My Mother Finally wanted to BE My Mother


Dysfunctional mothers love


When my second child was born, my mother said that she wanted to “be there for me”. She said that she wanted to really do something FOR ME and she offered to make the seven hour drive over the mountains to our home to help me in the final days before labor, and help me to take care of my 21 month old son.

I was thrilled. Finally my mother wanted to BE MY MOTHER! I felt closer to her in those phone calls planning her visit then I had ever felt before that time.

My excitment was short lived.

I started to have some complication with my hips. My legs were giving out from under me and I needed more bed rest. I was confident that my mother would agree to come a bit earlier then we had planned and I called her up with the news and my request.  She hesitated. Her familiar voice, the one that I had come to hate as it was laced with disappointment, responded with “well….. how much earlier?”  She asked me “what if you go into labor later then your due date?” It became clear to me that she didn’t really want to help me with what I needed help with; she wanted to help me with the NEW baby. She wanted to help me with what SHE had in mind to help with. She didn’t care if I was having a problem with my health.  I was devastated to realize that even having my babies, was all about her.

In the end, she came on the exact date that she originally planned to come.

When the baby was born, I developed an infection in my blood. My Dr. wanted to keep me in the hospital, but I couldn’t sleep there and after the first night, I begged her to let me come home. She asked me if I was sure that my mother would do everything that needed to be done and that all I would do was nurse the baby. I was (even though history proved otherwise) confident that my mother would keep her promise to “be there for me” and the Dr. let me go home.

From the minute I walked in the door at home, I had that sinking feeling that I was going to be disappointed. First of all, (we have a farm) my mother kept going on and on about how her husband had killed all the flies in the house before we got there and how they had done some cleaning.  Although I said thank you, I got the feeling that I wasn’t acting “grateful” enough but I was exhausted from the trip home and couldn’t think about jumping through their hoops.  (My ingratitude was brought up to me for years to come)

We were at the beginning of haying, (and half of our income depended on getting the hay crop in) and my mother in law came over and asked if my mother would mind making the evening meal for the hay crew. Just a double meatloaf and baked potatoes would do it. My mother stared blankly at me. There was an awkward silence. Finally I decided that I could do it myself. I have no idea why no one thought about getting take out from the local restaurant just this once… but no one including me, did. I made the meal. My mother was happy to hold the baby. No one was worried about me doing the meal, no one offered to help.

That night my mother’s sister phoned and she was about an hour and a half away visiting my cousin and wondered if she could come over and see the new baby. I told my mother that the Dr. said I was not to have visitors and that I needed complete bed rest. My mother assured me that her sister would only stay for a couple of hours in the morning and she would take care of them.

Guess what happened? They didn’t leave and it was way past lunch time when my husband finally came home and made them all lunch.  I was exhausted and since I could not sit on a kitchen chair, I took my lunch to the living room and ate by myself. My mother seriously reprimanded me. She said that I had company in the kitchen and what did I think I was doing?? I told her that it was HER company. I was absolutely shocked. I wasn’t supposed to HAVE company. Apparently my mother didn’t think that my Dr. should have more authority then she had. And come to think of it now, she is so self centered that she may have thought that I was lying, trying to ‘get a break’ by saying that the Dr. said I had to have complete rest and that I was USING her to get one.  That is how my mother thinks.

After my Aunt and her husband left, my mother took the opportunity to tell me all the things I had done in my life that caused her to have such grief and disappointment in me.  She just went up one side of me and down the other. She told me in no uncertain terms what a failure I was as a daughter. I sat there, exhausted with my 3 day old daughter in my arms, and I took it. I just sat there shocked, stunned and disappointed while she went on and on about how much trouble I have caused her. I felt like I was sinking into a black bog of pond water.. sinking sinking into the black murky depths, powerless to do anything about it.

She said that she wanted to be there for me, but in reality it was all about her and she was burdening me with more than I could take.  She didn’t help me at all with any of the normal household duties. She yelled at me and berated me and did the complete opposite of “being there for me” and acted the absolute opposite of love.

The next morning, I asked her to leave. I wasn’t actually standing up to her yet; I needed to rest and she was way more work then I would have had without her there. I was too sick to deal with her and I was more hurt then I can even communicate. I felt like I had just been swallowed whole by a tornado and that I was still lost in it, going round and round and not being able to SEE my way through it. I felt SO confused by her actions.  Even though it wasn’t the first time at all, I was still shocked that she would DO that when I just had a baby and just once I needed her.  I wanted so badly to believe that she would really “be there” for me this time.

