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Archive for March, 2014

Hey, Women of My Generation: Some of our Daughters “Get” It!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Melissa (daughter) - Jessie (mother)

Our latest addition to the Buzz  “My Mother at 80: The Lessons She Whispered in My Ear” by Melissa T. Shultz, was originally published on the Huffington Post.  It’s funny how one randomly stumbles into little corners of the Internet and finds common ground.  I happened to be on Facebook when Melissa posted it for her fellow Better After 50 Writers–a group I’d discovered only a few days earlier.  Many of the posters are mothers themselves and, I suspect, have a lot to say about their mothers and mothers-in-law.

I loved Melissa’s piece because it’s about a transformative (and for some, healing) mother/daughter passage–a collection of moments in which mothers and daughters see beyond their roles.  It doesn’t necessarily happen at the same time–sadly, for some it never happens at all–but as we age and change seats at the generational table, our daughters come to see us as women, not just as their mothers–and we respect them as women, too, not just as our daughters.

Daughters, mothers, how does this piece speak to you?   As time passes, do you feel yourselves looking at each other different eyes?  Does you see each other as women?   Do stories like this give you hope?

The Buzz is MotherU’s growing repository of ideas about this particular generation of mothers and daughters. I welcome your submissions.

Leave you comments here, or tweet me: @melindablau.

And if you’d like to read more about and from Melissa, here’s where to find her on Huffington Post, on Twitter, and here.

Dear Family Whisperer, Weekly, on Huffington Post: It’s Built. Now, Who Will Come?

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Will both generations, parents and grandparents, become involved in discussions of family?

This question occurred to me as I was enjoying yesterday’s debut of Dear Family Whisperer, now a weekly column on the Huffington Post.  The first three installments were “published” on this site. I had asked Tracy’s fans (members of the online forum she launched a decade ago) if they would help me launch a Dear-Abby-type column about family issues, and they came up with great questions.  Mothers in the thick of hands-on parenting–in their 30s, 40s, and 50s–they want answers about sibling rivalry, what to do when a parent is physically or mentally ill, how to resolve couple differences about parenting practices, how to tame a mother-in-law.

Now that Dear Family Whisperer is visible to a larger audience, I wonder who will metaphorically raise their hands and what will they ask about?   I hope that older parents will join the conversation.  One might ask about a daughter-in-law who restricts access to the grandchildren. Another might question how to approach an adult son who doesn’t seem as worried about his child’s–her grandchild’s–stutter as she is.

But if these “elders”–my generation–show up with their questions, how will the younger generation of parents–my children’s peers–feel?  Is Facebook a cautionary tale? The moment parents and grandparents began to poke them and comment on their photos, teens and twentysomethings declared Facebook over.  Born into digital technology, the “natives” didn’t want to hang out at the water cooler with newcomers.  Will young parents on the front line also resent their parents’ perspective about family?

Then again, family whispering is not a place–it’s an idea, a practice, a set of beliefs and principals.  And today’s parents and grandparents, especially the women, have more in common than generations past. My daughter and I dubbed the phenomenon generation overlap.  We share books, workouts, and gynecologists.  We like the same music–or at least are open to the other’s tastes. We buy at the same stores, like the same restaurants, give each other workout and diet tips.  And I know if we let ourselves, we’ll also find common ground in family whispering, which, after all, includes multiple generations and a complicated mix of relationships.

When we’re curious and we keep asking questions, we learn from each other. And when it comes to family, we all have a lot to learn.

I welcome your comments and suggestions on Huffington Post and also on my new blog melindablau.com. Do you have a question about your family or a relationship? No topics are off limits, and it’s all anonymous. Ask via Twitter @MelindaBlau #DearFamilyWhisperer, or click on this link.  The column are brief; you can learn more in Family Whispering