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Annie’s Mailbox: Daughters may need space, not Mother

Kathy Mitchell

Dear Annie: I am a loving mother of two adult daughters. “Jane” has a child with her ex and another with her husband. “Cindy” is married with one child and one on the way.

At first, things with Jane were great. We helped them furnish their house with all new appliances, and helped financially when they asked. Three years ago, we had a falling out and now Jane doesn’t call, text, email, nothing. We are not allowed to see our grandchildren, although our ex-son-in-law allows us to see the one grandchild when he has visitation.

Cindy, who also receives financial help, lets me see my grandchild only once a month for four hours. She sometimes allows me to Skype, but no more than once a week. When she had a miscarriage a few years ago, I tried my very best to console her, but she wouldn’t let me near her for two weeks. Others were allowed to be there, but not her own mother. She won’t let me talk to her about her current pregnancy.

I want to be a part of their lives, but we can’t get past this silence. I have offered to pay for counseling, but they refuse. What hurts the most is that I don’t even know why they are angry with me. Any advice would be so gratefully appreciated. – A Loving, Crushed Mother

Dear Mother: Your daughters may not be angry. They may be trying to create some space, and don’t know how to do it in a more loving fashion.

It will do you no good to keep pounding at this. Back off. You also can stop loaning them money. You don’t owe it to them, and it doesn’t influence their level of affection. Enjoy the time you get to spend with the grandchildren, and fill your hours with activities that bring you pleasure. Counseling for yourself may help you accept this, and we hope your daughters will come to appreciate you again soon.

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