Once again I was reminded that I was not important but that my mother was. Even with a new born baby and under doctor’s orders, I still came last. I avoided thinking about that reality just yet though.

That event ended up to be somewhat of a new beginning. It was then that I began to face that something was really wrong with the way that my mother treated me. I didn’t quite realize that something was wrong with her, but I knew something was “wrong.” It took about 14 more years before I drew the necessary boundaries but something significant happened that day. I think a little hole got chopped in the lifetime of fog that I had lived in.

Remembering dysfunctional moments and situations like this one has helped me to see the dysfunctional mother daughter relationship that I had with my mother through clear eyes and through the grid of truth. These truth based recollections have helped me to realize that I was not the one that was wrong, that it was not ME that had unreasonable expectations, and that I truly was not valued or regarded with human kindness or respect. Even sick and with a new born baby, I still did not qualify. She still came first. She still got to decide the way things would be. And suddenly, in my mid thirties, I realized that something was “wrong” with this picture.

Exposing the Truth that set me Free;

Darlene Ouimet

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115 response to "My Mother Finally wanted to BE My Mother"

  1. By: April Gale Posted: 20th June

    Yes my mom went on and on about how much trouble I have caused her too. She even said she had to do it alone when she had kids, no one helped her so why should I get any help and didn’t. But later she saw a perfect son, and saw how I must have done something right in my life, she loved my son. later though, in front of my small kids, she went into screaming about things I did as a baby… and I calmly said noting till one day she called me stupid in front of my sons and she even tried to hit me. I pushed her back and told her I would never stay over unless someone else was there with me. She told me to remember that…as though she heard differently or what she wanted to hear, as though what I said was bad. I was careful to not say anything that would mean forever. Mom even went on about how I got spanked as a baby, and the stuff she recalled has me wondering how I survived. I mean really bad verbal and physical abuse growing up. BUT before she died of cancer we became friends, she even said she loved me on the phone. I was suppose to be there for her, but her sister took over and it was all about her sister now. Mom always hated her sister and could hardly wait to get away from her bully mother in her earlier years too. They treated my mom the way mom treated me, except my mother wanted me to have what she never had… and basically controlled everything I did and why I was such a disappointment I guess. Being controlled, and screamed at or beaten for not appreciating her control was horrible. Least we became friends before the end. But mom caught cancer right where I pushed her back(not hard just to get her away)I have felt guilt for her death ever since. And before my mom died my mothers sister never wanted me there, took control, even kept me away from picking out her plot. She bad mouthed me to everyone and spent moms money freely. My aunt said I wasn’t needed so I wasn’t there for mom when she died. People all shunned me, it was so weird as I saw why my mother was the way she was with me. Other terrible things went on with my life at that time too, a sicko creep abused me and my sons the day we got married and he wouldn’t leave… all masked behind religion and bad mouthing me too. I realized why mom was the way she was, having a alcoholic husband who fooled around and never home. When dad came home drunk, she told him to sleep in my bed since he loved me so much… imagine? He never touched me,never… but he at least said he loved me. I wish the bad lies would stop, even today, the lies so others dont look bad from people who control and manipulate. Least I found my mother in the end. At least I knew she loved me from all the times she showed me love the only way she knew how and I didn’t understand before. When my son was born, she came to the hospital with a gift for me, not just the baby and explained that it was important I looked after me too. When my son was a toddler we did mother daughter things, she loved my son sooo much. She hand made everything for my sons, she made sure I wasn’t wearing rags when pregnant, she taught me to look after myself. My son taught her that spanking wasn’t necessary because my son was so well behaved and perfect without it. She really gave me a lot of material things that said she loved me all along and understood… it took so long before we really appreciated each other and became close. It took a death, and I miss her now, especially when my son got married. She loved my son, and it was my son who really taught us both about love by being born. I really wish I had my mom to call automatically when something happened again. I wore her jewelry when I came to my sons wedding. Funny how family dynamics work, as Ive kept distant from family. Now the new family have all heard from my x and who knows what was said because his family always hated me for taking their son away. There was distance, meanwhile my immediate family were always open armed and friendly with him and his family. So weird to still see a man lie to protect his real self… but my sons know the truth. The cycle repeats itself, and my older son is caught in the middle. Another story. I miss my mom, and wish we could have been friends sooner. I’m the same age as her when she died. So many things broken because of peoples egos and past. What does it take, for families to be happy? I morn for my sons, who deserved so much better than to be with a mother that was unable to be stronger for them.

