It’s been a couple of books that I read now that the question of non solved problems with your parents is brought up: for example, sometimes we don’t allow our child a behavior that we don’t allow ourselves to express in front of our parents. Or that we didn’t allow.
And it isn’t new that models are repeated, beaten kids beat…
And yet, it’s a parameter that I don’t really get.
Even before, when I would hear: “I understand my parents better now that I’ve become a mother myself”, well, I understood it but I didn’t feel it.
Today, I still feel that, except of course for a couple educational principles that are part of what I learned, my behavior with my children is completely independent of my relationship with my parents. I don’t have the feeling of having an unresolved frustration, or anything of the type.
And yet, this theme comes back and I ask myself the question…How to judge today my relationship with my parents? We are fine together, there aren’t any problems, we are happy to see each other, but I am often annoyed by remarques, or attitudes, to which I don’t always react.
Recently, nonetheless, I had quite an incredible conversation with my mother.
We were talking about the organisation of summer vacation, and she moved on to ideas for Christmas vacation. I immediately told her that I wasn’t ready to talk about Christmas vacation, that it was too far away, one problem at a time, the questions about summer hadn’t been answered yet.
Because we live abroad, and go back to France over the summer, which is our opportunity to see friends and family, our summer planning is always an incredible puzzle, a lot of movements, a lot of organisation, I dream of just putting down the suitcases and the 4 kids, and stop moving but it never happens.
Anyways, as my mother, ignoring my response, kept on telling me about her ideas for Christmas vacation, I got frustrated without saying anything. And for once, instead of holding back until the end of the conversation and ending up annoyed, I told her: “Mom, actually, I don’t feel emotionally available to talk about Christmas time. Every time you give an idea, I can’t stop myself from starting to think about it, and I don’t want to, because I already feel overwhelmed with the planning of the summer, and I can’t handle everything at the same time. I would like that we wait to have finished talking about this before moving on.”
… She reacted very well: “Excuse me, I wasn’t thinking, I was throwing that out there, I didn’t think you could feel overwhelmed, since I don’t work that way, I didn’t consider it, ok, I’ll stop, we can talk about it another time.”
I was stunned by her listening…It was so simple, why hadn’t I tried it out before?
Is it a coincidence, or are my readings helping me indirectly in the relationship with my mother?