Things They Can’t Say: With Just a Bit of Magic

Jackie is a wife, mother of 4, project manager, writer, and social media consultant and to pull it all off it takes a bit of magic! And yes… she does have a magic wand! You can find her at With Just a Bit of Magic, on twitter as @JackieCross, facebook, instagram, pinterest, and google+.

I’ve read Things I Can’t Say for a long time now and as a matter of fact it was one of the first blogs that I started reading. I’m not the best fan though because I don’t always comment, but I’m there!


When Shell contacted me and asked if I’d like to post I immediately replied that I would love to. Here’s the thing… I’ve always known what I would write if she ever asked and it’s truly something that I can’t say on my blog. I can’t say it because I’m not sure who from my family reads it or not and what I have to say is likely to upset someone. I avoid confrontation as much as possible!


Through reading blog posts, Twitter, and Instagram I can see that so many of my online & real life friends have great relationships with their moms. Their moms are part of their everyday lives…. They call to see how the grandkids are doing, to check in on the little ones cold, to see how your job is going or for any other number of reasons. They visit because they love seeing their grandchildren and don’t want to miss out on anything and of course they visit you because you are their child and they love you more than anything.


To say that I am jealous is an understatement.


I’m hurt.


I’m confused.


I’m lost.


Why? Because my mom is absent from my life and I don’t know why. Yes, she does call on occasion but usually she needs something or has a technical question for us. Funny thing is that the last time she called was because she needed my sisters phone number so she could call and wish her a happy birthday. Not to say hi or see how we were doing. I didn’t return the call.


My kids don’t know their grandma and as a matter of fact she has only ever seen Andrew once in his entire life and that was when he was 5 months old… he just turned 2 ½ this month. He will never know his grandma.


I miss my mom. A lot, and it makes me upset and brings tears to my eyes that she isn’t part of my life whenever I think about it. Writing this is so hard too… I am literally pouring my heart out and holding back the tears as best as I can.


I don’t know how to fix it or how to even talk to her about it. Even though it’s the one thing that I want more than anything.


To make it more difficult she moved out of the state and decided to make Arizona her home while she drives semi-trucks back & forth across the country with her boyfriend [of the last 6 or 7 years].


I want to be able to call my mom and see if she wants to have lunch with me on Saturday.


I want to ask if she’d take the kids for an hour or two just so I can get some cleaning done around the house.


I want her to come to the kids sporting events, school plays, and concerts and see the look of pride on her face as she watches her grandkids.


I want to be able to talk to her when I need advice.


I don’t want to wonder if there was something that I said or did to cause this separation.


I don’t want to have to answer the questions from my kids as to why grandma isn’t around ever.


The other day I shared a picture of my son on Facebook through Instagram and she commented on that picture (because that’s how she knows what’s going on in our lives…. Facebook). She said that he was a handsome little man… That comment & that she “Liked” the picture just pissed me off. How could she just slip in and out like that and think that trying to keep up through Facebook counts as a relationship??? It doesn’t…. it’s Facebook stalking.


I’ve talked to my sister about this at length time and again and neither of us has come to any sort of conclusion as to why she is this way. The best thing that my sister has been able to say is, ‘It’s just the way she is and we’ll have to accept it’


I don’t accept that. How as a mother do you just move ahead with your life practically forgetting that you have 3 children and 8 grandchildren who want you in their lives? Who need you in their lives.


There’s an old say that we don’t always get what we want. I believe that is true in this case and eventually I will have to fully accept it, but for now I am holding on to the fraying thread that she will come around and fully be part of our lives again.


There is one good thing…. I have a step-mom who by all means is my mom and has been for the past 25+ years. She is grandma 100% to my kids and always will be no matter what. She is the one that is there for me when I need someone, when the kids need someone, and who I can count on.

Please leave Jackie some comment love here and then go follow With Just a Bit of Magic if you don’t already! 


  1. says

    Aww Jackie.  This made me cry.  I’m so sorry you don’t have the relationship with your mom that you’re so longing for.  I can’t imagine my life without my mom in it.

    On the flip side, I also know how it is to have a family remember be removed.  My inlaws live 10 minutes from us, and they can go a month or two without seeing their grand kids.  It boggles my mind.  Sure, they also facebook stalk, but you’re right, it’s not the same.
    Kmama recently posted..Proud Mommy Moments: HelpersMy Profile

    • says

      My inlaws and my EX inlaws live close and they visit/call more than my mom! Here’s the funny thing…. my ex inlaws consider my son their grandchild too even though he isn’t!! Now that is a parent.
      Jackie recently posted..Things I can’t say…My Profile

  2. says

    Jackie, this made me cry. I can so feel your hurt and heartache and longing for your mom. I’m so very sorry that she hasn’t been what you need and want in your life. However, I’m grateful that you do have a stepmom who is able to fill in the gaps to an extent. Hugs and love to you, my friend!
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell recently posted..The Kitchen TableMy Profile

