Mother-daughter relationships can be beautiful, but at the same time, they can also be tension-filled. Too often, rifts can occur between a mother and daughter when a mother fails to realize that her little girl is now an adult. This lack of acknowledgment from some mothers can lead to overstepped boundaries, anger, and terrible rifts within the relationship. If you have a complicated relationship with your mother, here are ways to navigate it.
Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries
Setting boundaries has always been a constant staple in healthy relationships. Although boundaries are not easy or comfortable to create, they are crucial for establishing healthy and long-lasting relationships. Although some mothers do not respect boundaries, recognizing that there is a lack of respect for your boundaries is the first step towards navigating a complex relationship with your mother. Although you might feel guilty for setting boundaries with your mother due to your sentiment and attachment, setting boundaries and sticking to those boundaries is a great way to set the tone for the relationship.
Set Consequences For Crossed Boundaries
Boundaries are not the easiest to learn or enforce, but they are necessary to have. Part of being grown is learning to protect your personal energy and your boundaries. If, for example, you find that during the course of a conversation with your mom, you notice that she is overstepping your boundaries or trying to manipulate you in some way, gently, firmly, and respectfully remind her of your boundaries and then make it known that there will be consequences if a certain behavior continues. An example of what you can say is, "Mom, you know I love and adore you very much, but I don't have the ability to do XYZ for you at this time."
If she pushes back, firmly restate your boundary, and if that doesn't work, then respectfully remove yourself from the situation or conversation.
Walk In Her Shoes
Sometimes, the most effective way to have a changed perspective of a situation is to view it from someone else's lens. In this case, although it may be difficult, try to see where your mom is coming from. Looking at things from her perspective can help you approach the situation differently. Although she may be acting in ways that cross your boundaries, ask yourself if her background and upbringing affected her parenting style and resulted in some sort of trauma or undiagnosed psychological and emotional distress.
There may be many different reasons, but try to see things from her view. No matter how uncomfortable it may feel, the empathy you extend may go a long way in cooling your frustrations and making you a more effective communicator with your mom.