I have done and not done a lot of things in my life to please my mother, as have many of my friends. Even as adults, the need to be a good daughter, which often plays out as doing what your mother wants, whether consciously or not, still matters to a lot of us. For me, it’s the small things. My mother keeps everything and believes in wasting nothing and while I don’t believe in waste, I do believe in getting rid of old clothing, furniture and toys when they’re worn out. So I make it a point not to spring clean when I know she’s coming for a visit simply to avoid her getting upset, my getting upset and an unpleasant situation in general. Small potatoes, if you ask me.
Yet some women go to great lengths and dangerous extremes to keep major things from their mother. I know some women who hide illnesses, boyfriends, and jobs from their mother. One Queens, NY woman committed a heinous crime because she said she didn’t want her mother to know she was pregnant– so she threw her baby in the trash.
Dawa Lama, 23, abandoned her full-term infant daughter in an emergency room trash can at Elmhurst Hospital. Lama hid the entire pregnancy from her boyfriend and mother and when she delivered, she got rid of the baby. What’s so disturbing about this story is just how close this baby could have been kept safe. Lama was already in a hospital and under New York State law, mothers can leave a baby within five days of its birth at any city hospital or fire house with no questions asked. The baby could have been alive and healthy right now. Instead, the newborn girl who had been on life support since May 10, died on Wednesday.
Some say Maria Shriver stayed in her marriage so long despite the countless rumors of Schwarzenegger’s infidelity until her mother died. There are reports that her mother told her to stick it out.
While the Lama case is extreme, not knowing her mother’s religious beliefs, health or state of mind, I can’t begin to speculate what she is thinking, but I think it’s safe to say that the great majority of mothers would never want their daughter to be so afraid of disappointing them that they would commit acts of desperation.
On a much smaller scale, I hope that my daughters never feel so overwhelmed or afraid of what I’ll think that they will be afraid to tell me anything. I hope I never grow to nag them as they get older to do things my way. Yes, of course, many mothers and daughters have an intensely close, almost inexplicable bond but we are separate people with different beliefs at times and it’s OK. I only wish that Lama realized that before she threw her baby daughter away.
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