When you don’t get along with your mom on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a tough day for many women who have a strained relationship with their moms. The hoopla of the only day to commemorate the one who practically dedicates much of her time curating lists for each family member the other 364 days can leave many moms feeling deflated and frustrated. Mother’s Day is a trap for the mom who counts on others with less experience caring about her needs and whims to make the day special. It is even more treacherous for the moms who have a haphazard or disgruntled relationship with their own mom, alive or not. On the day meant to salute the awe-inspiring, ever-loving, compassionate powerhouse that a mother embodies, feeling “not good enough” may overrule instead. Remembering how she constantly strives to build up her mom or get her the best gift only to be criticized. Confused about how she truly feels about so many topics because most of her life she was taught to push her feelings aside to appease her mom. Misunderstood, judged, belittled, ignored by her mom. In essence, feeling unrequited love from the most important person in her life.
Many women believe that adulthood holds the expiration date for considering their mother’s opinion. In many ways, the relationship does evolve, especially when the first grandchild is born. This shift can create a more even playing field between both mothers. Awareness that the grandmother holds wisdom based on her experiences, yet it is not the only path to a satisfying, safe, and successful life for her daughter and family. But, for those women whose mothers have been historically intrusive, opinionated, neurotic, and controlling, this shift in the relationship doesn’t occur naturally. It can be quite threatening to the grandmother to lose authority over her daughter and anxieties revolving around safety take center stage. Just as much as the daughter needs to adjust to parenthood, her mother needs to adjust to the new role as grandmother. Uncomfortable dynamics between the moms create havoc in the mom’s relationship with her spouse, her children, and herself. And on Mother’s Day, these issues can be far more palpable. If this is your case, you’re never too old to heal from these wounds and learn to take accountability for what belongs to you and what belongs to your mom.
Some book recommendations on this topic include: Will I ever be good enough? And Adult children of emotionally immature parents, and The emotionally absent mother. However, my suggestion is to seek supportive guidance when reading these books because the content can be incredibly triggering and disorienting. DM me for more specific info.