  2. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th June

    Hi Cat
    Yes, the truth set me free from the prison of her belief system. The birth of my daughter was the first time I ever stood up to her in anyway like that. Where I did what was best for me. I felt horrible about it at the time. I felt all the things she always accused me of; that I was selfish, that I was a terrible daughter, that I was disrespectful and self centered. Looking back on this event and the truth about it to this day has been HUGE when it comes to the truth about our relationship.
    Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Cat Posted: 18th June


    I wish I could say I’m surprised at your mother’s behavior. I’m not. My mother completely overshadowed the birth of my daughter with her own drama. I understanding the time it takes to finally stop going back for more before you “get it” and just stop looking for the relationship with and love of your mother. I call it banging my head against the moon. I am so much happier that I have accepted the loss of not having a mother. It’s so much easier to deal with than putting your hands in the fire repeatedly.

    I’m so sorry she did that to you. I’m sure she thinks you did something awful to her. Good thing we know better 🙂

  4. By: Deborah Posted: 22nd February

    Something that helped me in the sorting out process was to realise that i did not have to justify myself to anyone….I could say what i wanted…

    Wow even to believe that seems entirely too much. If I was hurt then stood up to say I was hurt and angry at being hurt then I would have to go back and apologise to the person for hurting them…by having the temerity to voice my mind.. I still find it really hard.. to the point when slammed with projected stuff and feeling in the gut it wasa wrong.. I would then buy it.. it takes a long time to find freedom from this.

    Dont they say somewhere that in dealing with a Narcissist they tread on your toe. you say ouch and they end up blaming you for upsetting them.

    There is so much to digest here…i do think spoiling is a form of abuse because there can be spoiling neglect.. the child does not learn a sense of competence…growing up Mum would take things from me I didnt do well (for a school sewing project) and then tell me to pass it off as my own work…. this isnt a good recipe for honesty or a feeling of competence.

    Anyway I am just so moved by some of the pain and lack of support others have suffered and know my parent did try to be there as much as they could… there was just so much going down in my family that at times there was no where to turn to……and Mum and Dads needs came first when we were young…

    I think Mum has tried to make up for it now… but I have an elder sister in a clinic on drugs now cause when her anger over neglect sufered came to a head no one but me would hear it and I am so ashamed to say at the time I did not really realise what was happening…as this sister could also be cruel, demeaning and abrasive…..

    I feel sad over my own selfish times and relate to having a bad headspace at times due to not having had my own needs met so difficulty in pulling on others in relationships.. but I have been willing to learn…..

    Anyway this is amazing to be able to hear so much of others pain and struggles my heart goes out to everyone.. only seeing this a bit far down the track… but feel so blessed to have found this website.. thanks again Darlene you are a blessing to this earth xo

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd February

      Thanks for sharing Deborah,
      For me the process was huge. It took time and it was complicated but as long as I kept going forward and was willing to look at things, I made progress.
      Remember that we are looking at the damage caused without making excuses for the damagers. It doesn’t matter if they meant to or not. If there was damage there needs to be healing.
      I am glad you found this website too!!
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: SMD Posted: 10th February

    Oops I messed up & meant to say, I look forward to getting to know all the individuals on EFB. Sincerely, SMD

  6. By: SMD Posted: 10th February

    Thanks again Darlene for your support. It means so much to me, that you respond. I can relate to so much of what you & others say on this site!…No doubt, I could write a book on my dysfunctional family, but I’ll take it one post at a time. Like they say in AA, “One day at a time”. I’m just grateful, that I have a place to share!…I look forward to getting to all the individuals on EFB. Thanks everyone!…..Sincerely, SMD

  7. By: Joan H Posted: 10th February

    My mom came over on Thursday with all her drama and twisted ways

  8. By: Joan H Posted: 10th February

    Something I guess has been a trigger for me this week, I am only sleeping 3 hours a night. I’ve been hyper with strong emotions and now my sisters are mad at me because I have been “posting too much on fbook and acting to teenageish” . They know I go thru these circles since my appendix was rupture for 3 days in my body and I have had 3 major surgeries since then!!!!!! I would never treat them like that
    Do they think that shaming me is realibg helping , I feel worst now I’m getting down n feeling guilt for something I can’t control. They say I’m faking it!!! And the exbiyfriend triggers too, flashbacks urg
    I am trying to stop the shame bcux it’s not going to help me
    My old boss picked up all my work stuff today that made me sad

