Why Do They Hate Their Moms?


when parents hurtJoseph Coleman, PhD, wrote the book, When Parents Hurt.  His topic’s a hot one right now. How’d I hear about it?  Friends of mine…It seems many are going through painful times with grown children and they’re adrift.

Here’s what I hear:  “My adult ‘kids’ don’t ever seem to appreciate anything I’ve done for them.” “They disregard the reality I paid for their educations…cars…weddings.”  “Hell…my kids don’t even have college loans and you know how rare that is!”  (most young adults, today, are shellacked with school debt.)

“They accept it all as if I did what was expected” (tho’ they’ve got friends who got none of these perks from their own parents.)

Many mothers of divorce situations say their adult children are far more tolerant of absentee fathers than they are of them, despite the fact many were Dead-Beat Dads who spurned them for years, never bothering to acknowledge the connection.

Now, in supreme irony, those adult ‘kids’ reconnect with those same fathers, affording them respect in the process.

The women I talk to reference a deep resentment—especially from grown daughters, to their mothers, and these women are in significant pain. They can’t understand a scenario that sees them, later in life, served indifference…criticism…outright disrespect.

Is it the mere fact these women were of the first generation to go to work outside the home, raising children against that backdrop?  These were the women who sought childcare (in an era that saw few providers) to allow them to work.  They facilitated Scouts’ meetings, CCD (religious instruction), dance lessons, sports, school activities, doctors’ and dentists’ appointments, birthday parties, holiday events.

And they often did those solo (meaning non-custodial parent was off the responsibility hook.)

They juggled innumerable roles…roles often passed off to others in today’s modern families.

And now they’re served up a good portion of adult child resentment.

In supreme irony, those same parents are now told they didn’t do it ‘right enough.’

Oh, there are scads of books on the shelves today dealing with kid problems….How to help kids on the torturous path to adulthood; How to protect against bullying; How to integrate blended families.

These all promise the problems will ease…Adolescence will pass…

What there seems to be lacking, however, are books offering real help to parents with Adult ‘Kids’…Those who denied themselves personal freedom and self-pursuit to get those same adult kids to where they are today.

From where I sit:  This is an untapped audience and they’re waiting….Many of them confused, bewildered, and angry.  They’re waiting for sociologists and others who profess to understand human behavior to help them figure out where it all went so wrong….and why they must bear so much pain.

If you’re one, pick up this book….It just might help you understand a new national movement documented in Coleman’s book, When Parents Hurt.  Here’s an excerpt:

Not a Parenting Book

For all of its glory and gut-busting work, parenting is a dangerous undertaking. You put in long hours, examine every decision and action, do the best you can, and yet the child who once adored and needed you can come to reject, shame, or belittle you. The sweet kid who wrote you love notes and gave you hugs has written you off, or gives you the finger instead.

This book is written for parents who have concluded, after years of therapy, medication trials, soul searching, or family interventions that they should stop listening to all of those other parents, pediatricians, psychologists, and talk show experts who say that if they only do steps one through seven, they, too can have the relationship with their child that they always wanted. They have decided that these well-meaning advisors are naive, misinformed, or plain ignorant and wrong, because frankly, they are. Their advice is based on a parenting model that offers little to those who are greeted by pain, guilt, or disappointment every time they open the door to their teenager’s room or try to get their grown child to return their calls.

Now, the question remains:  “Is there hope?” “And if you’re the parent involved, do you even want that, anymore?”(Cuz maybe you’re so-o very tired of waiting….)

On another note, remember the child-rearing guru so many of us listened to, in the 50′s–Dr. Spock (no, not the one of “Star Trek fame)..His own grandson committed suicide, so it would appear that family didn’t have all the answers, either.  Perhaps no one has.

What do you say?  Are you one of the puzzled adults who doesn’t understand why this present generation is so angry with their Moms? If you’re not–but know someone who is–send this article to them to let them know the problem isn’t theirs alone.

That fact will give them small comfort in what’s becoming an ever-increasing problem. 



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My Life– Medically Speaking

brighter colleen kelly mellor picPatient Witness: My Lifelong Journey Thru the American Healthcare System


My plan, for years, was to write the story of my husband’s 18-month, lung cancer ordeal and its effect on us–his family. By doing this, I hoped to save other families the miseries we suffered.

