my mom made. She got so caught up in chasing her "visions" of what life was supposed to groups, dating, MONEY, superficial junk......that now in her 70's she wonders why her kids aren't close to her.....she's once again poor (marrying for money rarely works in real life)........alone......and unable to do much socializing......and after 6 failed marriages she won't even befriend a male. lol (ok so not funny) Even her grandkids aren't close to her because she was so wrapped up in HER life she was just barely involved in anyone elses. I'm sad for her.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Excellent? (blushes) thanks.

    Maybe I should just write about YOU guys. lol
  11. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you Star,
    The letter is beautiful. I could not have worded it any better. At some point when we are "ready" I may give her a letter with much of what you have said in it. I will print your post and keep it for the right time. I so appreciate you taking the time and thoughtfulness for me and my mom. You're a sweety Star...Your ALOT of things Star, LOL. You know we love you here on the board.

    Lisa, This is one reason that "I" myself enjoy my grandbabies so very very much these days. Being undxd Bipolar, I spent many years "burning that candle at both ends" basically running a race everyday because was both manic and a very depressed person. Yes, I did my absolute best as a mom and all that I thought that included...but I didn't stop and laugh with them enough ya know I was so busy racing toward the next task. And, like my mother I was a manic perfectionist (though my mom is not manic).

    And what happend to your mom I so hope will not happen to mine. She does not spend nearly enough time with my children or the great grandchildren. She and I do get together at least once a week but that is most always centered around our going to the Casino together...though we do get to talk in that hour to and from in the car.
    But ya my mom sounds alot like yours Lisa, we actually have quite a bit in commen. Hopefully my mom will figure it out before she is old and alone. She is 62 right now but fighting it all the way, lol, her 'match dot com" status claims she is in her 50's...she says she does not feel or look 62 so why admit to being that age, lol. Oh well...

    Hugs and love yall,