So, now that I’ve decided there are things I don’t like about my relationship with my mother, I have to identify exactly what they are. Because I am usually so immersed in what’s going on with her, I really needed a break from my mom this weekend. Maybe I would actually have a chance to MISS her. There’s an unwritten rule that we will talk every day. In the morning, after I’ve dropped my child off at daycare, I will check in with my mom. There is usually little reason for these conversations- just a casual exchange of banal facts. She finished painting the dinette. My sister wants to exchange the toddler toilet seat for another one. Highway 141 is still closed due to the flooding, blah blah blah.
This weekend, I didn’t talk to her at all. It was… really nice. Not only did I not have to spend at least twenty minutes a day listening to a bunch of activities and details that really mean nothing to me, I didn’t have to listen to any criticism of my siblings!
I just came to this realization last night, as I was finishing up a chapter in my new book about toxic mother-daughter relationships. I began reviewing my weekend of non communication with her, and I realized how much time I spend listening to the unending litany of my mother’s complaints about my brother’s family. Now, I will freely admit that I have been aiding and abetting this behavior for years at this point, and it is going to be quite a pain in the neck to end it. But man… so much of my time and energy would be freed up if I didn’t have to listen to her complaints about the amount of free child care she and my dad provide. I wouldn’t have to listen to her opinions on what my bother and sister in law feed the kids. I would not have to listen to her concerns about how much money they spent on something. I won’t have to know whether or not she deems the spending necessary.
I didn’t even realize this was something that bothered me until I was free of it for three days. It’s like a whole new world without it!