Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Your Relationships with Mom May be Complicated this Mother's Day

Are your plans for Mother's Day affected by your complex feelings for your aging mother? Your relationship with your mom is likely to be full of twists and turns, evolving over the years as you change. One Sandwiched Boomer ruminates about how she transformed her connections with her mother:

When Carol was a teenager, she felt that her strong mother was trying to control her. She looked forward to getting out from under her thumb and moved far away when she married and raised her own family. As her children matured, so did Carol. Soon she recognized that she admired and respected many of her mother’s characteristics - her sense of responsibility, her independence, her humor, her common sense. She forgave her mother and began to reach out to her: After she had a stroke, I moved her into our home. We all became closer and I began to understand her better. I wouldn't trade that year for anything.

On Monday, we shared some tips with you for making Mother's Day especially meaningful this year. Here are 4 more to consider as you plan for this Sunday - and the rest of the years you have together:

The old fashioned art of letter writing can help you develop a closer bond. Write her a letter about how grateful you feel to have her as your mother. Sharing these feelings increases good memories about the past and leads to greater personal satisfaction for both of you.

If you have some old issues to work out with your mother, you may be able to move forward in addressing them by writing her an apology letter or a letter offering forgiveness. When you apologize, you free yourself from shame or guilt and your mother from dwelling on anger or resentment.

When you forgive your mother for some past transgression, it doesn't necessarily excuse the action, but does free you from ruminating about it. Forgiveness releases you from the past; it is a gift that you give to yourself.

On some of your visits after Mother's Day do a chore to ease her burden - go grocery shopping together, accompany her to the next doctor's appointment, cook a delicious meal with enough left over for the next day.

Enjoy your mother on Sunday and savor these moments. Reflect on the positive feelings you have from the past and cultivate rich memories now to sustain you in the future. And have a happy Mother's Day yourself.

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