How do I reconnect with my mom?
August 23, 2010 2:52 PM Subscribe
[Familial relations filter] How can I re-establish a meaningful relationship with my mother despite being abroad most of the year and that she is constantly burying herself in work?
posted by wallawallasweet to Human Relations (8 answers total)
(sorry for the long details) I grew up with long periods of time abroad where my father was constantly abroad for the majority of the year and my mother was basically the head of our household (this period started when I was in primary school until the end of high school). As a result, the maternal bond was strong while I grew pretty distant from my father who I viewed mainly as a traditional disciplinarian. There was quite a bit of friction between my father and I and my mother always tried to mediate and create understanding between father and son.
As I moved through college and grad school, the relationship between my father and I is stronger than ever. We have lots things to talk about and I find myself getting to know him a lot better, and I credit my mother for a lot of this because she created an atmosphere that allowed us to communicate better with each other.
Now I find myself stuck in a situation where I now feel increasingly distant from my mother. As I am constantly abroad working on my degree, the routine of calling home once a week is pretty set, but I find that we don't really connect anymore. I've noticed this trend starting with my undergrad years, just when I started to get along with my father easier. I feel awful about this. I used to think: "my mom works on familial conflict resolution as her profession, but why can't she work on our relationship?" But I realize that she is not to blame because she has a life of her own, her own social circles and her priorities and that kids move on as well. Indeed, she sacrificed so much of her life and time away from her own husband, family and job so that her children could get a higher education abroad.
Long story short, I want to reconnect with her, but how? We only see each other a few times a year and the weekly phone calls seem more like a ritual than a good conversation. She is heavily buried in her work and she is involved with many social activities (some being religious that I try to avoid) that even when I do get back, we hardly see each other. So my fellow MeFis, what can I do? I realize this will take time, but how should I proceed? Thanks