Ask Laskas: Motherly Misleadings

Jeanne Marie Laskas hands over the reigns to you: Play advice columnist and help mother is wedged between woes over her own mother and her grown up daughter.

Ask Laskas: Motherly Misleadings

I recently caught my 74-year-old mom lying o me about matters that concern my adult daughter. I believe she adds her own twist to the situation to create less concern on my part. It’s as if she thinks that I won’t have the right reaction to the truth. Do I confront my mother or let it go?

—Stuck in the Middle

What’s your take? Give your best advice in the comments below, and your answer might appear in the magazine.

Have your own qualm? Send your questions about manners, parents, partners, or office politics to advice@readersdigest.com. Sending gives us permission to edit and publish.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

Sending Message
how we use your e-mail

  • Your Comments

    • Ebuckl

      Regarding the woman in the next restroom stall carrying on a conversation: I agree with you that cell phones bring audible conversations into situations where they have no place. I think that anything you might have said directly would elicit some kind of negative response, so I suggest if this happens again let the “facilities” do the talking by repeatedly flushing the commode. Their typically quite loud, and if the person next door did say anything, you could respond with something like, “It just won’t all flush!!”, again, loudly.

    • Marvin Moore

      This is my response to the woman who’s bent out of shape over someone talking on the cell phone in a public restroom in the stall next to hers:

      Dear Seeking Privacy:

      The one seeking privacy should be the
      woman using the cell phone in her restroom stall. If you don’t know the woman,
      forget it. If she works at your place of employment or attends your church, you
      might say something like, “Heard you talking on your phone in the stall. Doesn’t
      it bother you that someone might be listening in the next stall?” Then let her
      figure it out.

    • Joanne MS

      I say let it go. If there are ‘matters’ as you say that are between your daughter (whom you say is an adult) and her grandmother, thats really not your business. If your daughter wanted you to know, she would tell you. Your mother shouldnt lie but if you are asking and putting your mother on the spot, what can she do. Im sure she doesnt want to betray her granddaughter. I say stay out of it

    • Ryan A Clegg

      I would certainly at to her about it. But first, a little introspection would be good. Do you tend to overreact? Are you easily frazzled? If so, then your mother may be valid in trying to keep you from getting upset. If you talk to her and she does feel that way, then maybe you could work on that while she works on being more honest.

    • Annette

      I think talking to someone about the fact that you can overhear her conversation  would be a waste of your breath.  She must have known and did not care. Your breath would be put to better use by making fake gaseous noises…that might have stopped her, or at least you wouldn’t hear her so well.

    • Sherry N. Howard

      you mentioned that your mom adds her own twist to your daughters problems in order to “create less concern for you.” It sounds to me as if she is trying to protect you, as most mothers do for their children. Your mom is aging. I say give her the joy of feeling as if she is doing some good for you and let it go. Life is too short to confront her over something like this, especially when it sounds as if she is only trying to help. 

    • Nikeydame

      Confront your mother in a loving way and let her know you can handle the truth. You also need to get close to your daughter so that she can tell you things without you finding out through a third party. Your Mum means well because she’s trying to protect her baby (you!!)

      Good luck

    • Pgalens

      You really need to let this go.  I don’t know how conversations about your daughters affairs start, but if you are questioning your Mother you need to stop. Your daughter is an adult. She shares information with her Grandmother that she’s not prepared to share with you and that is her choice not yours or your Mother’s.  When your daughter is prepared to share facts with you she will.  Until then if you want to preserve your relationship with your Mother it’s probably best if you avoid conversations about your daughter’s affairs.

    • Lyssa1494

      Let it go. Your mom is 74, your daughter is an adult, and life is too short.

    • John

      Ask Laskas; Stuck in the Middle
      First thing is this matter about your adult daughter. Key word; ADULT.  Maybe its time to let your daughter live her life and learn from mistakes made. As for Grandma; sounds like she is trying to keep peace in the family. Elderly people begin to look at things in a negative perspective. Sounds like grandma’s glass is half full and not half empty. The best advice for this situation is; LET IT GO.

      John R.