DEAR ABBY: I was a single mother throughout my only child's early years. I had no financial or moral support from the child's father. Luckily, I had a good job that enabled me to take good care of my daughter. I did not believe in giving my child a stepfather, so I remained single. My daughter had a good religious education, loving home, a dedicated and adoring mother, vacations, the best schools, health care, etc. We enjoyed a wonderful and loving relationship.
However, as soon as my daughter became a teen-ager, she decided to stop calling me "Mother." She insisted on addressing me by my first name because I was her "friend." For years, we have had numerous discussions on that subject -- me explaining my unhappiness, she insisting on using my first name and ignoring my hurt feelings. I never wanted to be referred to as one of her many friends. I wanted to be called "Mother."
At 49 years old and married (no children), she has lived out-of-town for many years and her attitude is cold and distant. Her friends are the center of her life. How do you explain such treatment?
I now have the opportunity to become a foster mother to a child. I would insist that this child call me "Mother." Unfortunately, I fear that my desire to be called "Mother" is based only on the longing to be called that by my own child. Under such circumstances, should I go ahead and bring this young child into my home, maybe making her unhappy and leaving myself vulnerable for another disappointment in life? -- DISAPPOINTED MOTHER IN FLORIDA
DEAR DISAPPOINTED MOTHER: I don't know what happened between you and your daughter, but it seems you and she have very different perspectives on her childhood and the nature of your relationship. Perhaps it's time for you to suggest to her that you both sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation about those perspectives.
Under no circumstances should you take a child into your home for the reasons you have stated. It would be grossly unfair to the child.