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?

Your Mom’s Story What do You Really Know?

My goal is to help you grow, mend or heal your relationship with your mom. To do that you need to understand her life, her journey.

Your Mom’s Story, What do you Really Know?

What do you really know about your mom? Do you know what she liked to do as a child? Do you know the expectations of her growing up? Being a mom is amazing but there truly is a lot of pressure on women to get it right… the first time. Now imagine you grew up before the ’60’s, a time when there was a lot of oppression for women, with specific roles laid out for her and a whole lot of different expectations on how she’d do them.

 

Moms come in all shapes and sizes, beliefs, abilities, skills, knowledge…

some became Moms because they wanted to, some reluctantly, while others didn’t have a choice. Regardless of how or why she became a Mother, she really did want things to be better for you.

Moms are beautiful… this woman jumps into a role with no playbook, no rules and tries to wade through all the expectations that are out there. She’s trying to figure out who she is, how to raise her kids to be healthy, whole and make a positive difference in the world while juggling everything life throws at her. It is not easy. And as her kids we often just see her as Mom, the woman in our life who has guided us, who has pushed us, who has scolded us, who has tried to teach us, who’s hope was to raise responsible, respectable children. Not really an easy task. She did what she knew with what she had.

Our Moms are no different than we are

They had (and may still have) hopes, dreams, aspirations, good days, bad days, feeling they aren’t worthy…—and if they grew up before the 60’s they grew up in a time when women had certain expectations and roles they had to fulfill.

To connect to your mom, you need to go back in time, to her time, to when she grew up. It is when she is most connected to. Find those things that have meaning for her, those things she knows from when she was young and growing up. Start with generic things she can relate to—the telephone, doing laundry, transportation, community events… It might mean you need to learn some history—what was going on when she was a child, what were the conditions like, how did they heat their homes, how did they cook, where did they get their food, what did they get paid, how did they get around, what did they use for transportation, how did they do laundry, how did they communicate long distance, what was the community like, what was the weather like, what was school like, where did they get their clothes, what were the expectations of women (in her words), what was the political world like… No matter what generation she grew up in things have and do change very fast. Technology and all we do, how we do it and all we use, has changed a lot over the years.

 

Talk about the similarities and the differences in the times. What does she think about the progress? What does she miss from her old days?

 

Where to start.

To get to know your mom and understand her, you need to start having conversations with her. If you do not have a great relationship with her this might be difficult so start with some easy questions.

What was/is her favorite flower?

What was/is her favorite food?

What was/is her favorite smell?

What was/is her favorite color?

Did she have a pet as a child? Adult? What was it? What was its name?

When we reach old age, we should be happy, healthy, loving life, know we made a positive difference, know we matter and to feel connected. If possible let’s do that for our moms. I know not all relationships can be healed so if you can’t heal your relationship with your mother, for whatever reason, then heal it from your perspective. Our relationships with our moms affect our lives in ways we can’t often measure, so the more we are at peace with that connection, the healthier and happier we all will be.

Mom’s are amazing… but not perfect! Get to know who your mom really is.

Coming May 2018

“…it reaches far beyond dates of birth, marriage and death and into the heart and soul of a woman and her family…” Multi-Award-Winning Author P.M. Terrell

What do you really know about your Mom?

Do you know what her hopes, dreams and desires were? Did she live them?

Your mom is so much more than the woman who raised you. She grew up in a time very different from yours—there were different beliefs, habits, and ways of doing things. Your mom has seen a lot in her life, getting to hear her journey will help you to understand her in a whole new light. Now is the time get to know her and to document her life. The only way to find out about your mom’s story is to ask… because one day she won’t be there anymore.

When we reach old age we should know our lives mattered, that we mattered, that we are loved, happy and feel connected.

This book offers a way to start conversations between you and your mom—in particular, elderly mothers. It is a guide which provides questions to ask, as well as how and when to ask them. Use this as a way to grow, heal and/or mend the relationship between mom and child; preserve this woman’s journey through life and in particular her role as Mom. Her story is her legacy to you.

“…insightful questions with thought provoking examples and explanations…” Christine Jackson

 

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