To Connect with Your Mom, You Have to go Back in Time

Why is it important?

To really understand who your mom is and why she did the things she did in her life, you need to understand her, from her perspective. You need to get a feeling for what it was like when she was growing up—what were the expectations for her, for women, what were her hopes and dreams, how did she see the world, what has she learned, what does she regret…

And this is important because it is truly key to you finding your future and living a life you love. Your relationships and all that you hold from your childhood, affects your life in ways you will be surprised to discover. Your relationship with your mom is a big one.

The key to your happiness and your future might be in getting to know your mom.

What was it like when you were a kid?

Think back to when you were a child, what was it like? What did you believe? What did you want to be? How did you see the world?

Think of how you did things when you were a child, from phoning someone, to getting around, to traveling, to buying food, to cleaning… Things have changed a lot since then. Things are in many ways so much simpler but in other ways so much more complicated today.

Well when your mom was a child, things were pretty simple. Life was about food, clothing and housing. It was about finding a way to make sure that everyone in the family was fed, clothed and warm. It was a lot of hard work but really that was the main focus. Things have changed even more dramatically for your mom. It can be difficult to keep up with the changing times and all that it means. She may be struggling to understand a lot of what is happening and she may or may not like the direction things are going.

Your mom has worked hard throughout her life.

She is now at a point where she has some peace and quiet, where she doesn’t have a lot of demands on her. Both of which can be good but can also be stressful. She gets to decide. She grew up with the expectation of looking after others and doing all the work that entails. She may love that she has no demands and now has time to do things that matter to her. Or now she realizes she put all of that time and energy into you, her children, who don’t need her time and attention anymore, so she might be lost. She may be struggling to see her value.

Understand where she is coming from.

Just like your past played and still plays a huge impact on your life, well the same is true for your mom. Only when she was little the demands and expectations were pretty simple—get married, have kids and look after everyone. What she wanted or needed really didn’t factor into the equation. So if she sees her life based on this, then does she feel she did well or not so well. She may feel like she is being judged and that maybe she didn’t do so well. So she may struggle with looking at that time in her life. She was measured by how you, her children turned out. She wanted the best and did what she knew with what she had but she may feel like she has failed or that what she did was really insignificant.

So to really talk to your mom, you need to know what she grew up with. What was it like when she was a child—what was said to her, how did she see it, what did she believe her life was mean to be like… Really it’s time for you to do some reading and learn a bit about history. The more you understand and know about when she was little, which is a time she really relates to, the more you’ll have to talk with her about and the better you will have an appreciation for her life.

She did what she knew with what she had.

Getting to know my mom, changed my life.

The expectations of her as a child shaped who she is.

It’s time to discover her story.

Mom Won’t Tell Me Her Story

Getting your mom to talk about herself, her life and her journey, may not be all that easy. She may be willing to share all of it, some of it or none of it. So what do you do if she won’t share?

I think one of the saddest things I’ve seen in my career and in my life is that many people are reaching old age and they aren’t happy, they don’t feel connected and they don’t feel they matter. I find this especially true for women.

That’s not how it’s supposed to be.

 

When we reach old age we should love life, be thrilled with what we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished. Unfortunately, not many of us are brought up to think about ourselves. Women are taught from a young age to look after others, make sure everyone else’s needs are met, then if you have any time or energy you can worry about yourself. The reason I’m sharing this with you is because this is key to why your mom might not share.

To really understand your mom, you have to go back in time.

First I have a question for you.

How much do you share about your life… with anyone? Do you have a good friend you talk to? If you have children, have you shared any of your journey with them? Have you ever talked with your mom about your life—the good, the bad and the ugly?

The truth is that many of us don’t. We might share part of it with someone but we often don’t go into what our hopes, dreams, desires, failures, mistakes, awful things that happened. We don’t share how it made us feel.

…sometimes it is because we want to distance ourselves from it,

…sometimes we don’t want to open up that hope of doing something different,

…sometimes we don’t see it as important,

…sometimes we feel guilt,

…sometimes we feel shame,

…sometimes it still hurts,

…we worry someone will take what we tell them and use it against us

…sometimes it’s because we don’t see ourselves as worthy.

Well, your mom probably feels the same way.

 

To connect to your mom you have to go back in time

Let me take you back in time.

 

If you grew up in the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s, you grew up in a time when things were starting to change but in particular for women. It was becoming more the norm for women to work or be educated but it was still a small percentage of women who were doing this, (in the workforce in 1950’s less than 25% of women, to the 1990’s 76%; in 1950’s post secondary education for women <20% to the 1990’s 50%). So you know it was a time when people started wanting more, women started standing up for their rights and demanding and wanting more.

BUT…

You were raised by parents who grew up in a different generation, it was back when really the main expectation for women was to marry, have kids and look after everyone else. So imagine your mom, she grew up with this role, this expectation. Even if she was one of those women who stepped outside the norm and worked or got educated, that belief was still very strong and part of the societal norm and expectation.

