Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mommy Dearest

I've always been pretty independant, even as a small child. I struck out on my own at 18 and I've been a mother myself for 11 years now.

And still, I need my Mom to approve of me, to be proud of me, and to think I've done a good job with stuff. Last night on the phone, I shyly mentioned to her that I had been writing again and described some of the pieces I had been working on. She asked to read them and so, I reluctantly and somewhat fearfully sent her the link to my blog.

Then I wished I hadn't. What if she didn't like them?? What if she thought I was a terrible writer?? What if she said, in that well-meaning mother way that I should never put pen to paper again? What if she read some of things I said about her and Dad and got really pissed off?? I mean, I didn't say anything bad, but what if she doesn't like me writing about her?

She liked it. My Mommy liked my writing. She said good stuff about it. She said she was proud of me.

I feel like I've been given the Nobel Prize for Daughterhood in the category of Not Being A Complete Disappointment.

Stupid, isn't it?

Or not. I have a lot of respect for my Mom. She did so much for us growing up, and in many ways, she is the barometer by which I measure myself. I know my mother wasn't and isn't perfect, but growing up, I thought she must be the best mother there was. And then I reached my teen years and as teenagers do, I began to see my mother as a puritan and a killjoy. I was mean to my mother. I remember some of the horrible, hurtful things I said to her in a fit of hormonal teenaged apoplexy. And yet, she allowed me to live. In my opinion, this in itself should inspire life long loyalty and devotion.

Now that I am a parent, I realize that the decisions she made, she made out of concern for our safety and wellbeing. Knowing full well that they would not earn her any points with us, she nevertheless stuck to her guns. I know she wanted to be my friend and my confidante, what mother doesn't want that? But she never allowed that to get in the way of making good decisions for us. Back then I hated her for that. Now, I commend her for it. She never shrank from being the bad guy and that's damn hard to do when you're a Mom. It hurts to hear "I hate you", from a child you've killed yourself to protect and nurture. Now that I know just how much it hurts, I appreciate her resolve even more.

Back then I didn't care what my mother thought. Or did I? Did I do things to gain acceptance from my peers, all the while wanting, aching, begging her to stop me? I think I did. And she never failed me, even when she knew it meant hearing "I HATE You." I hope she knew, even if I didn't, what I really meant was "Thank you for stopping me from making a monumental mistake and allowing me to blame you for it."

I wondered why I, as a grown and somewhat self-posessed woman felt so validated by praise from her Mommy. I think it's pretty simple, really. I respect and admire my Mom, and like anybody whom I respect and admire, her opinion matters to me.

In talking to people in real life and reading various posts on blogs, message boards and email rings, I realize that I am lucky to have had such a strong, positive female role model growing up; one who instilled values in us and empowered us with strength and confidence. Hearing the stories of other people's relationship with their mother makes me realize I have taken mine for granted.

When I made the decision at 18 to leave home and move 900 miles away to a big city, with a man she couldn't have had much respect for or confidence in (long story) I expected to get a list of reasons why I shouldn't go. I even half-expected her to forbid me. But she didn't. She knew I had to go, and she knew that if she held me back, I would resent her forever for it. Her unconditional acceptance of my decision made me feel like a grownup for the first time in my life.

The day I left she cried, but she still didn't ask me to stay. She hugged me and whispered "You can always come home if you need to."

I never did, though it always made me feel safe to know that I could.

Now my Mom is sick.

Her disease is always fatal, though people can live a very long time with it, and she's actually doing very well right now. The thought of losing my mother fills me with a kind of dread and fear that I haven't felt since I was a small child. Unlike then, I can't crawl into her lap with my thumb in my mouth and hide my face in her bosom. I can't expect the grim reaper to be as easily banished as the monster under the bed. But I want her to know that when the times comes, I will let her go, just as she let me go, and I will be glad that she is at peace.

I don't want to think about this, I don't want to talk about it. I don't think she does either. I think we both want to pretend that she will be here forever. And in a way, she will. I'll be her living legacy as will my sisters and my niece, and any other female descendants.

So, I'm glad she likes my writing, because....I plan write about her a lot.


  • At 11:32 PM, Blogger Amy said…

    I'm so sorry. I lost my dad to cancer 18 months ago. He left us long before he actually died. I hope your mom is with you for as long as possible. I also know her voice will always be in your ear.

    This post hit me in the solar plexus. I wish you peace in your heart.

  • At 11:44 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Thank you for your kind words. I'm so very sorry for your loss. :?(

  • At 3:15 AM, Blogger Sandra said…

    Your mom would be proud of this post too. Not only well written, as always, but a fabulous tribute to what sounds like a great mom and stellar role model. She is obviously very important to you to feel so empowered by her approval of your writing. She is lucky also to have a daughter that cares so much about her.

    I am so sorry to hear she is sick and I wish you many many more days and months and years together. But you are right her legacy will live on with you - it already does.

    Thanks for sharing that wonderful post.

  • At 10:02 AM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    This is such a loving tribute to your mother (which we do too infrequently for those still living).

    My own posts this week made me think a lot about why I still need Daddy's (or Mommy's) approval. But I do. That's just how it is and I accept it.

    As a kid, I remember learning about death and asking my mom, "will you die? What happens if you die?" Her response was always, "I plan on living a long long time." It was comforting enough at the time and while I didn't entirely buy it, it did the trick. I wish there were a response that instilled the same peace in us as adults. Whatever it is, I hope you find it.

  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger MrsFortune said…

    this was a really wonderful post! How do you do it day after day? I think a lot about my relationship with my mother but I don't have the ... thought gathering power? to write about it.

  • At 3:17 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    I'm willing to bet your Mom's heart is bursting with pride right now. I'm so, so sorry to hear about your mother's illness.

    I lost my Mom 26 months ago to cancer. She didn't get a chance to see her first grandchild (I got pregnant a few months after she died) and I never got a chance to thank her for everything she did for me once I finally understood what moms go through for their children. Your Mom sounds phenomenal. Tell her that every chance you get.

  • At 4:40 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Mrs. Chicky, I am so sorry about your Mom. My mom lost her Mom when I was just a few months old and I know that she felt the same way you do. I feel fortunate in that respect. Thank you for your kind words, and again, my heart goes out to you for the loss of your Mom.

  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger Jess Riley said…

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's illness. This was such a moving, beautiful essay about your mom & your relationship with her. I had to read it a few times. Like you, I still look for approval from my parents. And like you, I was raised by a wonderful mother that I love, respect, and admire. I feel incredibly lucky and I think I will call her tonight.

  • At 11:57 PM, Blogger Antique Mommy said…

    You are such a good writer and with such a lot to say. I've been following your blog for a while, and honestly, I came here the first time expecting not to like it because of the title. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

    My mom lost her mother when she was only four. If my mom has any faults, it's easy to overlook as she had no one to show her how to be a mom. I'm so very happy to be mid-40s and still have a mommy and a daddy. (I still sit in my mom's lap sometimes. Don't tell.)

  • At 12:07 AM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    LOL, I started this blog expecting not to like blogging. I agree, it's nice to be wrong.

    I've actually been thinking about changing the name for some time now. I just don't know what else to call it. ((shrug))

    Thank you for the kind words.

  • At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love the name of your blog! It's hilarious!

    I know i'm coming late to this discussion, but I just wanted you to know how deeply this post affected me.

    I'm so sorry your mother's sick. I'm not surprised that she loved your writing, though-- it's lovely.

  • At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My mother suffered through treatment for breast cancer...20 years ago. And she is here today and stronger for it. Just to let you know -- don't know what your mother is struggling with...


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