Lifestyle 13 May 2018
As Mother’s Day approaches we are inundated with ads for special gifts, unlimited offers, and countless ways to give tribute to our mothers. We are reminded of the wonderful, selfless love mothers give us and how many of us fail to give them our time and show them our love and gratitude because of our busy lives and exhausting work schedules. In fact, just yesterday, my husband, who saves every article he finds interesting, pulled out an Ann Landers column from May 8, l994 (many of you will have to Google Ann Landers to know who I’m talking about) in which she reprinted a letter from one of her columns a few years earlier, from “anonymous”. In this letter, the author regrets the time not spent with her mother, the lack of understanding of her mother’s advice when she was younger, and her not saying “I love you” often enough. After reading this I began to think of myself as a daughter but also as a mother of three adult children with busy, interesting lives and I felt the need to address them and the many daughters and sons out there who begin to feel a pain in the pit of their stomachs as Mother’s Day approaches and their guilt sets in for not having done enough for that very special mom that has been too good to them so often. This list is not, by any means, a “get out of Mother’s Day” card. It is a reminder to not let your past actions, however hurtful you think they might have been, keep you apart from your mother. Nothing is worse than silence.
"In this letter, the author regrets the time not spent with her mother, the lack of understanding of her mother’s advice when she was younger"
Here’s what this mom has to say to my daughters and my son, and to all sons and daughters out there:
- Don’t ever underestimate my unconditional love for you, even when you are not at your best;
- I always forgive and forget hurtful things you do or say in a moment of anger, even when I don’t say so;
- Forgetting my birthday, not seeing you often, not talking enough is hurtful, but not irreparable. Just talking it out erases that hurt instantly;
- I understand you more than you realize so don’t keep on repeating, “You don’t understand. You never had to go through this”;
- Life is not that different for you as it was for me. Believe it or not, the same frustrations, fears, anxieties that bothered you growing up also bothered me;
"It’s ok to disagree with me, in fact, I expect it. You should be developing your own ideas, ideologies, and finding your own way of dealing with this ever-changing crazy world we live in."
- I too fought with my mother, didn’t accept her advice, and had many disagreements with her only to find out later in life that she was right 90 percent of the time;
- I won’t always agree with your wardrobe decision; that doesn't mean I think you’re a “slut”; I just have different tastes;
- That look in my eyes and that face that says “I don’t like that” means just that: “I don’t like that”. It doesn’t mean any more or less and it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t like you;
- It’s ok to disagree with me, in fact, I expect it. You should be developing your own ideas, ideologies, and finding your own way of dealing with this ever-changing crazy world we live in;
"I will always tell you honestly what I believe is best for you without any self-interest"
- I know I often made you do things when you were young that you didn’t like to do like clean your room, dress up for church, go to church, attend adult family functions, but I think you would agree today that all these things have helped to turn you into adults with humility and integrity;
- I know that often I am not the first person you go to for advice, but when you do come to me, remember that although I may not say what you want to hear, I will always tell you honestly what I believe is best for you without any self-interest;
- I know we don’t spend too much time together doing fun things like we did when you were younger, but believe me, I understand that you have a life all your own now full of activity and knowing that you’re happy is my greatest joy;
- I am not perfect!! I know I made mistakes along the way and that you will probably do many things differently when you become parents, but I promise you that you will be surprised at how many things you’ll do the same.
- No, I don’t expect you to be perfect either. I do want you to be self-sufficient, healthy, and happy at whatever you choose to do in life because I believe that these are the fundamentals of a good life, the rest is icing.
- Ultimately, the important thing for you to remember this Mother’s Day is that I love you now and always will, whether you tell me you love me or not, whether you call me once a day, once a week, once a month or once a year.
So this Mother’s Day instead of daughters and sons feeling guilty about what they haven’t said or done, just bask in your mother’s love which is boundless and eternal.
3 min read
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist