- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (April 10, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465037550
- ASIN: B001P3OLME
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,219,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Am My Mother's Daughter: Making Peace with Mom--Before It's Too Late Paperback – Bargain Price, April 10, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
At 50, American University communications professor Krasnow (Surrendering to Marriage) reconciled with her difficult mother, a Holocaust survivor and former saleswoman. Here she gathers insights from other adult women with diverse backgrounds and experiences but similar life wisdom: "Ditching old baggage and learning to love our mothers must come before we learn to love, and know, ourselves." A private investigator becomes caretaker to her highly competent mother, a former nurse, and discovers that the Superwoman is merely human; a Trinidadian immigrant and victim of spousal abuse accepts her lawyer daughter's lesbianism and gains her respect. A therapist and survivor of eating disorders shares a marital problem with her "historically non-empathetic" mother and is gratified by her response; a social services professional pushing 70 learns to cope with the 96-year-old family matriarch who still treats her like a child. Celebrities get to vent, too: singer Chynna Phillips reconnects with her neglectful rock star mother, Michelle, of the Mamas and the Papas, as they bond over Chynna's children and a passion for music. Although it doesn't pack the punch that Nancy Friday's revolutionary My Mother/My Self did in its day, Krasnow's worthy effort will resonate with introspective baby boomers.(May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The overall message...is clear and heartening: If we as daughters can learn to understand our mothers before they die, then we as mothers can help our daughters understand us, while we are still living." Washington Post"
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"I challenge every midlife daughter to consider this: What good is this old hate doing for you, for her, for your children, for your spouse, for anyone else you know? Letting go of hating your mother is actually more selfish than selfless. Because you just may find, as I did when shaken awake after my mom lost her leg, that the woman who bore you still has a lot to teach you about courage and commitment and growing up at any age. Don't miss out on the final act - it's the best part of all in the mother-daughter show. Listen hard and spill all while your aging mother is present and when change is still possible. I'm asking every question I was afraid to ask and talking very fast as my mother's short term memory is fading. Closing the wounds takes backing off from a stubborn stand-off, sucking it up, and saying 'I'm sorry,' even if you're not sorry one bit. Who cares if you are right and your mother is wrong? It won't matter when she's dead. What matters is coming to a resolution, smoothing things out - now. Your mother will win anyhow, when she passes into heavenly peace while you are left behind simmering in guilt and rage. Making up in this lifetime makes you the winner. You get to reap the benefits of closure in the final chapter, rather than being stuck agonizing over what could have been had you worked harder on rewriting the ending (pps. 140-141)."
This book will provide motivation to take action toward making things right and accepting your mother for who she is and making peace. It does not, however, provide the tools you may need to accomplish that goal. If you are estranged from your mother and would like to reconnect and reconcile I recommend the books I Thought We'd Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation and Healing From Family Rifts : Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off From a Family Member. If you are already on speaking terms, but need help getting past all the muck I highly recommend the books Making Peace With Your Mom: Steps to a Healthier Mother-Daughter Relationship and A Daughter's Journey Home: Finding a Way to Love, Honor, and Connect with Your Mother.
"You have to remember that your mother had her own disappointments with her mother" the author reminds the reader "Lowering expectations can lead to long-term happiness. Expecting perfection in an intense familial relationship is an unattainable fantasy that brings constant disappointment....Stop pining and whining about what is NOT there and accept what IS there."
I tend to identify with Beth's Story when she describes her own mother "In many ways, she was a wonderful mother. She just didn't know how emotionally how to help me feel positive about myself....I wanted to know that she approved of me and that she was proud of me. I never had that feeling growing up. My hair wasn't right. My body wasn't right....It's only really since I got into my forties that I've felt that my mother likes who I am." Unlike Beth, I did get married but it wasn't until I was 45 years old. Perhaps like Beth the reason was: "Maybe there was a part of me that always knew whoever I chose would somehow disappoint my mother. It's as if I was always trying to please her but was never quite able to."
After my father became seriously ill in 2003, my mother and I used to engage in a lot of conflict. It seemed to intensify closer to his death. It took grief counseling for me to find out that engaging in our argumentative behavior was a way of NOT dealing with the pain of my father's loss. His death has had the effect of bringing us closer, forgiving each other for past hurts and enjoying the time I have left with my mother. Fortunately at 85 she is quite physically healthy and I expect her to be be around many more years. However I DO think that the excessive tension between mother and daughter is really unnecessary if one remembers what the author points out:" "Who cares if you are right and your mother is wrong? It won't matter when she's dead. What matters is coming to a resolution, smoothing things out NOW. Your mother will win anyhow, when she passes into heavenly peace while you are left behind simmering in guilt and rage. Making up in THIS lifetime makes you the winner."
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Hugs for mothers and daughters all over the world.Read more