Mother Knows Best

It’s been a long time since I posted. The thing is- I don’t lack ideas, I have too many. Too complicated. I want to write something worth reading. I know most of us don’t have time to spare- I read precious few blogs myself, because of this.

Christmas was amazing and crazy. Not bad really… but things happened that on the surface seemed insignificant. Little light bulbs have gone off here and there, however….

See, my mom apparently holds more influence over me than I thought. It seemed like she wasn’t asking much, each time, but it threw me for a loop- and I was right back where I had been all of my childhood- 3 steps behind and no clue what was going on. My mom is just used to getting her way. All the time. We HAD to put all of the ornaments on the tree. All of them. Ooookayfine. No big deal. We HAD to cook three meals. It’s so hard to talk about this- I keep saying to myself- ‘gg why didn’t you just say, STOP.’ Well…. I’m used to doing what my mom wants. Whatever that may be. Even if it ruins the dish I was preparing (had to do it her way) takes the whole day (clean while running a fever? sure, if that’s what mom wants) leaves me in killer pain (who DOESN’t want to do a 4 hour marathon of clean the kitchen, cook the meal, set the table, serve the meal, clear the table right away, clean the kitchen?) and results in me having a meltdown.

I ended up embarrassed and crying, tired beyond words, and being mean to Maximus. Why? Great question.

Like Claire- I don’t hate this woman- this Mother. She is boundaryless- to be sure. She isn’t intentionally rude. She just quietly taxes everyone to the limit. I wanted to hate her when I was a child. After all, I didn’t start out as a 33 year old woman, mother, wife of 11 years, obeying my mother unquestionably about things I already know how to do and do better. No, I started out as a tiny person. Every time I asked by actions and later, by words, ‘can I do this?’ or ‘do I know this?’ she responded in a way that said ‘No!’

Ever see ‘Tangled’? You know what’s scary about that movie? The Mother Graendal’s song (ok- so I know it’s not Graendal- but it might as well be- she’s that evil.) is real. No? you say? Hyperbole, you say? No. vehemently no. the reason the evil witch mother talks like she does, and sings what she does is because plenty of people have had mothers like mine was. Manipulative. Demeaning. Demanding. Intrusive.

Mom had lots of little verbal tricks like the mother in the movie does. “Oh look! It’s a hat that says ‘space cadet’! We should get that for you, GG, you’re always lost in space! …. Oh what are you upset about! It was only a joke! You’re always so hypersensitive!” That example is one of many. It’s hard to explain, if you don’t have a mother like that. She avoids those things, now. Maybe my boundaries with her are not as thick and dark as they should be, I don’t know… you see; I DOUBT myself with her. It is part of my nature, she built it in, always doubt yourself, greenegem, because Mother knows best.

I ignored my boundaries, though. But I honestly didn’t even realize I was ignoring them. I KNEW that if she cooked the chicken that hot it would be overcooked. ‘Oh, no- you don’t know how to use these pans!” she said. She turned it up. I didn’t fight her. (they WERE my grandmother’s pans… I’d only had them for a while, Mom had cooked on them for years…right? ) The chicken was terribly dry. The whole dish was… flavorless. I said so. But by that point there was no point I arguing. I knew I didn’t feel good- but see, when I was a kid and didn’t feel good I was complaining or being overly dramatic, or trying to get out of things. So I pushed myself, way beyond what I knew I could do. I cleaned the toy room. Because my mother was cleaning. I KNEW we couldn’t eat that much food. I knew I shouldn’t be eating bread, but we cooked it and I… ate it… (later- I’ll write about my mom and food. Oy vey) Everything we did while they were here- we had to do her way. Always phrased as a suggestions, subtle- but just as clearly said, ‘oh no, dear stupid girl, you do it THIS way!’ you mean to tell me you’ve been doing it this way all along?!!”

There is a reason Disney wrote the mother the way they did. She is all too real. Alive and well today. Mother knows best.

This is one more aspect of my reason for choosing to find a way to guide my children into reasonable and respectful and responsible behavior in a gentle way. One more reason to always try to remember that my children are tiny whole and legitimate people FIRST, and my children second; That they are souls who belong to the Father first, and my babies second. I do NOT know best- and I won’t pretend I do. Not even to require obedience in them now.

I will not pretend.