But life interrupted.  There was the death of my fiancee, two years after my second husband died, a mere 24 hours after he experienced a heart attack…

There was my own breast cancer, mastectomy, and reconstruction, resulting in 5 surgeries over the next year and a half. It seemed every time I came up for air, I was hit again by a giant wave that knocked me down. Life was just too demanding.

But 20 years later, when my husband (yes, my ‘current’ one) and I endured a terrible medical experience, in Asheville, NC, echoing a familiar theme (doctors dismissed my concerns,) I determined to remain mute no longer. Life had changed me.

The years have made me a powerful advocate.  I used my knowledge and experience to fight for his well-being.  It was a long, tough journey, but we  prevailed.

Soon, I’ll share my information with you, in my book,  Patient Witness (to be offered at www.colleenkellymellor.com).  In the meantime, I give tasty morsels of the topics I cover in the author bio. section, in the lower part of the header picture on that site.

You’ll learn how you can increase success in interaction with those in the health care field. It’ll also show you what to steer clear of, too, as I share mistakes I made.

Some recount terrible experiences; others are hilarious; all are illuminating. The setting for these accounts is Rhode Island and North Carolina, over the course of 60+ years, which tells me the problems I encountered know no limits of time or geography.

Please join me on this journey.  And if you don’t wish to miss a post, sign up to get e-mail notification. My literary life is very busy this year, both with my columns appearing across New England and now in Asheville, NC where I’ll weigh in on life in the mountains from a senior perspective.

Now, click www.colleenkellymellor.com.


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New Year…A New Gig (or a Few of Them)…


cropped colleen kelly mellor as baby(Pic to the right is my baby pic…I’ve got a space in my front teeth a la Lauren Hutton. That’s basically all I have in common with that glamorous older star, but I’m still cute…Right?)

OK, I got a little delayed in posting this Biddy Bytes. That’s reasonable. We hosted Christmas and then got sick (I guess we’re getting too old for all the hullabaloo).  In any case, we’re in North Carolina now and will be for the next few months. It’s ironic:  We’re here to get out of the cold, but it’s colder here…Asheville was -40 degrees this past week (with windchill); -14 degrees otherwise. It was warmer in our home state of Rhode Island.

But on to my message. This year will be busy for me. I am now in hibernation mode to finish my book, Patient Witness, documenting my lifetime experiences with the health care industry. In it, I will peel away layers that have made me who I am–birth family, terrible marriages, bad decisions…how tough life crises made me a powerful advocate. Its message is positive (No Debbie Downer here.)  In the next months, I’ll edit the daylights out of it and prepare it for release.

In addition, I will continue with regular columns in the Providence Journal, about education (another topic near and dear to my heart.) I’ve made the commitment:  I won’t let my 30-year profession be beaten up by those who know nothing about teaching.  There’s been far too much of that. So, I’ll do my part.  Since Sept. 25, 2013, five of my Op-Eds have run in the Providence Journal on aspects of teaching (go to www.providencejournal.com,  then colleen kelly mellor in upper right hand Search bar.)

Finally, I will soon appear in regular columns in Mountain Xpress, the hip weekly magazine, here in the mountains of western North Carolina, where I’ll weigh in on host of issues and I’ll pack those posts with humor. The title of my column? “Asheville Under Glass:  View from the Lens of a Senior.”

So, retirement?  It’s not happening for me, if one means reading…golfing…traveling…relaxing.

Please make a note of the change-over to my new website…I’ll be adding to it in the weeks ahead til it’s complete….Biddy Bytes will morph into a website bearing my own name…one which will house educational Op-Ed’s, humorous anecdotes on the region of Asheville and surrounds, the Grandpa and the Truck books, and Patient Witness….

Now, go to www.colleenkellymellor.com and sign up, too, if you don’t wish to miss any. I’ll look forward to your weighing in on any of the issues I raise. Remember, it’ll take me a few weeks to get the new site all lined up, so please be patient.cropped miss mosey Below are some time-modified (a euphemism for “older”)colleen kelly mellor--asheville under glass shots of me..Little different from the baby shot above, but still “cute”?

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