Our expert says:
Seeing how common this problem actually is, and how skilled some parents are at it, you'd think that Making Kids Feel Guilty was one of the primary tasks of a parent. But it isn't. Hunt around online, and see if you can find the classic and brilliant book "How to Be a Jewish Mother" ( the author points out from the start that one need be neither Jewish nor a mother to be a Jewish Mother ). SHe buys you, for your birthday, a red and a blue T-shirt. You thank her, and rapidly put on the nearest one, the red one. She bursts into tears, and says :"I knew it ! You HATE the blue shirt !"
And someone, somewhere must give lessons in those powerful sighs. Remember, that some moms have their own special variety of masochism, in which they actually enjoy a particular form of martyrdom, and will be skilled at interpreting nearly every action or inacion on your part, as neglect. The reporter asks the astronaut's mother, soon after SA's first woman astronaut has landed on Mars, "have you a message for your daughter ?" "Yes," she says, " Why can you never take the time to call your mother ?"
Set yourself free, recognize that both by your vists and your absences, you are contributing to her self-image and her enjoyment. Interesting, too, how they only do this to excellent children --- the worst daughter in th world never gets made to feel this way, but may get treated like royalty on the once a decade visits she makes.
I like VM's comment --- remember it IS a sign of how much she loves you, and be happy that she is still around to annoy and challenge you.
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