  3. says

    I’m so sorry for the hurt in your relationship with your mother. I hope so much that it is able to heal and that she comes to love being around you and her precious grandchildren.
    colleen recently posted..The Women In The WindowMy Profile

    • says

      I do too. But I don’t think that it’s going to happen…. the oldest is almost 17 now. And my brothers kids have only seen her twice I think and she lives in the same state as them now!
      Jackie recently posted..Things I can’t say…My Profile

  4. says

    Oh Jackie I am so sad for you :(
    I also understand where you are coming from. My mom does these types of things, although not as extreme. She does come and visit, but when I ask her to I feel as if I’m putting her out.
    We do talk on the phone, but when we’re in person it’s the complete opposite. I wish I could have my phone mom. My mom just has this attitude of “I’m 62 years old everyone needs to respect me because I’m an elder.” If she doesn’t understand or like the way things are done she won’t get involved or complains the entire time, making me miserable in the process.
    I too, wish I could have the relationship with my mom that I see others having with theirs.
    Erin recently posted..Stupid Swimming LessonsMy Profile

    • says

      I’m sorry… that has to be a difficult situation too. Phone mom… that is an interesting way to put it. When I’m on the phone with mine … on the rare occasions she does call… it’s like everything is alright for just those few minutes. But I know deep down that it isn’t.
      Jackie recently posted..Things I can’t say…My Profile

  5. says

    Oh, Jackie…I’m so sorry :( 
    I’d like to believe that she’ll come around, but it sure doesn’t seem like it, does it? It’s her loss, even though you’re the one feeling the pain. 
    Kimberly recently posted..Airmail EnvelopeMy Profile

  6. says

    thank you for telling us your heartfelt story…I’m sure it must have been very hard. I know some mothers that are like this and I will never understand it. ::hugs::

  7. says

    I’m sorry. My relationship with my mom is conflicted, but she is very involved.

    As I was reading, I was wondering if there was someone else in your life who could be a pseudo mom. I was happy to learn of your step mom. I know its not the same, but I’m glad there is someone.

    I’m sure in someways, the fact that your mom is around and just not THERE, makes it a lot harder than if she was just completely out of your life.
    Sorta Southern Single Mom recently posted..Friday Fragments: Jealousy, Remembering, and Reading Oh My!My Profile

  8. Ellen says

    That sucks for you and your kids. Even worse because it used to be different. Could it be the boyfriend? My mom lives in another state and comes to visit once or twice a year. In between she rarely calls. When she does call she just starts right in the middle of a sentence and the whole conversation is about her. Last year she wished me happy birthday on Facebook–and that was it. She’s never sent me a mother’s day card. It lonely not to have a close relationship with my mom and I wish it was different.

    • says

      You’re right… it is lonely to not have a close relationship. My mom did the same thing w/telling me happy birthday… facebook… the same thing that mere acquaintances do!
      Jackie recently posted..Things I can’t say…My Profile

  9. SueB says

    My mom is just a blah grandmother. It’s like she used up all of her mothering on her 5 kids and she never, ever wanted anything to do with her grandkids – the only contact was when their parents would visit and bring the kids. She never took them overnight or on trips or for dates. Now she wonders why they never want to see her. And I don’t have kids of my own, but our contact is all about her – when she asks “Are you busy tonight?” it isn’t because she wants to spend time WITH me, but because she wants me to do something FOR her.

    I’m sorry this suck so much. I guess your sister is right. That’s just the way they are. Bless your stepmother. She sounds like a keeper.
    SueB recently posted..Toyota Exit the HighwayMy Profile

  10. says

    That must be so hard. I can understand where you’re coming from because I don’t have a solid relationship with my mother either. I grew up in foster care and by the time my mother “got it together,” I was already independent and had graduated from college already. So… it’s hard. 

    I totally feel you.
    Alicia @MommyDelicious recently posted..On Fostering Resilience in Our ChildrenMy Profile

  11. says

    Aw…Jackie…my heart hurts for you. I am so glad that your step mother is there for you but I get it that it doesn’t replace the love from your mother or take away the wonder of what went wrong. I think you are right, eventually she is going to realize what she is missing and by then, sadly, it will be too late. I wish things were different for you. Hugs.
    AnnMarie recently posted..10 Things That Make Me AngryMy Profile

  12. says

    I have that same disbelief and skepticism when I hear friends talk about their loving involved moms. My mom sends me cards, but they usually arrive several weeks after she told me the exact opposite on the phone. Basically, my parents love me, but only if I can be the daughter they want me to be. And Queer, Agnostic, advocate for gentle parenting was not what they had in mind. They have now told me that I can no longer visit, or even come into the area without informing them first, because they have to keep my siblings from ever discovering that my spouse and I are “choosing to live in sin”. It sucks. And it is hard to have my kids ask if we can go see grandma (we went to see them a few times a year even though they never come to see us) and have to reply that grandma and grandpa don’t want to see us right now. I wish there was some way to be good enough for them to want to be involved, but I’ve gotten to the place of realizing that all I can do is live my life, and let them live theirs. Maybe they will figure it out someday.

