Mother/teenage daughter relationship
Motherhood BEFORE and AFTER Divorce
Parenthood is a constant learning process. I am the mother of 3 children; a boy (17), and 2 girls (15 & 12). I was a stay at home mom, since their father is active duty military. I wanted to be a stable fixture in their lives, while their father traveled the world. I kept them active by attending playgroups from the time my oldest was 6 months old, until the youngest was 4. They were always happy children. It was also a happier time in my life as well.
Parenting is never easy. Now, as I parent my 15 year old daughter I have to deal with not being the parent that I was before the divorce. They are older. I went back to school in 2007 and graduated with my bachelors in 2012. I could not have foreseen a divorce in my future. However, I have to be able to make a life for myself. It is stressful that as I am going through this negative life event, I have to deal with a teenage daughter's stage or phase. BUT DEAL WITH IT I MUST.
"Problems in a Mother and Teen Daughter Relationship"
Because in the article "Problems in a Mother and Teen Daughter Relationship," by Karen Kleinschmidt, (http://www.ehow.com/info_8238771_problems-mother-teen-daughter-relationship.html) teenage daughters often take out their anger on their mothers. (Guess it can't be any different for me, being the primary custodial parent.) However, it makes it more difficult because my daughter encourages me to suppress my own emotions. This is actually teaching me that I am supposed to let her come to me with her problems and intense feelings during this chaotic time in her life. However, the chaotic time in my life is supposed to be left forgotten. I thought relationships were supposed to be give and take, not just give, give, give.
Things I tried
I tried communication. My daughter is a picky eater. So I encouraged her to go online and find recipes that she would like to try and I will make them. (She still has not presented the recipes to me.) I know communication is supposed to be key. However, how does it help our communication, if I must not express any? I am almost to the point of disengaging, because it looks like that is what she is aiming for.
Last summer, I allowed extra time for my 15 year old to bond with her father, due to a communication problem. Now my daughter and I are having communication issues. I am not sure if I did the wrong thing by assisting their issues with communication. Now I am the one that gets to suffer in silence. I guess that's the price I pay for being the mother.
Update: Now, I apparently have to sacrifice my relationship with my children so their father can still have a "military" career, and a stepmom for the kids. This mom (biological) does not exist in their lives, and I dislike it very much. However, the military doesn't exactly work with broken families. I have had no choice but to accept it, because if I don't, my seizure disorder will have me in the hospital every other weekend. That's not the way that I want to live my life. Therefore, I monitor my health daily. I've got my dog. I have my boyfriend. I have my job, until I don't. That's, apparently, all I am meant to have in this lifetime. I have to make it enough.
Words from Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler
However, according to Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler, conflicts between mothers and daughters seem unavoidable during the teenage years. Therefore, maybe it is more of a stage or phase than just acting out due to the divorce? It would be one thing if the divorce was due to one of us being unfaithful. However, that is not the case in our situation. We just could not make it work. Other nosy family members could not stay out of our relationship. It affected us.
Of course, due to the fact that I am unemployed and have no health insurance, there is a different kind of anger. Namely for me. How does a single mom move on when no one gives her the chance to move on?? Being able to take care of oneself is detrimental in life. (I have already been denied Medicaid once. I am in the process of trying to get Medicaid once again.) I went back to school, graduated cum laude. It doesn't guarantee me a job. I fill out the job applications online. Now, I must deal with the stress of every day life, PLUS problems between me and my teenage daughter.
Statistics show that there are 13.7 million single moms and dads currently raising children in the U.S., and this number has not changed since 1994.
- Mothers represent 82.6% of all custodial parents.
- Fathers represent 17.4% of all custodial parents.
And that's not all....Only 53.7% of custodial single parents work full time, year-round.....Only 27.7% of custodial single parents work either part-time or part-year. And....UNFORTUNATELY I am part of the 18.7% of the custodial single parents that do not work. (Not by my lack of trying. Even with my Bachelors in social work, I am filling out applications in social work, retail and fast food, to bring in an income. Any income! Apparently, I am just not meant to work. After working so hard to get one's degree, that's pretty depressing, in and of itself.)
After everything that I have been through, I FINALLY got a lawyer. I am the biological mother, and I have rights. By law, keeping children away from the other parent is against the law. FOUR YEARS!!! However, do you know how often it is done?? I know of quite a few people where the custodial parent has pushed away the other parent. Makes me wonder how those children will turn out in the future? I remember getting someone back together with his daughter and son. It didn't continue for very long, but I was very happy to see the children's faces. Surprisingly, a newspaper camera man was doing an article on the unusual weather they were having, and he ended up in the newspaper with his children at a local park. That is a good memory. I am glad that I was able to be a part of getting them back together with their father, even though it was a short time. No matter how many times I encouraged him to call, he didn't. However, now, I understand how discouraging he felt, and he had worse issues than I did/do.
My ex-husband's new wife, of 2 + years and her daughter say on Facebook media that they are in Naples Italy. If my youngest daughter is there, there will be an investigation of who signed papers for her to be there, because by law, I am to be notified, and I wasn't. Now I don't even know if my youngest daughter is dead or alive, due to the recent earthquake in Italy. I have been in contact with his Ombudsman, and they have said I am not a family member allowed that information. I have emailed his command, with no response yet. I have sent a message to my senator. I will also be sending a message to the senator of the state that has jurisdiction of the divorce/custody. I am going to get the answer to my question: Is Erica dead or alive? I am her biological mother, and I have the right to know.
For almost 4 years, I wasn't allowed cellphone numbers. Every time I called their house number, there was no answer, except twice. Both were back in 2013. The only time I could reach him was when he was at work, where I wouldn't find the kids anyway. He didn't want us to have a relationship, he wanted to play middle man. That's going to end, even if I have to go to the media.
I was kept out of the loop for almost 4 years. Was that really worth it? We had communication when we had joint custody when it came to the kids. He was told when our son was one of the top 10 of his high school class. He was told when our son passed his driver's test. I just don't get it. I just don't. Whatever happened to, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" Has humanity really gone to crap?? Seriously, the things that I wanted to do with my life. Now, I work using my social work degree, but with non-profits, you don't exactly see raises. I am not even sure if I would see a promotion. I just know that I tend to be the first person my boss goes to when he has an emergency, last minute client. Not a bad thing. I've always been reliable.
I just know that it is time for this situation to change. I had an attorney, but I got the child support back on the oldest daughter because she had turned 18 and has aged out of child support. However, the youngest I am still being charged child support, and I don't even know if she is dead or alive, living in Italy with her father, stepmother, and stepsister. My only option now is the media. Everything will be transparent now.