My daughter’s 38, unmarried, with no boyfriend. She’s a professional absorbed in her work. Her social life consists of several close friends and colleagues, volunteer work, and professional events.
She’s 30 pounds overweight but still attractive and proportionate, because she stays fit and is healthy. She has a good sense of humour, is interesting company, and very smart.
I feel badly for her that she may miss the opportunity to have children, which was such a happy part of my life.
Whenever I suggest she make an effort to find a life partner, like going online, or attending singles’ social events, or hiring a matchmaker, she gets annoyed with me and says she’s happy as she is.
We end up bickering and distanced, though she’s otherwise an attentive daughter. I don’t know how to urge her to not end up lonely and regretful.
Instead of focusing on what she’s missing, encourage and applaud her many attributes as well as what she’s doing.
She’s independent, busy, and happy, all of which you should be proud. And supportive.
Stop voicing your own desires for her. You made your choices and were happy with them. Understand and accept that she feels the same way about hers.
I suggest to you and the many people who seek advice about Mother-Daughter adult conflicts, that you write all the positive things you can find about the grown woman your child’s become.
Call it, “A Letter to My Daughter,” and record all the things SHE feels successful about, is interested in, or still trying to do.
Add in all the good friendships, skills, adventures, ideas, and more that make up her world.
Then send it to her - without any mention of what you would’ve preferred for her or what you think she should still consider. And re-read it instead of worrying.
If you email me a copy I’ll publish a selection (without names or locales).
I’m married to a beautiful, strong-minded woman whom I love. We have two daughters. My wife’s from a different background and culture than my family, and, mostly, we respect each other’s differences and work around them.
The problem is my mother, who’s a loving grandmother and wants to be involved, but has had very different ideas about raising kids.
She was at home with my siblings and me until we were in high school. My wife, by contrast, only stopped working for a few months after our daughters were born. They then went into day care.
My mother offered to babysit but my wife wasn’t comfortable due to the cultural differences.
My mother now sees that our girls, now eight and six, are growing up fine… they’re outgoing, doing well at school, enjoy sports, etc.
They genuinely like her, but they prefer to visit my wife’s mother due to the similarities with their mom of her cooking and her general manner.
Unfortunately, my mother feels hurt. Is there anything I can do to improve this situation?
In The Middle
Invite your mother to your home and encourage her to get to know your wife better by pitching in when your wife’s preparing a meal.
A kitchen cook-up together often brings out new revelations and understanding between women.
Get the girls involved too, so they can see their mom and yours working together.
Keep their grandmother aware of what they’re reading, and learning, and talk about school and their friends when she’s there.
Relaxed familiarity should make everyone more comfortable.
I’m 15 and my parents are getting divorced.
I’m so mad at their stupid plan to have me move back and forth between them in separate apartments.
What about my friends, and my art classes near the house where we live? Do I drag my favourite clothes from one place to another?
My mother says if I go to counselling everything will be fine. Seriously? The counselling didn’t do them any good!
You’re all going through changes, but it’s clear they’re trying to each stay close to you. They’ll recognize when adjustments are needed to their plans, along with you.
The divorce is about their relationship, but it’s not about any less love and concern for you.
They know you have to be able to see your friends, continue with dance classes, etc.
Counselling can be helpful, if and when you want to talk with a neutral person who’s experienced with helping kids through divorce.
Tip of the day:
A Letter to My Daughter better expresses love and pride than all your worries.