Mothers and daughters can have complicated relationships no matter their ages. When you're younger, oftentimes, your mom has more control and pull over which way the arguments go, as well as your life in general. As you get older, however, the balance of power starts to shift a bit. Still, she's your mom and you maybe don't want to just dismiss everything she does, says, and believes out of hand. But there are also some things you can't let your mom get away with, no matter how old you are or how much your relationship has changed since your younger years.
Moms tend to have opinions about their kids' lives. It's only natural, right? That being said, when you grow up and have to make your own decisions and do you own thing, it can sometimes be difficult for your mom to keep her opinions and meddling to herself. In reality, she probably only wants what's best for you, but, as many grown children can attest, what she (or other parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and other well-meaning family members) thinks is the right thing to do might not actually be the right thing for you. It can sometimes be difficult to stand up and say that she shouldn't be doing something she's insisting on doing or sharing an opinion she's sharing with anyone who will listen, but in some cases, it's more than necessary.
1. Emotional Blackmail
It can be difficult to handle some things that can be interpreted as emotional blackmail. The kids issue, for instance, can be just as difficult (or more so) on you as it is on her. Maybe you want them desperately, but don't feel like now is the right time or maybe you've struggled while trying to conceive. As Babble noted, the pressure associated with having kids can feel overwhelming, so comments like, "I just hope I have some grandkids before I die" really aren't helpful in the least. Additionally, if you don't want to have kids, you shouldn't have to feel like your mom is wreaking havoc on your emotions or making you feel like you're a terrible person, or somehow less-than because she'd like you to have them. Having kids isn't for everyone and not everyone can (or should) just have them according to anyone else's timetable.
2. Letting Your Kids Do Things You Don't Want Them Doing
Grandmas everywhere will be up in arms over being told that they shouldn't do things with their grandkids that'll make them seem "fun" or "cool," but, really, if you've told your mom that you don't want your kids doing this or watching that and then she OK's it anyway, you shouldn't just let it go. Yes, you and your mom both want your kids to have fun with their grandmother, but it's also important that your wishes — especially on the important stuff — are respected.
3. Shaming Your Adult Decisions
So you know that your mom probably won't just always keep it to herself when she thinks you're making a mistake, but it's important for her to also recognize that you're an adult and you not only can, but should, make the decisions that you think are the right ones for you and your family. As noted in Parenting, make sure your mom or mother-in-law understands that just as they, as parents, had to make decisions they thought were right, so do you. If they don't like that you are or aren't quitting your job, buying a particular house, breastfeeding or not, or anything else, that's fine, they don't have to agree with you, but they shouldn't feel free to shame you for it.
4. Disregarding Your Partner
If your mom (or other family member) is fighting or otherwise not connecting with your partner, it's your responsibility to step up and say something, according to Carolyn Hax, who writes a syndicated advice column for the Washington Post. You might not want to feel like you're stuck in the middle between your mom and your partner, but you've made them family and your mom needs to understand that. Standing up for your partner and backing them up when they're having issues with your mom can go a long way. You don't have to yell at her or otherwise make the situation worse, but aligning yourself with them and trying to make it so that you're all on the same page can make their relationship — and yours — more peaceful.
5. Dismissing Your Feelings Or Comparing Them To Her Experiences
Some days, being an adult is hard and there's no getting around it. No matter your life circumstances, everyone has difficult days and sometimes you just want a sympathetic ear for a minute. And who else should you be able to talk to in a situation like that if not your mother? Peg Streep, who penned a piece for Psychology Today that later became the foundation of one of her books, Daughter Detox: Recovering from an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life, wrote that toxic moms can act dismissive of their daughter's feelings, accomplishments, and needs.
While the relationship with your mom might not be full-blown toxic, if she dismisses your emotions or launches into a diatribe about how it's not that bad because when she was a young woman she had it worse, that's not something you should just let go without addressing. She may not even realize that's what she's doing and it's worth finding out if that's a part of your relationship that can be repaired if necessary.
6. Babying You Or Your Partner
Neither you nor your partner is a baby (or even a child or teenager) and so you shouldn't be treated as one. Your mom or mother-in-law doesn't need to call to remind you to RSVP to events, wish a family member a happy birthday, make sure you've cleaned up your house before company comes over, remind you to get a haircut or that the event you're going to is formal, or anything else that you, as a capable adult, can definitely handle on your own. You've got this and she needs to know that it's under control.
7. Guilt-Tripping You For Not Getting Married Or Living Too Far Away
According to research from Pew, Millennials are more likely to wait longer before getting married or get married when they're older, which means that Mom could be guilt-tripping you about a wedding for quite a while before you actually walk down the aisle — if you ever even do. Putting off a wedding or moving "too far" away likely aren't things you're doing to personally attack them, so they shouldn't guilt-trip you for it — and you shouldn't let them get away with it if they try to.
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