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 09, 2012

You, Your Difficult Mother and Mother’s Day

Perhaps you're fed up with trying to win your mom’s approval and be accepted for who you are. Or you’re tired of feeling guilty and blaming yourself for the problems. Although we all want an emotionally healthy relationship with our mother, sometimes it’s not possible. Instead of trying to placate mom, understand that the anger is her problem and it’s not your responsibility to manage her emotions.

Silence your self doubt. It’s not uncommon for insecurity to be the legacy of a difficult mother. Challenge your negative internal scripts and put them to rest. Value those who listen as you share your opinions and desires. This will remind you that close relationships can be different from your relationship with your mother.

Begin to practice self love. You’ll feel more empowered as you list all that you have achieved without your mom’s encouragement or support. Realize that these assets belong to you alone. If you've spent a lifetime trying to be taken care of or consumed with rage about not having that kind of love, it may be hard to see yourself as the valuable person you really are. You’ll come to know that you are not defined by your mom but by what you envision yourself to be.

Notice the positives of the life you've created. When you were young, your mom's attitude or actions may have made you feel worthless or invisible. Did you fantasize about getting out from under her control and moving far away? Now that you are perhaps married, with a family and a successful life, you're no longer that helpless little girl. Admire and respect your grown up qualities - how responsible you are, being able to laugh at yourself, your fierce independence, common sense and good judgment.

As you continue working to get what you need, consider the possibility of offering forgiveness. Granted, your mom may have made it difficult to accept yourself or trust others. But know that forgiving your mother for who she is doesn't necessarily excuse her actions. And starting to extinguish the feelings of rejection and resentment can mark a new beginning for you - a Mother's Day gift that you give yourself, freeing you from the past.

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