Making Mom & Myself Feel Better (From A Questionable Place)


My mother came to visit from abroad a few days ago.

Few years she cried that she can’t afford buying a ticket and so she used a family relative who offered her a standby ticket. Alas, this comes with not knowing whether she will get on the flight or not, and sure enough many times she was turned down and had to return home only to try again the next day.

So last year I truly felt for her and convinced my husband that we will treat her for a business class ticket that cost us $3,000.

Before we purchased the ticket I asked my two siblings whether they will be willing to participate and each will give a third of the cost but both got back to me and said they can’t.

When it happened, my husband who is the sole bread winner in our home, told me that this was the first and last time he buys my mom a ticket and that’s on my siblings to do it next time.

So this year my mom announced that she is coming and I did not offer to buy her the ticket and she said she will come with the standby ticket.

She ended up not getting a seat, stayed at the airport for almost an entire day, cried, and complained and finally got a flight late during that day.

When she arrived here she was a wreck and I truly felt bad for her. She cried that she’s not in the age and health condition to be able to endure that.

My thought at the time was: “I wish I had so much money that I am earning myself so that I will treat her every year for a ticket and not ask for permission.”

Then in order to make her feel better (and myself) I went with her for a three days shopping craze and swiped my credit card and bought her anything she wanted.
She kept arguing with me and said she doesn’t want me to spend money and that I will later have issues with my husband, but I just didn’t think further. I just wanted her to feel good.

She did feel for those moments good and later I heard her praising me to her friends that her daughter is shopping for her everything she wants.

But I know that it came from the wrong place.
The fact that my husband wouldn’t approve these purchases, the fact that it’s not money that I personally earned, the fact that it still didn’t solve her ordeal with the standby flights, it solved nothing, and the fact that I mostly felt shame and guilt after purchasing rather than feeling good and proud.

But now she got all these things that made her happy and left back to her country.
And I am left with trying to understand in the aftermath how could I have done it differently and why it feels this way.

I recognize that I can choose to feel great about my hidden purchases anyway but it feels like I am not really doing the self-coaching I should be doing.

Would love your help.