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Disregarding the Ties to Our Mothers


Did your mother do or say something recently that made it seem impossible to ever talk to her again? Are you trying to distance yourself from your mom because you just don’t see eye to eye on anything?

As women, we sometimes try so hard to carve out our own identity by erasing, avoiding, or disregarding everything that reminds us of our mothers that we essentially lose who we are and doom ourselves to unconsciously repeat the mistakes of our mothers and sometimes even grandmothers.{{more}} This need to be ourselves without looking at the influences and life patterns of the women around us is one of the reasons why generations of women in the same family have babies as unwed teenagers, habitually have affairs with married men, enter into bad relationships or abandon careers before getting off the ground.

As we honor mothers this Mother’s Day, it is imperative that every woman know we sabotage our lives and our successes by disregarding the life experiences of our mothers and the impacts their decisions had on our lives and on our decision-making patterns. Three reasons we can’t stand our mothers:

1. She is usually right. A good mother has a way of sensing when people or things just aren’t right. It’s not because she has special powers but that life has given her wisdom from her own experiences. That’s why, when you were a teenager, she made such a fuss about keeping you in the house and away from boys of questionable character. You probably interpreted that action as her overreacting, being unreasonable, and not trusting you. But she understood the consequences of teenage girls getting involved prematurely with the opposite sex, the list of life-altering penalties—pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, broken hearts, distraction from academics, and much more.

2. We are disappointed in some of her life choices. Don’t be too quick to pass judgment on your mother for decisions she had to make in her life. Everyone does the best they know how in a given moment, no matter how warped the decision may seem. People always like to say, “If that had been me, I would have . . . ” But you never know until you are in the situation and experience all the emotions that caused them to make the life choices they made. Be compassionate towards her until you’ve had the opportunity to walk a mile in her shoes.

3. She is too critical and controlling. You sometimes clash with your mother because she seems to be too controlling and critical about decisions you are making in your life. I asked my mother once, Why do mothers do that? She answered that their actions are often driven by fear and the need for a parent to try as best they can to spare their children the hurt and pain that life can dish out. Even after you are all grown-up and have a family of your own, some moms still feel they know best and will treat you like a child.

Mending fences with your mother

If your relationship with your mom is a tumultuous one, other aspects of your life are probably in turmoil, as well, because the two are connected. You cannot be at your best until you’ve reconciled the relationship with your mom. It is time to reconcile. But, how?

Embrace her for who she is. Your mother may sometimes be an annoying person, but chances are she is going through many of the same issues you are facing as a woman: trying to define or redefine herself, trying to find love and accomplishment, and trying to be accepted—on many different levels. Although she’s an adult, she might have unresolved issues with her own mother that you are not aware of—even if her mother has died. Pieces of your character have been permanently shaped by your interaction with your mom, so find positive aspects of your relationship with her and accept that her condition is just part of who she is and who you are. Celebrate your relationship! Trying to obliterate any traces of her influence in your life will only cause you to unconsciously become more like her.

Forgive her. If your mother was less than motherly and did not protect you as mothers should, this is the time to forgive her; or, maybe it is time you go and ask her for forgiveness. Doing so is not to help your mom feel better but to lighten the load of anger, guilt, or shame that you may be experiencing. These are destructive emotions. If you are experiencing strife in your relationship with your mother, investigate the family, and you will probably see a history of troubled mother-daughter relationships. This is the time to break the cycle, before it continues on with your children.

Love her. Some unfortunate people do not realize the power of love until a person has died. By then, they can only wish they had expressed their love and affection—because it’s too late. You don’t even really have to wait for Mother’s Day! Shower your mother with verbal love by expressing your gratitude to her. Make an effort to get to know her by spending time with her—even if you just sit and chat. When possible, buy her something special. Most of all, make her proud with the decisions you make in your life. Moms love to brag about their children—no matter how young or how old, so make her feel proud and blessed to have raised a child like you.

Throughout our lives, we as women will make thousands of decisions. There will be things we consciously do differently than our mothers, especially as we learn more about them. Sometimes the consequences are obvious and immediate, while other times our ignorance and naiveté make it impossible to see how we alter the course of our lives with a series of small decisions.

Karen Hinds
Workplace Success Group
Toll Free; 877-902-2275
Tel: 1-203-757-4103
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