Mom Frustrations


My nuclear family is my husband, daughter and my mom. We moved across the country 3 years ago and made the decision to join homes. Dad was ill at the time and mom was trying to care for him all by herself and was draining herself. We live in a nice home and each have our own space to go to. Which is great. From the get go my would say “this is your princess house and I don’t belong here”. My dad passed away 2 years ago and my mom has turned to me to be her “head of the household”, “bff”, and entertainment. Covid hasn’t helped with being shut in and I work from home but I have tried to look for ways to connect Mom with others so that she would have a social outlet other than standing at my office door just waiting for me to be done with work.

So we had a lunch date with another gal and her widowed mom. The conversation seemed to go well but I could see mom pulling back and being reserved. It wasn’t until 2 days later while she and I were in the car that I found out what bothered her. I asked her what she thought about the new friends and she said fine but I don’t fit in. I asked her why did she think that and she said I just don’t. And I pried a bit more and she said she was hurt that I told them (when they asked) that we lived/I grew up in the hood and in the outskirts of East Los Angeles. And I responded to her well was that the truth and she said “yes but you didn’t need to say it you could have said you grew up in Los Angeles or Southern California).” And I was like whoaa.. wait a minute I grew up in a very bad neighborhood and I don’t shy away from telling people that because I believe I learned from that experience , went through trials and tribulations and have up-leveled myself and my family. And she started to cry and said that I made her feel stupid that she wasn’t a better mom. And that she knows that I think she is stupid. I responded that I don’t believe I have ever said she was stupid and I wasn’t sure how she could know my thoughts unless I voiced them. I felt like she was wanting to go into a victim mode discussion and I didn’t have the energy to go there so I just became quiet as I drove. I was frustrated that after all the discussions we have had (we generally have a good relationship but I do feel drained by her in some ways) that she chooses not to move away from the “I am never good enough” “I am just a bad mom” “I should have done better” “I don’t deserve anything” . I know these are her issues. She is well aware that I am working towards both a counseling degree/license and life coaching certification and I have gently suggested that she might want to explore her feelings with either a counselor or coach and she just continues to say “your my coach why would I want to go talk to a stranger”. And I have told her that I am too close to her to be neutral and it wouldn’t do well for our relationship. Any suggestions on what a model for me would look like? I wonder if my action is just to be quiet and not respond to her and basically just allow her words to roll off my back and continue to love on her. I believe if she was able to release and let go of some of her false beliefs about herself she would be able to blossom regardless of her season of life.