And your mom was raised by parents who grew up in a time of even more oppression for women.

What does that all mean?

It means that if you want to understand your mom and to get her to talk about her life, you need to understand what beliefs and expectations she grew up with. You need to go back in time to her time. She probably was taught that everyone comes first before her; that things like emotions weren’t helpful; that there wasn’t time to think about yourself there was work to do; that she was just a woman and her opinion wasn’t all that important; that you just don’t talk about yourself; that she had to get things right the first time.

This didn’t happen in all cases but there was still the prevalence of this mentality and belief. So your mom had a lot of stress with trying to make sure that everyone was taken care of, she became the peacemaker, the homemaker, the cook, the cleaner, the keeper of the house… whew that’s exhausting. Plus she lived in a time when there wasn’t time to do much else because that took all day and all the energy she probably had.

What did she learn?

That her journey wasn’t all that important. She could do things that would make positive change for others but don’t talk about it as that was ‘bragging’. So she didn’t learn to talk about herself and she didn’t learn to see the value in who she was. Her value was determined by how her kids showed up in the world. So she spent a lot of time, trying to get that right. She spent a lot of time looking after everything… but not herself.

So when you ask her about her life and she won’t share, know that it’s not about you, it’s about what she learned.

It might be up to you to teach her.

She’s not withholding because she wants to but she may not know how to share.

Getting to know my mom, changed my life.

The expectations of her as a child shaped who she is.

It’s time to discover her story.

Heal, Mend or Grow Your Relationship with Your Mom

heal, mend or grow your relationship with your mom

 

Heal, Mend or Grow your relationship with your mom, it just might be the key to your happiness and your future.

 

I’m on a Mission

When we reach old age, we should feel loved, connected and feel like our lives mattered.

Getting to know my mom, changed my life.

The expectations of her as a child shaped who she is.

It’s time to discover her story.

The Writing of – Do You Know Your Mom’s Story?

The writing of – Do You Know Your Mom’s Story?

The idea for this book really came about because of 3 things.

  1. I got the opportunity to really get to know my mom’s journey and understand who she was, what she really wanted and why she had made some decisions she had.
  2. I had been interviewing women born before 1945 who stepped outside the norm – they worked or got educated. They had incredible journeys but many had not shared their story with their family.
  3. When we reach old age we should know that our lives mattered, we feel connected and loved. Unfortunately, not many really do feel like this.

Your mom probably doesn’t have a picture of herself as a baby. You may not have one either. It is so unlike today.

Growing old is a given, unfortunately we don’t have much choice about it happening. It’s going to come whether we want it or not but the sad truth is that non of us really prepare for it. In fact we do what we can to run the other direction.

Getting to know my mom

What really struck me in getting to know my mom’s story, was how much she had influenced my life. I thought I was in charge of my life but I discovered that I had been out to prove something to her. She was one of those women who had stepped outside the norm—she graduated from University 1 of 2 women in a class of 126. Pretty impressive. She had hopes and dreams but she got married and stepped away from that. It really disheartened me to see her play ‘second fiddle’, when obviously she was a strong independent woman. Unknowingly I had set out to prove to her that I could do it all, be educated, have a career, be married and raise a family. What a hole I dug myself into.

It wasn’t until I sat down with her and really asked about her life and her journey that I really understood mine. See, I was at this place of feeling overwhelmed, burntout and so lost. I was at the point I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore. And ironically I realized that although I had done things a bit different than my mom, I had essentially lived her life—I had stepped away from my dream.

Writing this book

My relationship with my mom had directed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. As soon as I mended and understood my relationship with my mom, that’s when I knew I’d step into my dream of becoming an author. And I did.

Talking with my mom, interviewing the women who stepped outside the norm and working with seniors early on in my career, showed me how important that mother-child relationship is. It doesn’t matter our age, we are always looking for Mom’s acceptance, Mom’s approval, Mom’s love—whether we consciously know it or not.

The biggest thing I learned was that we all want to know that we matter, that we are loved and feel connected. My goal is to help grow, mend or heal the relationship between mom and child. I know that not all relationships can be fixed but if each of us were to mend it from our perspective, we could go into old age feeling good about our life and our journey.

Understand your mom might just make the difference to you stepping into your dream.

I even had the title before I started

Do You Know Your Mom’s Story? 365 Questions You Need to Ask Her.

Truly we could probably ask her a question a day for the rest of our lives and really not know her full journey or all that she has learned.

Your connection matters

The three reasons why I wrote the book and my hope for what it will accomplish.

Mom – She Held My Hand

Grow, heal or mend your relationship with your mom. Get to know who she truly is. It truly can change your life.

Mom, she held my hand…

 

Mom, she may not have always gotten it right but she did what she knew with what she had… She did it with love.

Do You Know Your Mom’s Story?

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