Her mother loves her dearly, but was not able to provide her with a great life a child should have lived. Sadly, there was not enough weighing on their relationship her mother welcomed a new husband and more children. Emily seemed to be pushed farther from the entire family. As time goes on Emily grows up, her mother criticizes and blames herself for the distance between the relationships. It is causing tension in their already rocky relationship.
Her unwillingness to adapt to change becomes a major conflict. "Bite back your tongue"(89) her mother's harshness on her while growing up may have caused her lack of self-confidence foiled but assurance. Not only that caused her to resent her mother but the way she introduced her to perfect strangers, "This is my daughter Waver-ly Jong"(101) just to tell people or make reference to the TIME article on Waverly cause her to become upset.
Then when she started having all the yelling from her mom when she did not do something right she was not feeling the fun. Everything was not all happy when it came down to her being perfect liked her mom wanted her to be. Well one day Jing- mei did not want to go practice the piano and her mom did not like the word no! So Jing- mei got really upset and her mom tells her “ too late to change this” (Tan 231). Jing- mei decided that she was not going to do what her mother wanted her to do.
She intuitively knew that her mother did not posses some of the qualities she desired and this frustrated her. While at the end of the story, Beccah learns to feel love for her mother (given her tragic circumstances), it is clear that she was angered, frustrated, and embarrassed at times- and at some level wished she could have had a different parent.
Her Auntie Doll was her only possible female role model in her life, but Hagar did not have much appreciation or respect for her. It seemed as though she was moving in on her mother's territory. Without a mother figure in her developing years, Hagar had to learn things for herself when it was not appropriate to talk about something with her father; this caused her to make more mistakes along the way. She holds a strong resentment towards other women, especially her mother. Hagar believes her mother was weak for dying during childbirth, in reality it was a situation entirely out of anyone's control.
Sometimes children complain about their mothers, each wishing they could have different type of mom. The lives and situations of each mother were different, but in my opinion, both mothers were a bad model for parenting. "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen shows us a mother who is struggling through her own life and does not pay any attention to her daughter. The mother in this story happens to be the narrator, and we get the indication that she isn't a very good mother. To start, she was very young when she first had Emily.
In the beginning, while she is ironing, the mother of a nineteen-year-old girl reflects on her daughter’s childhood. She is caught between feeling responsible for Emily’s unhappy childhood and realizes that she was powerless in making her life better due to the lack of alternatives. As she is ironing, the mother remembers back to when her eldest daughter was an infant. She was a young, inexperienced mother who followed “like the books said” (204) and considered Emily to be “the first and only one of [her] five [children] that was beautiful at birth” (203). During the worst years of the Depression, her husband deserts the family leaving them to fend for themselves.
Gertrudis leaves in the beginning which shows that she is bound to her family but doesn't want to be there she wants to do her own thing and lead her own life. I don't believe that Gertrudis pulls apart from any of her family. Rosaura is the weakest of them all, she is very jealous of her sister Tita and that is why she marries Pedro. Rosaura is also the most unhappy she isn't content with what she has so she feels the need to take away other people's happiness because of her ragging jealousy. Rosuara's dies with an illness and unhappiness and this shows her bitterness towards life.
Poor Emily received little attention when attention was needed, allowing us to condemn the mother for her actions. At the same time we understand her because in the past 19 years there were certain situations that they endured where she had no control, leaving her helpless. What we see in the mother from the beginning is guilt, guilt about neglecting Emily. After a concerned phone call about her daughter, anger caused by guilt buried within herself emerges “who needs help…you think because i am her mother I have a key...there is all that life that has happened outside of me, beyond me.” The mother is defensive and outraged about this phone call at first but shortly after we see the guilt. We find ourselves asking why does she act this way and how is guilt associated with the way she acted?
[She] hated the test, the raised hopes and failed expectations” (Tan 223). Because the narrator knows she isn’t good at these things she is doing, rage started to grow inside of her. Parents tend to push their children into changing for the better. Children aren’t appreciative of that and some rebel to show his or her parent that they don’t want to change. Jing-mei expresses her dismay and reveals, “I won’t let her change me, I promise myself, I won’t be what I’m not” (Tan 223).