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th February

      Hi Joan
      Something that helped me in the sorting out process was to realize that I did not have to justify myself to anyone. I could say what I wanted ~ I am an adult. Another thing I started doing is saying it. I asked my family why they felt they could speak to me in those ways. I started to speak those thoughts to them. They were stunned. Why do they get to define YOUR behaviour? The shame is not yours.
      Hang in there.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: SMD Posted: 9th February

    OMG Darlene, I can empathize with your pain so much!…My mom was not really “There For Me” either, during both my pregnancies. I was also in my thirties too. With the first pregnancy I had an emergency C-section after 17 hrs of labor, which progressed only 1/2 way to the birthing process. By this time, I was exhausted & my baby’s heart rate was stressed. So, the reason for the C-section. Anyway, the C-section was hard to recover from & i was doing my best to take care of the baby & myself. My mom brought me some food & visited twice tops! My husband only stayed home for 2 days, after I came home from the hospital!…I asked him to stay home, but he was so concerned about his job. I was felt so exhausted & alone.

    I also asked my mom to come by, in the evenings, but she always had the excuse of working & too tired to do anything. Well, i just felt so alone & sad..i did not know then, that I was suffering from postpartum depression and I was off my meds, because i did not want the baby to any side effects. Well long story short, I was in survival mode & going through the motions…I was able to stay home at the time, which I think helped me to not have any additional stress.

    After 6 months or so went by, my husband wanted me to go back to work. I went back part-time, when my son was about 9 months. My mom did agree to watch my son once a week for a few hours. This worked for her, because SHE got to pick the day. Luckily, my boss was flexible in that he just wanted me to work one evening shift, so the day my mom picked worked for me too. Anyway, she quickly complained about the one day. I don’t even remember her excuse/reason at the time, just that I was disappointed again & had that sinking feeling you describe.

    About 6 months into the job, I decided to get a full-time job to make more money, and at this point, my mom said the once a week babysitting was not working for HER. So needless to say, I did not understand why she could be so selfish. I did not know then, that she had many Narcissistic traits. I came to this conclusion years later,after my second child was born. I ended up getting daycare and it’s hard to find a good one…I went through two, before I found a good daycare/preschool for my son.

    In the mean time, my mom would tell me it’s better to be home with your child, like she did when I was young. Well, this did not sit well with me, because SHE was not offering any support. I did not stand up for myself then, so I took it. Over the years she has questioned, why I never let my son stay over night and that she doesn’t see him enough. Well, I was busy struggling to work full-time & take care of my baby without HER support. Then, when I did see her, she would make rude comments about how i didn’t dress him warmly and nit picked many things I did. I so wanted her to be my mom & grandmother, that I overlooked a lot of her rude/sarcastic behavior!

    Well fast forward to 6 1/2 years later, when I had my second child, I also had a C-section but this time, it was scheduled & I was rested. It was like night & day from my first baby. I also knew what to expect, after surgery so I was prepared. Anyway, i was still working full-time and asked my mom to come by for a couple of hours just 2 days, during the week. Well, she said “maybe” & took a few days to say, SHE was “too tired after work” & needs to be “home to cook for my father”. Again, my needs were being discarded. My husband planned to stay home longer this time, since i did not let him forget what i went through the first time, on my own.

    So after all my rambling above, I can not count on my mother. I did ask her to make some suppers for me, after coming home from the hospital, and she did. However, that does not erase the fact that she wasn’t there for me when I needed her!..Years later, when my sister had her first baby, my mom was right there waiting at the hospital and saw my nephew right after birth. That is not what bothered me,it was the fact that she made a comment, while I was in my sister’s room, that my sister was “strong” to have a baby the natural way. ( I forgot the exact words but I got the message!)I told my dad & he said…she wasn’t talking about me..My mom says things with no regard to MY feelings!

