My friendship with my mother:
I remember as a young girl all I wanted was to feel as though my mother liked me. It is a running joke in our family that I couldn’t handle stories about times before I was born and I always resented that my older brother and my mother seemed to share a sense of humour that I just didn’t grasp.
I remember confronting my mother saying “You don’t love me, you only love him,” and her rationalising and justifying the things they had in common that I was too young to understand. It felt like I wasn’t the one who misunderstood. It felt like she was denying my reality and telling me I couldn’t trust my intuition that told me I was excluded. Of course my brother probably had similar feelings of resentment regarding my relationship with my father; being daddy’s little girl and all that. But he can write his own blog! Lol
I know now, what I was trying to say to my mother was “I don’t feel like you like me.” I suppose saying that felt much scarier because there was a chance she would say she didn’t and how could my little heart handle such a thing?! So instead I said “You don’t love me as much as you love him.” I knew she would at least reassure me of her love and I needed to feel included. But it was all happening in the right order after all. I see that now.
Now that I am a mother myself of course, I realise how annoying my constant chatter and need for attention was, and how I was not deliberately excluded or overlooked, but that there was life outside of me that my mother had to attend to?! Gasp! Lol Mothers make the world go round in most families and mine was no different. Oh how I am sure she loved to feel she was letting me down. Not! Mother's guilt. Ugh. Of course; children don’t stay little forever and I remember as I grew into puberty, my mother making attempts to talk to me and connect. Particularly when I was starting to have major friendship issues. (Which clearly I have never resolved! Perhaps I should have listened! haha)
By that time it became apparent that suddenly she wanted to be my friend. And instead of being grateful; I was resentful?! I thought to myself "You don’t get to ignore me until my brother meets a girl and moves out, then suddenly try and be my best friend because I am all you have left! Where were you when I needed a friend?" So this attitude, combined with general teenage angst and my budding sexuality issues; of which I knew she would not understand nor approve, I actively and angrily denied her any friendship. Delightful child I was. Cringe. She made it clear she was my mother and she loved me, but drew a line in the sand there, I felt when I was a child. I was not going to let her cross that line in the sand easily.
I see in media and things now that it is cool to love your mum these days, and it is a trend I hope continues, however in my day it was cool to hate your mum, so I would do what I could to look for the negatives and focus on those. In reality I was lucky to have such a kind, warm and funny mother, who was seeking my friendship. If only I had the maturity at the time to realise it.
I remember when I was 16, as my maturity was growing, for Mother’s Day I played her the song “Mama” by the ‘Spice Girls.’ I knew what a friendship with me would mean for her and I attempted to give it to her for Mother's Day that year. Of course I was 16 and my friendship was fickle. The sentiment was there but I didn’t understand that the true meaning was lacking as I went back to hating her by the next day! Lol Sorry Mum.
As I continued to grow into adulthood our relationship slowly strengthened, although it was definitely tested! I am not proud of it but I can honestly say it wasn’t until I got pregnant with my son that I was finally able to embrace and value my mother’s unwavering support and friendship. I found her speaking to me like an adult; like a friend, and for the first time I was able to answer her like one and let her in. I admit I didn’t feel like I had much other choice and perhaps it was a friendship of necessity at the time being that my son’s biological father was not going to be supportive or in any way the father I had hoped to give my child; a father at all in fact.
My mother was the one at the birthing class with me and the one with me as I brought my beautiful baby into this world. I cannot describe the amount of love in that room at that moment. The emotions she felt, so strong. Proud of her daughter for giving birth and so much love for her grandson. Worried and protective of us both and excited. Wanting to be there and just do whatever she could for us both. The message was clear “I love you and I will never leave you to do this on your own if you need me.”
And in those first few months, maybe even years; need her I did! So we started spending much more time together. And as we did, something magical happened. We became friends. We liked our time together. As a parent myself I could finally understand all that she had done for me, all that she had given up. "So now I see through your eyes...." - Spice Girls ) Everything I resented her for - she did for us out of love! And she is the only friend I will ever have who will always be there, no matter what. I haven’t always deserved it, but she has no idea how much I appreciate it. I am proud to call my mother my friend. Our relationship is far from perfect but at least we try and understand each other now.
My mother never really knew why I started calling her Mumma oneday. And now she knows, it is in reference to the song I tried to dedicate to you years ago, when I was too young to really understand and you were too busy to really listen. Sure, I spelled it wrong, which probably annoys you, lol, but the sentiment is there!
Happy Mother’s Day Mumma! This post is for you. Thank you for the years of friendship you have offered me even when I didn’t want it or deserve it. I am sorry for all the years I hurt you and failed to understand. I am sorry for not trying harder to see you as a person; a woman, not just my mother. I am sorry for having impossibly high expectations of you and ridiculously low standards for myself in terms of our relationship. I am so grateful we made it here. I hope I can have as strong a relationships with my own children as you do with yours. You have shown me the strength I will need to get through those teen years, and I hope you are there to support me through them. I will need you! Always. I will need you, but more than that I will always want you in my life.
I love you. But this post is more than that. This post is “I like you.”
“Back then I didn't know why, why you were misunderstood,
So now I see through your eyes, all that you did was love,
Mama I love you, Mama I care,
Mama I love you, Mama my friend,
But now I'm sure I know why, why you were misunderstood,
So now I see through your eyes, all I can give you is love,
Mama I love you, Mama I care,
Mama I love you, Mama my friend,
My friend- Spice Girls”
Thank you for the support you always offer, even for this blog. I rededicate the song to you – this time with the meaning attached. Listen to it often. I do. Cry. I do. It’s beautiful – just like you. You have always been beautiful to me. Always xx
❤ Love from Missy
Your Best Friend Forever (Notice I removed the (N)ever. Only for you!)