  13. says

    Jackie, I’m sorry about this. I can’t imagine my mom not being in my kids’ lives. I’m glad you have a wonderful stepmom, and I wish for you that things were different :(

  14. says

    Oh, Jackie. I know so well where you coming from with this. I’m glad you have your stepmother. I’m glad I have my mother-in-law whom I adore. My mother lives no more than 25 minutes away yet she has seen my children perhaps three times this year — all holidays. She does not call. If I call her, she’ll return the call, but (damn it hurts to say this) I don’t call anymore. I genuinely want that relationship with her that my sisters have. That’s right; my mom talks to my older sisters DAILY. When she’s been around at holidays or birthdays, I realize I don’t have anything to say to her. She comes in, expects someone to offer her a seat if there are none, and then she promptly yells at my kids about something or is sarcastic. My oldest daughter has no desire to talk to her. My middle girl is a pleaser so she sits and talks but then comes to me confused about why her grandmother (who wants to be called anythng other than grandma but never likes what they come up with) is asking how 2nd grade is. She’s in 4th. And my son just ignores her (he’s 2; he’s good at it). She thinks my children are rude. I think my children are simply aloof because they don’t know her.

    I truly wish you and I could have the mother-daughter relationship we crave. I truly do.
    Arnebya recently posted..Writer’s Workshop: All of ItMy Profile

    • says

      See in that situation I’d be even more hurt… how can a mom simply ignore one child and give all her attention to the others? That simply isn’t fair…. or right. Maybe it comes down to the fact that we’re better off without them?
      Jackie recently posted..Things I can’t say…My Profile

  15. says

    Oh Jackie, I empathize so much! My mom is only superficially interested in her only grandchild and is extremely passive aggressive. We don’t have a close relationship and I feel bad about it, but not bad enough to do anything about it because she makes everything about her. She won’t call us; she’ll stalk us via Facebook and then email me huffily if we haven’t updated our status recently enough. It’s very frustrating.
    KeAnne recently posted..To Eat More Chikin or Not – That is the QuestionMy Profile

  16. says

    So sorry for your pain. I too have a mom for many years was not really involved in our lives. Now that she is older, she moved in with me and we are still working on our relationship, but having past resentments this is extremely hard for me. I think I have forgiven her, then something comes up and I realize I still haven’t gotten over  the past. You are not alone.
    Kim L recently posted..Project Fig Review (Skin Care for Intimate Grooming)My Profile

  17. says

    My heart is heavy for you. To say that I don’t know what you’re talking about would be a total lie. As you and I talk about, the relationship I have with my mom is strained, at best, too. You really need to know that you did nothing wrong, you said nothing wrong, this is her choice. And she appears to be living in oblivion.

    Reading everyone’s comments about how they, too, have crappy mom/daughter relationships makes me sad too. I hope that all of us moms take it to heart and make it our life’s goal to have a fulfilling relationship with our kids – one that fulfills THEM and their needs.

    And PS, man oh man, I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve contemplated starting an anonymous blog just to write about ‘things’.
    Jill recently posted..GIVEAWAY: Give thanks with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, dedicate a virtual tree and enter to win $50!My Profile

  18. says

    That letter hurt my heart to read. I am so close to my own mom and she would take my girls from me if I let her. I don’t like knowing that you are all missing out on this relationship. I’m glad you were able to get it all out though on Shell’s blog. You couldn’t have come to a safer place. Also, thank goodness for your stepmom!
    Kristen recently posted..Invasion of the Bird KindMy Profile

  19. says

    Thanks for sharing this today. I know it was hard.  My parents are 800 miles away and not retired, but see my children as much as my in-laws who live 200 miles away and are retired. They act like it is such an inconvenience for them to come see us.  I know it hurts my husband’s heart though he brushes it off.

