Your relationship with your mom is one of the very first and the longest relationships that you have, so it can grow complicated over time. As you get older, things that once seemed frustrating can become infuriating and your patience level for your mom can dip. Every interaction with her may make you feel like you want to scream! All the while, it’s possible that you feel guilt for not having a better relationship with your mom. This is because popular wisdom says that moms and daughters are supposed to be close.
The thing is that not all moms are created equal. Some develop the ability to love and support their daughters, while giving them support. But, other moms struggle to find the sweet spot of motherhood. This may come out with her being controlling, critical, or downright mean at times. Or, your mom may be passive aggressive and use guilt tacts to get you to see her point of view. If this is the case, it likely only leaves you feeling further disconnected from her.
You’re not stuck, you can renegotiate your relationship with your mom
If you have a mom who presents a challenge for you, you may feel stuck at times, but you are not. The relationship that you have with your mom can be renegotiated many times in your life. When this occurs, you can find new ways to relate to or perceive your mom. When you renegotiate your relationship, you get to take control and decide what you really want, not what you feel like you “should” do. You may even find a new appreciation for your mom.
Renegotiating the relationship with your mom may even bring your closer over time. If you aren’t left feeling resentful because you’ve stuffed down your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions, you will be more open. Practicing saying what you want may not please your mom at first, but it will help you.
Here is how you can start to renegotiate your relationship with your mom:
- Manage your expectations
If you expect your mom to be someone who she is not, you will continually be disappointed. Take her at face value and allow her to show up as she is. We only have power over how we personally show up, so be intentional about your own energy and give her space to be herself.
- Find distance
Not every relationship needs to be cut off. Sometimes, we just have to find either physical or emotional distance. You can determine what is right for you by considering how the distance you choose makes you feel. Does it make you feel content and in control?
- Remember that you don’t need to please your mom
When you realize that you aren’t responsible for your mom’s happiness, you can let go of the need to please her and actually focus on pleasing yourself. This doesn’t mean that you should stop taking her feelings into consideration, but you don’t need to put yourself on the back burner in order to make her happy. No one is responsible for our happiness, except us. In the book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes that one of the agreements is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” This is true, even with your own mom. She shows up in the world doing the best she can, which may still not feel good for you.
Are you ready to get some extra support? Reach out!
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