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Mother and Daughter 母と娘

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One of the magazines my friend gave me the other day had articles on relationships between mother and daughter.  According to the article, there are four types of mothers that are damaging to the relationship with their daughters.  They are “controlling tyrant mothers”, “nagging jealous mothers”, “bulldozing mothers” and “crying poor me mothers”.  Thank God my mother was not one of them.  However….. how was I as a mother for my daughters? I don’t think I was that controlling, or nagging, or bulldozing, or self pitying…..but really? I might have been like that in some instances.  Just recently, I had conversation with one of my daughters and was surprised.  She remembered things that I don’t remember at all….things like what I said or what I did…  She remembered things or incidents in totally different ways. Things I said many years ago to her when she was a child had been interpreted wrongly, differently from my intentions.  So, I thought…. my children might have never understood what I meant, and I had never known that all these years…..sigh… Raising children is super difficult.  No mother is perfect.  Mothers often have no experience in whatever issues they are facing. Often, I had no clue what to do or what to say.  I had to follow my intuitions, think hard, do or say my best, and hope for the best.  Not surprising if I did say something wrong or hurtful.

A little before my mom suddenly died about three years ago, my dad, sister, and I went to a restaurant to have dinner.  My sister started talking about her “pre-school” memories and told them how awful her pre-school experience was and how sad she felt when our mom was hard on her. “OMG, why now?” I thought, “what difference does it make to bring up those things after so many years?”  My mother looked sad and said to her, “I am sorry.”   When my sister left for washroom, my mom said with a big sigh, “she doesn’t understand how much I had been worrying about her those days.  I really struggled and was worried……”  It must have been so difficult, both mom and my sister.  I really felt sorry.  A child can interpret a situation in some childish manner, misunderstand the mother’s intentions, feel some terrible injustice has been imposed on her/him, drag the injuries all his/her life, and live his/her entire life thinking s/he is a victim. It could happen…..easily…

友人からもらった雑誌に母と娘の関係についての特集があった。娘を困らせる母親タイプとして「ビシバシ独裁母」「ネチネチ嫉妬母」「ズカズカ踏み込み母」「メソメソ弱者ぶる母」と4タイプの母親がいるそうだ。ふんふんと読みながら私はそんな母親に育てられなくてよかったと思い、はて私は母親として子供を困らせただろうか?と考えてしまった。そこまで極端に独裁だったり嫉妬だったり踏み込みだったりメソメソだったりはなかったと思うけど、その時々の状況下でそれに似たような行動があったかもしれない。。。娘達と話していて時々びっくり仰天することがある。私が母親として全く覚えていないことを娘達が鮮明におぼえていたり、私が覚えていることと全く違った解釈で娘達は覚えていたり。。。何年も前に自分が言ったことやとった行動を全く誤解していて私の思惑が何も通じていなかったこと、そしてそんな誤解を何年も全く知らなかったことに愕然としたり。。。今更ながら子育てはむずかしいと思う。母親だって、経験豊富なわけもなく、どうしていいかわからないことだらけ。その時々にベストと思えることを言ったりしたりするわけで、あとでしまった、と頭を抱えることだっていくらでもある。

母はおよそ3年前に突然亡くなったんだけど、その少し前、父と妹と私と4人で食事をしたときに妹が幼稚園時代の辛かった思い出を話したことがある。「ひどい幼稚園だった」「母に怒られて悲しかった」私は内心おたおたと仰天、「今更そんなことを言って何になるの?」「それは悪かったなあ」と母は言って悲しそうな顔をした。妹がトイレにたったとき、「何も理解してないんやなあ。あの時の親の気持ち、全然わかってないんやなあ」とため息をついたのを見て、当時の母は母で葛藤や心配やいろんな思いが渦巻いていたんだろうなあと思った。子供ってそう、子供の頭で感じ取ったことを子供なりに未熟に解釈して、誤解であっても何であっても一生引きずって、ひどい場合には被害者意識を持ちながら生きていくことがあるんじゃないか。案外親の気持ちとか意志とかちゃんと通じてないんじゃないか、そんなことを考えてしまった。

Author: Haruyo Abramson

I'm a musician, mom, and grandma, living in BC, Canada with my husband and three dogs.

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