I am 31 and the oldest of three girls. My sisters and I are all married, and we all have young children. My mother shows obvious favoritism to my middle sister and her 7-year-old daughter. She spends tons of money on their family, travels to visit them frequently, talks with them on the phone daily, and babysits for them regularly. I have tried to talk to her about it, but my mom doesn’t communicate about heavy topics and there is too much inside of me to casually bring it up. I end up sobbing and yelling and she just walks away thinking I am nuts and too sensitive. I do not think she will ever change so I need to come to terms with this. What should I do?
It is very common for jealousies to brew between siblings. As long as there have been brothers and sisters there has been conflict and competition. It is also common to misinterpret our parents’ actions and reactions. As a parent yourself, you love each of your kids the same yet differently because their personalities and their needs are unique.
Realize it is probably the same for your mother. There may be reasons for her actions that have nothing to do with her love for you or your sisters.
Could it be you have let your emotions cloud reality? Here are a few things to consider:
1. Seek counseling yourself
If there is too much inside you, find a safe way to release it. Discover why this issue upsets you so much. There may be reasons you are unaware of. We have free, confidential mentors online that are available to you if you want to speak to someone about these hurts that have been so deep for so long. Just click the button at the end of this article to connect with one. You may also seek out professional counseling if just talking with someone who cares does not help.
2. Seek understanding, not confrontation
From the way you describe your mom, she seems to have a pattern of avoiding conflicts. Until you can control your emotions, you will never be able to discuss this issue with your mother. There will always be a wedge between you two. Why not adopt a change in perspective, and seek to better understand your mom? Ask her what she loves and appreciates about each her children, and the role she has in each one's life. You may discover that she sees you quite differently than you think she does.
3. Be more objective
Until you can communicate in a calmer, more objective manner, this issue may never be resolved. Find out more about her past. You may begin to see why she reacts the way she does. What are her joys, her fears, and her primary love langauges in comparision to your own? Often people try express love in ways that are meaningful to them. You might get a better response if you put your own needs aside and ask about hers. Decide to focus on loving her; it may open a new door in your relationship.
4. Could she be adapting to your sister's circumstances?
You say that she travels to be with your sister. Does that sister live further away than you do? Is it possible that you are more aware of the time she spends with her, rather than with you, because it occurs at specific times, rather than throughout the year?
5. Get the big picture
Perhaps the way you are viewing your mother's motives is not exact. There may be a reason she seems to spend more time and money on her middle daughter. She might think that daughter needs her more than you or your sister do. Does that sister ask your mom for help more directly than you do?
Try to see your mother through the eyes of a fellow mother instead of as her daughter. Most parents are doing the best they can when it comes to relating to their children. Perhaps she has made mistakes, but every parent does.
If you choose to communicate your love for your mom and your desire to spend time with her in an honest, calm, and respectful manner, you and your mom might begin to draw closer. That could begin a path of healing for you both, as well as improve your relationships with your sisters.
This article was written by: Issues I FacePhoto Credit: Brian Wolfe