Don’t Forget to Phone Your Mother

by Donne Davis on March 30, 2009

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I grew up in a family of phone talkers. In the ’50s my mom talked to her mom every morning. My dad called his mother every night and my mom checked in with her sister-in-law every morning.

Flash forward five decades and I’m calling my mom every night to catch up on our days. This has become our nightly ritual since my dad died twelve years ago. I enjoy our conversations which may only last a few minutes or sometimes as long as a half hour.

Yesterday, four generations of us “girls” talked to each other. My daughter called my mom to say hello, and then a few minutes later she helped her two-year old call back so she could say hi to her great-grandma.

My five-year old granddaughter called me for our regular afternoon storytelling ritual. She’s learned to dial my number and I tell her a story while her little sister takes a nap. An hour later my daughter called me to catch up while she was out walking and I ended the evening by calling my mom to say good night. I told her how blessed I was that I could talk to my granddaughter, daughter and mom all in one afternoon.

Checking in by phone is a family tradition that helps us stay connected. It always seemed “normal” to me until I heard a conversation on Dr. Laura’s radio call-in show a few years ago. A woman caller mentioned she spoke to her mother everyday. Dr. Laura immediately jumped on her and said: “What in the world could you have to say to your mother everyday?” She made the woman feel as if she had participated in some aberrant behavior. I felt sorry for her and for Dr. Laura, too. Too bad Dr. Laura never had a good relationship with her mother—she might have enjoyed the friendship that is possible between mothers and daughters.

Many women phone their moms daily and many wish they still had that opportunity. Those of us who still can call our mothers are blessed. We know there’s one person who will always care about us and want to know what’s going on. And when your mother needs you, hopefully you’ll be there for her, too.

{ 3 comments }

Diane Levinson April 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm

My mom used to call her grandmother every day – and that’s going back to 1942 when her grandmother passed away. I wish I had a memory of my great grandmother.

I called my mom every day, too. And after my dad passed away, it was several times a day that we checked in. I sure miss that opportunity now. However, my daughter and I rarely miss a day. In fact I usually just have to think about calling her and the phone rings with her at the other end. And her children call whenever something special is happening….. Lately it’s the 3 year old using the potty that’s cause for joy…. So it’s going into the 6th generation….. thank you Alexander Graham Bell!

I agree that daughters do seem to have more “details” of their lives to share than sons do. It’s just the nature of the relationship, when it’s a positive one. Yes, Dr. Laura never had a good relationship with her mother, so she wouldn’t understand.

Just thought I’d give you my two cents worth.

Diane Levinson

Dr. Laura Schlessinger March 31, 2009 at 7:20 am

Thank you for the mention. I think my comments should be put back into their contexts. There are way too many women who spend more time with their mothers in person on the phone than they put into maintaining intimacy and bonding with their husbands…who often feel like the outside/third wheel. Wives must be sympathetic and understanding about the feelings their husbands have about their wives sharing intimacies and problems in the marriage on a daily basis with “their mommies.” Husbands often feel humiliated and betrayed.
I think it is wonderful to have a great adult relationship with one’s mom…wish I’d had that…but I do with my son. But, frankly, if he called me every day I’d worry about his coping abilities in life. Texting cool information or tidbits of affection are wonderful. Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Sally Wendkos Olds March 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Aren’t all your generations lucky to be able to talk to each other every day — and to enjoy the conversations! When my mother was still alive, long-distance phone calls were still a big deal, so we talked every Sunday. One week I would call her and my dad, and the next week they would call us. Now my daughters and I all have cheap phone service and we all have email, so that lets us stay in close touch. We don’t always talk or email every day, but often enough so we feel we’re in close touch. I’m with you about Dr. Laura — too much psychologizing about normal family relations!

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