How to handle Mom


I’ve written before that my parents are in the process of a nasty divorce in which my father is being extremely cruel and manipulative with my mother. That is not the problem so much as how it has affected my mother in relation to my sister.

My sister is in college, but she is still in the same city as my Mom. Both my Mom’s parents are deceased and I live 1000 miles away. Basically, my sister is the only one she really has. However, my Mom can be really aloof emotionally and doesn’t return phone calls or indicate that she wants to spend time with my sister.

But… today, she told my sister that my sis never makes time for her, only her “friends”, and wouln’t care if my mom was “hanging by the rafters.” This was probably brought about by the fact that my sister went to NYC this past weekend (one of her only “free” ones) with her boyfriend instead of trying to see my Mom. (To my sis’s credit, though, she did also see relatives from my Dad’s side, my Dad is still at home, and Christmas break is coming up.)

Now, I know that my Mom is emotionally driven. However, in trying to advise my sister (insofar as she asks for my advice) I really don’t know where the middle ground is between my sister showing my Mom that she cares and my Mom being able to let my sister live her own life, to be “normal”.

So, basically, my question is for you more “normal” adult parents: How much do you expect your children to be there in your life vs. letting them do their own thing? Anecdotes welcome.


What an awful situation. I have no idea what advice to give you but I sure do feel for you. I’m sorry; I know that’s not much help.


I would say that your sister was fine in what she did. She’s in college now and has that freedom. She’s an adult.

I would also suggest to her that she maybe call your mom and plan a lunch date or something soon. If she’ll be with her on Christmas, then maybe she could call her up and see if she can bring anything or come early to help get ready if other people are coming over.


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