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Readers Respond: My Mother-Daughter Conflict

Responses: 43


Mothers and daughters should be close, for they have so much in common. In reality, however, mother-daughter conflicts are heartrendingly common and often negatively impact grandparents' relationships with their grandchildren. Readers are invited to tell about their mother-daughter conflict and any insights to be gained from it. We'd prefer a happy ending, but if your story doesn't have one, perhaps others can still learn from it. Share Your Experience

Happy Birthday, Nanna's Angel

Today, my granddaughter Tahlia, turns 5. It is nearly 2 years since I have seen her or my grandson Lochlan. My daughter did the one thing to me that she knew would break my heart, and that was to remove the kids from my life. She achieved what she set out to do. As long as I have breath in my body, I will never know peace. Happy birthday - Nanna loves you xxxxx Today, my angel, Tahlia, turns 5. It is nearly 2 years since I have seen her or my grandson Lochlan. My daughter did the one thing to me that she knew would truly break my heart. She removed the kids from my life. She achieved what she set out to do and as long as I have breath in my body, I will never know peace.
—Guest Mummysnanna


My fiance died suddenly August 2011. He was feeling sick to his stomach with pain but no fever. He refused to go to the ER, thinking it was the flu. I fussed over him and with him, aking him to let me take him to the doctor. He said he would the next day. My daughter and I had known him as a close friend for years prior also. I even asked her and her boyfriend to intervene to get him to doctor. He died while I took a shower! 30 minutes... my life turned upside down. His sister cleaned me out -- financial,possessions, etc. But the worst part has been my daughter and only child pulled away, then became pregnant for the first time and stated I'd have to pull myself together if I wanted to be part of their family. I worked thru my grief and did everything she stated to do. She has let me see my grandson 4 times. All seemed to go well. But this last Christmas she blew me off for the other grandparents and my ex-husband. I still have all the presents I bought for her, the boyfriend and my grandson. She lives 15 minutes away.
—Guest Elizabeth

Distance ...

I was mainly a one-parent mum for most of the years, but with help from my mum. My daughter was bright, had a wonderful education from a good uni and bought a property very fast. She had a career, met and married her current partner and had two gorgeous children. Then she moved abroad. We used to have so much fun -- lots of chats, great humour. And then it stopped. "I've made the break," she said, aged 19. Before going abroad, she said, "And am I going to get away from you? Yes, I probably am." It has been one of the toughest challenges to stay in the lovely relationship I have with my grandchildren and try to see them. (They are very, very special to me, and I think I am to them.) Last year they came over "for the summer," which is actually in truth some two manic weeks. We had a weekend arranged, which was whittled down to 24 hrs. They have now said they may not be coming back to the UK. I am feeling devastated. Most of us bring up our children to be independent, but not actually to move away permanently. It is very tough.


My daughter was always a sweet, polite girl and woman. She had a second child, who was born with a rare condition. My grandsons and my daughter live about 10 hours away, and we do not see much of each other, so that is part of it. She started back at work and got married recently as well, so a lot on her plate. I know that, but I also feel pushed out of the way now. We always enjoyed daily phone calls, but no more. She is snippy with me. She does not keep me updated on the kids. She would never think of putting the 7-year-old on the phone with me. She is not interested in my having some sort of relation with my grandson. I am so hurt and dumbfounded on what happened. The wedding was an emotional mess for me. I was literally shoved to the background, was seated with my ex, their father. I was not introduced to the groom's big family. It was a horrible experience for me, and my date was upset for me. Since the wedding in September, things between us are bad. It is now March, and she does not call anymore. Thanks mj
—Guest maryjanegrant

Alive but Dead

It's been 4 years since I've seen my 35-year-old daughter and 3 precious grands all under that age of 6. I will never understand how our close relationship went so wrong. She can "go off" on me at the drop of a pin, so I've always had to measure every word I say very carefully. I'm careful never to interfere or offer unsolicited advice because I recognize she is an adult woman. She is a WONDERFUL and loving mother to her children. She is bright and beautiful. She used to be such a happy and fun girl. After she married and began having children, she became withdrawn and anxious. She exploded one night, at me in our home, and it was horribly ugly and scary. She said unimaginably vicious and ugly things. My husband asked her several times to explain WHY she hated me so, but she never gave an answer. Although my husband and daughter had always been close, when he didn't take her side, she turned on him in a very ugly way. She tried to turn other family members against me with lies.
—Guest gracey

