Learn to understand mothers
What if your relationship with your mother drives you crazy? Do you have thoughts that it would be nice to wake up one morning to find out that you are an adopted child? Do you shudder when it occurs to you that you have a chance to turn into an equally unbearable person over time?
Under no circumstances should a mother-daughter relationship develop in this way, says Karen Johnson, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in interpersonal relationships between women. You, as a daughter, can take the first big step towards improving relationships. To do this, look at your mother as a person in general, not just as a mother. You need to pay attention to the following points.
Try to understand your mother’s motives. “It’s important for you to find out how external circumstances have affected your mother’s life,” says Dr. Johnson. A mother who is overly worried about her daughter when she enters puberty and tightly controls her, maybe at that age she became a victim of sexual violence. She is simply trying to protect her daughter from the suffering that she herself has suffered. And the daughter, meanwhile, thinks that her mother is a mysterious person and wants to ruin her life. ”
Find out your mother’s life story. The more you learn about your mother, the more you will see in her that you have not noticed before, when you looked at her only as a mother. Try to remember what you know about her childhood, suggests Paul J. Kaplan. “Since most of us are very sympathetic towards children, we are less inclined to deify or curse them, as happens in our relationships with adults.”
For example, ask how old your grandmother was when your mother was born. How did she live? What were the economic, political and social conditions of life in the family when your mother grew up?
Pay attention to your similarities. “Ask yourself, Dr. Kaplan advises, what do you have in common with your mother's values, fears, political views, types of friends, religious beliefs, favorite dishes, sources of joy and sadness, manners, gestures, facial features, figure, sense of style, etc. . ".
Ask your mother about the details of your birth and the first years of life. Dr. Kaplan suggests the following questions: “How did the pregnancy go? How did you behave in your mother’s stomach? Have you beaten with legs or were you calm? How was the birth? What did she feel at the first moment when she saw you? What did she like about you when you were a baby? What was she afraid of? What was the hardest thing for her when she nursed you? Did she not consider herself a bad or inept mother? ”
"Let her know, Dr. Kaplan continues, that you understand how difficult it is to be a mother, and would like to know how it all happened to her from her point of view."
Think about the responsibility that lay on your mother’s shoulders. “Mothers usually carry a heavy burden of childcare responsibilities,” says Dr. Johnson. I do not mean only daily duties, which in themselves are quite burdensome. There are more serious things. Mothers feel responsible for the psychological health of their children. They’re most often blamed for their first ones, if their children aren’t doing well. ”
Do not assume that your mother was invulnerable or omnipotent. “The more you learn about the difficulties your mother experienced when raising you, the more condescending you can be towards her,” says Dr. Kaplan. In other words, think that the problems she faced could affect her attitude towards your upbringing. Do you remember the days when she was too tired to play with you, or too irritable, or she lacked positive emotions? Maybe it was a time when she had a particularly hard time?
As one woman said, she never realized how unhappy her mother was in marriage with her father until she divorced him. “When I saw how calm and fun she became, getting divorced from her father and getting married again, I finally realized that it was not me who caused her bad mood.”
Put yourself in her place. “It doesn’t matter how much you don’t look like your mother, try to imagine what would happen if you had lived such a life as it befell her, Dr. Johnson advises. “I recently tried to do this, and came to the conclusion that my mother did everything that could be done in her circumstances.”