In reality, many mom’s mean well, but unintentionally hurt their children. Or, some mom’s have been told that they’re overbearing, too involved, or too opinionated, but believe that their way of approaching parenting is the right way. One of my clients came to me because of guilt that she experiences with her mom because her mom will reprimand her in front of her own children and make comments about how she is doing things wrong in her marriage, but when she tells her mom that these things are hurtful, her mom responds by saying she is the one who feels hurt and she only wants to help.
You may be left feeling trapped and angry if your mom doesn’t listen to feedback, so you need to find out how to set your boundaries
If you have a mom that has poor boundaries and doesn’t take feedback when she is overly involved, it can leave you feeling trapped. Boundaries are vital to having a healthy relationship and a healthy connection with your mom. However, you may receive dismissive messages from others indicating that you need to let your mother be who she is because she only means well.
You don’t have to go along with how things have always been with your mom- You can set your boundaries
Here’s the thing: You can’t change your mom. She actually is who she is. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to accept the status quo and go along with it. You are an adult, who is separate from your mom. You get to make your own choices in life and having healthy boundaries means that when you make a choice, you practice being okay with it.
When you set a boundary for yourself, you will almost certainly get pushback. Your mom may attempt to guilt trip you and you may even have a little voice in your heads that tells you you’re doing it wrong. However, once you’ve followed through on making a decision and setting a boundary with success, you will gain confidence, which makes it easier to repeat.
NOT fighting in your relationship is just concerning as fighting too much. Healthy relationships should go through constant phases of CONNECTION, DISCONNECTION, and REPAIR.
You can show up for yourself in a way that your mom wasn’t able- when you learn how to set your boundaries, you will feel better
A loyal and attuned mom allows space for their child to see themself as separate, but supported. If your mom isn’t able to do this, then you can do it for yourself. When you create boundaries, you are effectively reparenting yourself by showing up in a way that your mom wasn’t capable. It can give you the skills to see your mom as separate, but supported in a new way as well. This isn’t to say that you need to be the parent and “mother” your mother, but it can give you choice and control in the type of relationship you have with her.
Once you see your mom as separate from you, but still human, something beautiful happens. You can salvage aspects of your relationship when you begin to see her insecurities, not from a critical eye, but as something that she has suffered with. This allows you to view her behavior and criticisms as being more about her feelings about herself than about you.
Changing the way you feel about your mom won’t change overnight, but if you take tiny and incremental steps to heal yourself, overtime, you will see a change. One great option for reading more about setting boundaries is Boundary Boss by Terri Cole. In this book, Cole gives great tips and tools for ways to set your boundaries and live a happier life.
Are you ready to get some extra support? Reach out!
- We offer support groups, workshops, and wellness retreats in addition to mental health counseling and therapy. You can find more details at www.tribemindbody.com/events