    Wishing you peace and happiness.
    Making It Work Mom recently posted..It Makes You Stronger, Right?My Profile

  20. says

    Jackie, thanks for pouring your heart out. I can completely understand all of this. I have analyzed, over analyzed, and then dissected my mother’s actions time and again. The only comfort I can afford myself is that it must pain her to be near us and that her growing up years must have been terrible. I truly feel moms and grandmoms like this avoid any situation that causes them to ‘feel’ to much. These are the walls and barriers they have placed around their hearts to avoid being hurt. They refuse to grow or change or have any kind of relationship that would challenge them. They justify their actions by saying things like ‘i did my duty’ (raising kids) or ‘It’s time for me to follow my own dreams’. But at what cost.
    Cindy Bryl recently posted..The PlanMy Profile

  21. says

    Read this yesterday and just didn’t have time to respond then so wanted to come back today.  I know how hard this must be for you.   I never had a close relationship (friend type relationship) that a lot of other friends may have had with their moms, but she certainly is part of my life.   As a mom now,  I hope to have a better relationship with my daughter where we enjoy spending time together.  Thank goodness for your stepmother. Some people can’t seem to ever take responsibility, and it sounds as if your mom is one of those people.  So sorry!
    Leigh Powell Hines recently posted..Leigh’s Frivolous Friday: How Digital Have You Gone with Décor?My Profile

  22. says

    I can completely relate.  Although I was the one that moved away, and realize I’m sure I hurt my mom in the process, I also recognize that with any relationship it does take two.  I’m not on the best of terms with my mom right now, and well, alls I can hope is that one day it will turn around.

    It makes me sad to know your mom is still like this, and is missing out on knowing her grandchildren.  But you are very fortunate to have other supportive people in your life, and those are blessings in disguise!

  23. says

    I can’t pour my heart out entirely, even in another space so far from my blog like this, but I’ll just keep it to – I understand.  And I am so happy you have your step-mom to balance things out.  It’s hard for us to have a long-distance relationship, my parents and my kids, but we really have no choice given the distance.  Which is not your point, I know.

    Lady Jennie recently posted..La Seine et Les SeinsMy Profile

  24. says

    A gut-wrenching, Jackie. Thank you for being so brave and honest. I hope sharing the details of your relationship with your mom brings you some peace and helps you take in even more love from other mom figures. Sending you a big hug and a wish for more love than you can imagine!
    Mary @ A Teachable Mom recently posted..Guest Posting on Today!My Profile

  25. says

    This made my heart hurt for you. My relationship with my mother is so strained and I have no idea why. She lives 5 minutes away but I still can’t turn to her when I need a break from the kids. And advice? I haven’t asked her since I was an early teen. 

    I’m glad that you have such an amazing step mother, though I know that still doesn’t replace your mom. I hope for you and the kids she is able to turn around. Sending you hugs!
    Kimberly recently posted..Essence Of NowMy Profile

  26. says


    My heart aches for you, as I can relate so well. My mom and I don’t have much of a relationship either and our relationship is mostly through facebook. We are an Army family stationed in Germany, and we have an American phone number and she calls it on birthday’s and if a family member has died (most of the time, although she’s informed me of deaths via facebook too..oh so lovely).
    Praying for you. I hope you won’t live in the what if’s, because even if she lived close, my guess is she’d be siimilar to my mom, who lives 1/4 of a mile from my brother, his wife, and 2 little girls and my parents hardly see them, rarely if ever go to their sporting events, etc.
    It’s your mom’s loss truly. It sounds like you have a mom in your step-mom and your kids have amazing grandparents, whether they share blood with them or not.

  27. says

    Aww this makes me so sad to read. I’ve also never understood how a parent can be that distant from their children/grandchildren and not seem to be bothered. I’m glad you have such an amazing stepmother though. It’s so special to find someone who loves you that much when you’re not even their own. I feel kind of like that with my step-father, since my father was never really in the picture. This must’ve been such a hard story to share.
    Nessa recently posted..My girl is 10 months oldMy Profile

  28. steph says

    My mom was widowed young, so my older sibs grew up with my biological father as their “dad.” We always remained close with their father’s family. Yes, we. We don’t do “steps.” I was considered a grandchild/niece/cousin and my father carved the turkey at Thanksgiving. My father’s family, though, is another story. They had a prodigal son — his brother — and my amazing dad was an outcast. They’ve never liked any of us and have been pretty cruel over the years. My dad did that “that’s just how they are bit” but, once I was of age, I just gave up completely. I’m cordial, but we will never be close. I was lucky to have a bonus family (my mom’s family is VERY close, too) because I got no love from my blood relatives. Count your blessings for your family — by blood or affection — and don’t sweat it. It’s your mom’s loss.

    Thanks for sharing. Take care!

  29. says

    Oh, Jackie, I am really sorry about your relationship with your mom. I know how this can be. My parents divorced when I was young and then my mom died when I was 19. My relationship with my dad is nothing like what I would want for me or my kids. We are not close and he is a closed-off person. I, like you, have tried to just accept that about him. Each time I see him, though, it leaves me feeling uprooted and strange. The truth is, we cannot change other people, only ourselves. I do think it might be worth writing her an emial, though, and saying how you feel. Then you would be giving her a chance to fix it and if not, you could chalk it up to her loss (which it clearly is). So glad you have a stepmother to help keep your kids in hugs and love.
    Mel recently posted..FiftyMy Profile