About greenegem

Wielder of the Pen of Deep Wit.
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14 Responses to Mother Knows Best

  1. Angie Nixon says:

    …..”you see; I DOUBT myself with her. It is part of my nature, she built it in, always doubt yourself, greenegem, because Mother knows best.”

    Start and end there.

    Freedom awaits.
    Confidence comes.
    Resolution is followed by peace.

    • greenegem says:

      “Freedom awaits.
      Confidence comes.
      Resolution is followed by peace.”

      This is why I wrote about this- the fact that she still can make me doubt myself so easily came as a great shock to me. I have found so much freedom in Christ. He accepts me as I am- he knows me, and loves and forgives me anyway! He truly is my peace. I think I needed to remember how powerful this type of manipulative parenting is, and I am grateful for the reminder.


  2. Angie Nixon says:

    “One more reason to always try to remember that my children are tiny whole and legitimate people FIRST, and my children second;”

    Words… nope. None.
    You have my deep admiration, gg.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a mother exactly like this. Take a look at this website and see if it resonates with you. It’s not easy growing up trying your best to get your mother’s approval and love. Yet no matter if you did it her way, it still wasn’t enough (at least for me and my mother). But know that it is NOT you. It’s her. There is nothing wrong with you. I’m still trying to remember that and undo all the tapes that constantly play.

    • greenegem says:

      Yes, my mother does fit many of the characteristics of narcissism. THank you for an excellent resource! I appreciate your encouragement, I do *know* that it was her, and not me, but the old patterns remain. Like you said- I’m still working on rewinding thosse tapes, and overwriting them.


  4. J says:

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Saying a prayer for you. Good for you for realizing.

  5. Rita says:

    My mother is not like that, but my grandmother is and so is someone else in my life. They really suck the joy out of life and then suck the life out of you. I am glad you are beginning to realize that it is not you. I hope you can come to a place where you have the courage to stick to your boundaries and enjoy the peace I hear that brings. If I ever get the nerve to hold the line, I’ll let you know it really does.

  6. I had a similar relationship with my Mother, and had been left reeling for years with how to cope with not just her and her narcissism, but how to cope with anyone who had more backbone than I did. I can completely relate. It steals a lot from us doesn’t it? If it will help, I’ll recommend you to the same “healing” stuff which has helped me so much: not only the Boundaries book by Cloud and Townsend (you used the word Boundaries a lot but I don’t know if you’ve read that) and also the class called “Living Waters” by Desert Stream Ministries. I don’t know where you stand on faith stuff and prayer but I found a lot a lot a lot of freedom, empowerment, and support through the people involved with that ministry. I have finally come to be able to feel the same about a lot of my hurtful (and abusive) memories as though they were just a book I read, and I have so much more freedom to act as God intended for me to be as a person, a mother/wife, a friend, you name it. Not only that, but after about 5 years into the process I am starting to be able to trust God with all the little hurts that still remain to be healed or where I don’t know yet “where He was when that happened.” He has shown me enough to help me know the kind of confidence I only used to dream about. I pray the same for you, and I am happy to share more anytime, if you want. God bless you deeply and richly! He can and will turn around this darker hurt in your life, and part of it will be to show you what NOT to do, and how to be one AWESOME momma (with his help)!

    • greenegem says:

      PioneerPrincess- first ((hugs)) because yes- our mothers’ treatment of us stole a lot from us, took away parts from our baby (and child) selves that we would need to be whole adults. I talk alot about boundaries, because I HAVE read Dr.s Cloud and Townsend’s book. 🙂 I will check into Living Waters. If you read a few more of my posts, you will see that my faith in God, and my realtionship with Christ are what sustain me. God has healed much of the many hurts, and I do believe that he desires our healing as much as we do- and sometimes more. Our Wholeness honors our Creator- and gives The Father Glory for what he has done.

      This is one reason the incident with my mother shocked me, and saddened me. I THOUGHT I had been able to separate my worth from her opinion of me- but It is now plain that I have a lot more work yet to do. GOd bless you on your journey. ❤


      • Thanks Lady! 🙂 We all need the refreshment/renewal at times, the re-validations, the re-teachings even, so glad to remember it’s not just me!

    • cleverwind says:

      There are also a couple therapies, related to trauma, that might be beneficial. EMDR and EFT are both effective at giving the mind the ability to process those “stuck” memories that cause pain, in a way that releases the memories into just that, where emotion is no longer attached (especially the harmful/painful emotions). These therapies generally work within a few weeks/months of commencement with a therapist. – Just fyi.

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