Today, I’m describing what happened when my mum got her first invitation to breast screening, and how my natural bossy nature took over – only because I care – but was I right?
Like Mother, Like Daughter….
I wouldn’t want to be like anyone else, as the saying goes.
Whenever I catch myself being contrary, whenever I realise that I am listening to good advice but not taking it, whenever I’m being sparkly and giggly, whenever I’m avidly reading and agreeing with crazy conspiracy theories, it’s then that I realise:
I am my mother’s daughter.
What about you? Do you recognise yourself in your mum? I look like her, but sadly, not enough like her – and I look at my own daughter’s face and see my mum there too. And sometimes, when I ask her to do something and she does the exact opposite of what I’ve asked, I think ‘Yep, just like my mother!’
My mum was of the generation that didn’t learn to drive – the men did things like that when she was growing up, so most weeks we went out together; I took her shopping and to appointments and to see her brothers, things like that. And we talked on the phone every few nights, and me and my sister and brother still miss her.
That’s not to say it was all love and happiness, goodness me no. Have you ever seen two women who like to be different actually agree? It has to be said, that sometimes agreeing to disagree with your mum is the easiest way to a peaceful day!
The bond between mum and daughter is a difficult one sometimes; especially when it comes to giving and taking advice. If you’re a daughter, your mum’s advice on which man to date or marry is rarely greeted with thanks – and more often than not, ignored! Your mum’s attempts to organise your life are not appreciated at the time, but if she doesn’t bother, then you feel neglected – and who loves their mum but can’t ever contemplate living with them again?!
We know though, don’t we, that she’s doing it out of love, because she’s showing that she cares. If you’ve got children of your own, you understand that need to make sure that your precious kids are safe and doing well, because it’s easier now to put yourself in her shoes.
The worry about whether your mum is in good health, the need for her to always be there for us is a worry for a daughter, I think. Whether or not she drives you mad with her funny ways, or embarrasses you in front of your mates with those tales of your childhood wrongdoings, you still want her there when life gets hard. Most of us learn to forgive!
If you’re like me, you’ll want her to look after herself, and get frustrated when your good advice gets ignored. Take the case for health screening, in particular breast cancer screening: it’s every person’s choice whether to have it or not, but the decision can sometimes cause arguments between family members.
When my mother got her invitation to breast cancer screening she was annoyed. Now, most women get annoyed because they don’t want to be reminded that they’re getting older, and a mammogram is a definite reminder that your 40’s have passed; but my mum was annoyed because they’d booked her a mammogram appointment time without checking that she was free. Of course, it’s a mass breast cancer screening programme, and a computer randomly assigns appointment slots to whatever name turns up in its system, but mum wasn’t having any of that.
‘It’s not right, they shouldn’t be so cheeky’ she fumed. I instantly went into bossy child mode: ‘Oh muuuuuuum, don’t be so stupid, just ring them, change the appointment and go to it!’ Cue another mother-daughter argument!
She did go in the end, but actually, thinking about it now she might have been scared of having a mammogram and that was her way of avoiding it. I think my communication skills needed improving, if anything else, but in my defence, I wanted her to go because I believed in health screening, and it was my way of showing that I cared about her. We weren’t the type of family who tell each other that we love them, nope, it’s not really the Wigan way, I have to say.
What about you? How do you talk to your mum about health? Or do you not? What happens when you try to give your mum good advice? Does she listen? Mine never did, it used to frustrate me like nothing else on Earth could! What happens when she gives you good advice? Does it drive you nuts?
Are you like mother, like daughter? What would you do in her shoes?