My Daughter-in-Law

Need help -- worried about grandchildren. Daughter-in-law never cleans the house. It's so nasty that human services came out few times, then quit. It smells like rat pee, and roaches are everywhere. They eat at restaurants every night -- pizza and hamburgers. The kids and my son are so overweight. The oldest boy, 13, wears size 44 in pants although he's only 5'5". My daughter-in-law holds the children over my son's head. She had 3 and they got 2 together. He loves her 3 and that she holds over him. She won't let him see the kids when they split up. We probably need legal advice for Tennessee.
—Guest Peggy

Mother/Daughter Relationship Lost

My daughter and I were close for 35 years. I can't control myself. I see my grandchildren being grabbed, I have to say something. I'm so sensitive about them. I can't see them cry. They are very defensive and I don't want to be around them with my grands. Sometimes my daughter will threaten me with them. I would die! I take them once or twice a week. I have given up on our beautiful relationship, since nothing will ever change. I work 4 days a week. She lives 40 minutes from us and feels that I didn't spend enough time, except for the first 2 years when she had her first and I wore myself out. I don't know what else to do.
—Guest Mawson

Only Mothers Understand

I came across this quote the other day by Emily Dickinson. Only a mother and nanna who has felt sadness will understand: "There is no other in the world / Mine was the only one."
—Guest Mummysnanna

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my grandson's 9th birthday. I worked 16 hours yesterday. My body and my mind were kept active, but my heart ached. There is nothing that can stop that. I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Lochlan. I love you - always and ever. Nanna x x
—Guest Mummysnanna

Missing My Daughters and Grandchildren

Part Two: In conclusion, I have not seen my grandchildren for a year and a half. My daughter's husband (age 33) passed away March 17, 2013, and I still was not able to reconnect with my daughter or my grandchildren. My younger daughter is very controlling and no one seems to be willing to stand up to her. Rather things have gotten worse, my older daughter, out of fear of being cut out of her life and the children's lives has stopped talking to me as well. This situation just about destroyed me emotionally. But through counseling, I have learned to keep moving forward in my life and hang on to the hope that when my grandchildren are of age, I will see them again.
—Guest Antoinette

I Miss My Daughters and My Grandchildren

My younger daughter moved in with me when her second child was 2 months old. I respected her as the parent but was always there to lend a hand or play with my grandchildren. She met and married a wonderful man who loved her children as his own. They had two more children. I had 4 grandchildren and was in heaven. I helped out financially, and loved spending time with my grandchildren. I still don't know why, but my daughter started treating me very disrespectfully and lied to me about my grandaughter's fifth birthday party and said they weren't having one. I found out through an overheard conversation that the birthday was being celebrated by going out to dinner with her in-laws. This happened quite often that I was excluded from my grandchildren's events. This broke my heart and confused me. With tears streaming down my face and my heart breaking, I asked her why she was cutting me out of their lives. Her response was, "Oh, are you going to have a pity party?" I was confused and so very sad.
—Guest Antoinette

One Year On

It has been 12 months now since I've seen my grandchildren, my daughter's children. When this first started, as the days passed, I wondered if this day would come -- and it has. The pain is the same, the hurt is the same and it never goes away. I live, I go on, but it never goes away. I guess I'll write the same thing next year.
—Guest mummysnanna

Gone for Good

The divorce is over, but the virulence continues. From a rational, kindly balanced person, my daughter has become abusive, degrading, vindictive and hostile. She told lies about me in court and I did not dare to criticize her in case the judge understood her to be mentally unstable. So instead I was labelled as the abusive grandmother and forbidden access to my grandchildren, whom I cared for in the first 1-3 years of their lives. The ex is also irreparably vindictive because I notified that he has been molesting my grand daughter, who suffered from very pronounced sexualized behavior while her father was in the house. I have already distanced myself, but feel sorry for the grandchildren who will never know their granma.
—Guest DM

Happy Birthday Nanna's Angel

Today, my angel Tahlia turns 4. I have not seen her for 303 days. Happy birthday, and don't ever forget how much I love you. From Nanna xxxx
—Guest Mummysnanna

Lazy Daughter

My daughter is lazy. She works 3 days a week at a pool hall, and does online business school. Granted, she has a lot of homework. I watch my grandson when she's working and doing her homework. All I ask of her is to clean up after herself before leaving the house. She tells me she doesn't have time. That's because she gets up 15 minutes before having to leave for work. Yes, I'm on her ass about cleaning, but it doesn't matter. My grandson is 14 months, and I'd do anything for him. My daughter has left and gone back to my mom's house because she waits on her and cleans up after her. I miss my grandson. The only way to fix this problem is for me to live in a dirty house. She doesn't change him when he wakes up. She gives him a bottle and waits until morning to change his diaper. I tell her to wake me and I'll change him, but she'd have to get out of bed. That's not going to happen. It's her way or no way.
—Guest Debbie

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My Mother-Daughter Conflict

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