RELATIONSHIPS: When Your Adult Child Will Not Speak To You

RELATIONSHIPS: When Your Adult Child Will Not Speak To You

Cover image via ABC News

By Susan "Honey" Good

You may be completely unaware that thousands of mothers are living with the pain of having adult children sever all ties. The reason you’re unaware is because these mothers feel ashamed and embarrassed and therefore, they remain silent.

Here's what I recently discovered...

A few days ago, I got out of our warm and comfy bed early in the morning. I made coffee and jumped back into bed with my ultimate concierge, grabbed my laptop (as I always do) and clicked on my email.

I saw messages from a few of my early-riser girlfri

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SURVIVE: The Mother Guilt Complex After 50

IMAGE VIA THE ODYSSEY ONLINE

IMAGE VIA THE ODYSSEY ONLINE

By Susan "Honey" Good

It is very hard to live with ‘mother’s guilt.’ My girls are adult women and you would think I could put aside my guilty feelings and revel in the joy of knowing they are lovely young women.  

Joy comes from observing their actions. They are loving, caring and have the highest standards. Guilt comes because I have no defense. I was not the perfect mom when my late husband, their father, died. 

Today is Sunday in the Good home. I woke up at 6:00am to give Orchid her daily cache of pills. I rubbed her head and whispered in her ear, “I love you so much.” As I sit on the floor directly in front of her, I open her mouth with one hand and with the other I put one pill at a time down her throat. Sometimes I am off center and find the pill hanging in her beard. I then hug her for a long time. I wait for an hour and clock my time to the minute before feeding her. If she does not eat, I sit down on the floor again and hand feed her. In between hand feeding her, I give her ice cubes to lick out of my hand. Thirty minutes later I give her four more pills on a full tummy — doctor’s orders. I arrange our evenings around Orchid’s last pill that must be given on an empty tummy and then wait an hour to feed her dinner. Nothing is too much for me. She takes these pills because the copper in her liver is very high. If I do everything perfectly, the pills will bind around the copper and it will leave her liver. I am so diligent with Orchid. I wish I had been as dedicated to my daughters after their father suddenly passed away — I will always feel remorse.

This morning I made a delicious breakfast for my ultimate concierge. I set a pretty table, hand cut fresh fruits, poured juice, counted out his vitamins, sliced fresh tomatoes and onions, toasted a bagel, opened up a package of Nova lox, put everything on a pretty platter and served my husband Sunday brunch. I thought of my daughters… how they needed me 100% of the time when their father suddenly passed away and I will always feel remorse. 

As I was slicing, toasting, pouring and preparing a beautiful platter to set a lovely table, my ultimate concierge said out of the blue,“I often think I could have been a much better father. I was always working.”

I could not believe my ears! We were silently, but at the same time, thinking about our parenting. I felt a sense of relief thinking to myself, ‘Is there a parent alive who does not feel some guilt or remorse? Is there a parent alive who does not wish with all their might that they could turn back the clock and do something differently?’ 

I looked up at my husband and said from my heart, “You were a great role model. Your sons observed your actions. You worked hard. You were a family man. You came home for dinner every night and your sons knew you loved their mother. You showed your children by example how to be an honest and charitable citizen. Please don’t be so hard on yourself.”

I could not help but listen to my last words, “Please don’t be so hard on yourself.” 

I fought back my sadness, became a realist and stopped berating myself. I saw my glass half full. I remembered my daughter Jenny saying, “Mom, now that I am older and wiser, I understand.

Dear readers: There is no stronger love than a mother’s love for her children. We give much and we err, too. We are human beings with frailties. Forgive yourself. I will try, too.

SURVIVE: Reaffirm Your Value As a Woman In Her 60s

IMAGE VIA CORINTHIA HOTEL LONDON

IMAGE VIA CORINTHIA HOTEL LONDON

By Susan "Honey" Good

A woman in her sixties has the opportunity to shine in a relationship with a woman twenty years younger. One of my readers is having a hard time because she is the older mother of a 27-year-old son who is marrying a girl whose mother is in her forties. The wedding is soon and she will be walking down the aisle as the mother of the groom and feels intimidated by the woman’s youth. What can she do to wade off this feeling? After all, this is not a carefree relationship — this is a family affair.

This woman and I do not know one another, so I am writing strictly from my perspective. I want to give her positive feedback, so she can enter into this union with the other soon-to-be mother-in-law with optimism. I want her to walk down the aisle with the finest posture and biggest smile. To do this, she needs to remind herself that true beauty of both women comes from within… and by the time we are in our sixties, we have an edge over youth. 

REAFFIRMING YOUR VALUE

  1. Older women are awesome role models. You have twenty years of living under your belt. That is powerful.
  2. Older women are less judgmental. This quality can be very liberating for younger women who need the ear of a sage. She will prefer your ear over her young friend’s ear when she is in need, so let her know you are not judgmental.
  3. Older women are full of life experiences. She is too young to have dealt with the life experiences you have had. You are walking around with powerful and valuable material, my dear.
  4. Older women don’t stress over the little stuff. You can have a calming effect over a younger woman who freaks out.
  5. Older women have confidence that is contagious. You can spur her on to try things she would never have thought about doing or had thought about doing but got cold feet.

EVERYONE HAS INSECURITIES BUT…

I could write more candidly if I knew you and all the players. Your situation is not casual and the uniting of two families is major, so the less drama the better. You had no choice in choosing your new family, that is a given. So I think you have to put your insecurities about age on the back burner and come from confidence because a woman’s confidence is truly contagious.

How you choose to do this is up to you — you can even pretend, if you must. This pretending may even rub off on you and give you confidence. 

You must start by saying to yourself, “I will not let the word 'youth' threaten me.” I am sharing this with you and all my other dear readers who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older, in the hopes that you will acknowledge your self-worth at every age. Practice smiling, kindness and gentleness. Be humble and show gratitude to this new, younger woman in your life. That is true beauty, my dear. And don’t forget you will be grandmas together, too. 

Wishing you and yours and theirs a wonderful life time ahead.