    She also told me later, that “some woman are not suppose to have babies”, after I talked to her about my C-section. I’m not to blame for that or am I less worthy of being a mother, because I had C-sections!…I had no choice, my son’s health was in jeopardy!..There was no encouragement or pat on the back about how STRONG I was!…As I write about this now, I’m teary eyed…It’s so hurtful to acknowledge the emotional harm her words have had on me! Even though, I stand up to her today and call her on things, I’m still there to offer encouraging words & I call to ask about her sickness (Diabetes)!

    I could throw it in her face about how She is Less Than, because of her illness, but that’s not how I am. I have a heart!….Sorry for venting again, this post has me triggering everywhere and brings up memories with my dear old mom!
    Thanks for listening,
    Sincerely, SMD

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th February

      Hi SMD
      It is important to get this stuff out. I vented and wrote volumes when I was coming out of the MOM fog. I can relate to much of your story here.
      Keep sharing. (as often and as much as you like ~ it is fine with me) I am glad you are here.
      hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Joan H Posted: 7th February

    That was huge for me Darlene, I have to figure out what to do with all this anger boiling up
    Lol … I always use being everyone’s clown or laughing at every emotion I have

  11. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 7th February

    This is the kind of thing I am talking about! Exactly. WHO was the whore and those kinds of realizations really helped to set me free. They don’t live by the rules they set and their judgements don’t apply to them.
    Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Joan H Posted: 6th February

    Just figured something out 🙂
    I had lipgloss on one day when I was 14- wasn’t aloud makeup or big earrings urggg!!!!’
     Slapped in the face and called a whore by the father who had another family while still married to ur mom… Hmmm
    Who was the whore.? As my mother sat right next to me andThen told by ur mom that you messed up  
    Her so call marriage! 

  13. By: Joan H Posted: 4th February

    Ok I got it! Before my second traumatic surgeries I was doing good n not bothering w him, I was learning how to love me now it’s like I forgot all of it, I even remember telling someone else the same u told me. I don’t even like him I think .. I have so much anger. Thank u I will keep working 🙂 God Bless You, I’m working on seeing that God doesn’t think I’m bad either. N y does the ex bother contacting me if I supposly cuz so much stress, hmmm they contradict themselves. Lol

  14. By: Joan H Posted: 4th February

    How do I stop seeing myself as his victim , sorry if thats a hard question.
    I try to remind myself it’s about him not me, he is miserable and not good socially and I’m a social butterfly. I hate the fact that somehow he gets me to devuldge eg things about myself and then agrees w me , only at the beginning did he reveal some BIG issues w himself but now denies them .. Of course.
    I’m trying to figure out like you what the root of this is for me

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th February

      Hi Joan,
      The root for me was in childhood and not in my present relationships. It has to do with figuring out why I was comfortable with being treated like crap. Healing has to do with self love and self validation after years of having none. I had to believe that I was worth more before I was able to just “go no contact” ~ It is a big process but it is doable!
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Joan H Posted: 4th February

    My battle with the emotionally abusive exboyfriend has me a little down
    My counselor says just don’t contact back n I exPlain i can’t stop
    It’s part fear and if she hasn’t been there she can’t understand that I need more than just don’t do it.
    I feel like a fool, then the things he does make my anxiety go way up Flashbacks
    I know it takes practice, I just don’t want to get to the low point where he wants me so I can act Out in anger.. Same old same ol. I thought I was gonna get even with him for the past , in turn the joke is on me

  16. By: Joan H Posted: 4th February

    Thanks Darlene, for your response. That is so thoughtful of u to Write to my post. Your blog had been so life changing.
    I am working everyday harder on labeling my emotions ( its hard for me to know what emotion I’m really feeling)
    Today I noticed even w being let of my job I kept saying poor them , this must have been tough on them..
    Like I woke up!!! N said wait I’m worried about their feelings and ignoring mine.. Aha moment
    So much abuse ( yikes took me a while to write abuse.. I wanted to call it something else, mayb prettier) lol
    Happened to me growing up, my dad was so controlling and I rem beatings with cable tv cords , school was the only place we could go. My mom and the names she use to call me n the kneeling on uncooked rice and broom sticks. I was their slave, I have ADHD n back then “I just wouldn’t listen or she would call me mentally disabled but she used the old word.. I was a, I was the cause of all problems and she did a good job of making sure I knew that I was stupid bcux I was letting the little but of friends I had use me for money.. Not true !
    She taught us well how not to trust anyone n isolation.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th February

      Hi Joan,
      This is horrible. All of what happened to you is extremely abusive. There is hope for healing! You are on the road! Keep sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

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