Did the mother's habits form because they worked for everybody or did they form because that was the only way to get a call back from her daughter.
We know this method "works" for LadyL. After all, she has all the power in the situation. What I'm doubting is that this works for her mother, who is making all of the effort.
I do hope that the OP is more conscientious about returning her mother's calls in the future.
If the OP's mother wants to change the status quo it is up to her to tell the OP that; I don't see anywhere that the mother has informed the OP that the current method of communication isn't working out for her. Different families have different communication styles and people can't be expected to psychically know that other people are unhappy, especially if the unhappy people don't speak up!
But what if the OP's mother didn't see this as the "status quo", but a rude imposition she was forced to play along with if she wanted a call back from her daughter? Granted, saying "I don't want to have to call you multiple times to get a call back from you." would get results a lot faster, but I think if she refuses to play along and the OP misses a few family things because of it, the message would hopefully be heard.
In fact, I think that's the recommendation Mom would get if she posted here for advice.
You think we would tell the mother that she needs to tell her daughter to call her back more quickly? I wouldn't. I'd tell her to just leave one message and no matter how hard it is, wait for a call back without calling again.
No, I was referring to the bolded. I think she would be advised to not play along, and that if her daughter missed events because of it, "bed/made/lie."
Taking the attitude of "bed/made/lie" to me implies letting the natural consequences occur and not getting further involved. So, letting the OP miss the event, and hoping the disappointment of missing it will inspire her to change her behavior to avoid missing future events. The problem here is that the OP wasn't the one who was upset about her missing the event!
Once the mother started acting peeved about the OP missing the event, it was IMO no longer a case of "bed/made/lie" (or rather it's a case of "bed/made/lie" for the mother
, not the OP). Changing one's own behavior in hopes that the consequences will motivate someone else to adjust their behavior is fine. However, changing one's established pattern of behavior without warning and expecting the other person to immediately adjust to the new behavior that they don't yet know about is insane. The mother chose a course of action that she knew risked having the message not get through in time and then got annoyed because...the message didn't get through in time. Yes, she can be annoyed all she likes and yes, she has the right to try changing her communication habits without discussing it, but if having the OP at the event mattered to her, then she very predictably set herself up for failure. And IMO, doing this and acting annoyed afterwards is continuing to set herself up for failure. Expressing disappointment that the OP couldn't be there might motivate a change in behavior; expressing annoyance is more likely to make the recipient defensive and dig their heels in more.