Very few people have neutral opinions about their mother. They are either full of praise for all her wonderful qualities and her love or they express sadness and frustration at how difficult their relationship was. Some people never get over the impact that their mother had on them.
A mother can devastate us with a word, a look or even an inferred comment and a sigh. She can provoke guilt by the subtle use of her power because she knows which buttons to press. In an ideal world a mother realises that her children are a temporary part of her life. Her role is to raise responsible young people who will have the confidence to branch out into the world, lead their own lives, maybe raise their own children.
Some mothers though :
– want their daughter to be their best friend. They may share clothes, make up, discuss boyfriends, perhaps even compare notes after a night out. They love being mistaken for their daughter’s sister and may even compete with her for attention and compliments. This can be quite tough for the daughter as she may be building her own confidence, trying to find her own identity and find her direction in life. All her friends will love her mother and she may feel a little isolated from her own niche. Many girls love having a modern mother who is prepared to discuss their problems and issues, but they want it to be done in a maternal way, not as a friend. They have friends for those conversations.
– may be envious of their daughter’s youth, looks, potential opportunities that lie ahead for her. They may live through their daughter, compensating for their own missed successes, or disappointing life choices. These mothers may push their daughters to enter beauty contests, take up interests that they once had, maybe push them to become successful as a way of living vicariously.
– teach their sons to be dependent on them. Some mothers love fussing over their boys, love doing everything for them. Interestingly they often expect their daughter to share with the household chores, but allow the boys to watch TV, lounge around, be waited on hand and foot. Little do they realise that these boys will have difficulties when they come to move out and live alone, if they ever do ! And they will make poor partners who may well treat their wives as servants or mothers.
– teach their daughter to treat men as special, as people who do not know how to do anything around the house. Some mothers define themselves through their ability to run the home. They love that they are the centre of their environment, the matriarch, that everything runs around them. But raising their daughter to emulate that behaviour can be problematic. Many men want to be more independent and help with chores and the running of the house. If their wife or girlfriend continually insists on doing it all herself they may eventually let that happen, and then find that they are criticized for being lazy.
A good mother will teach her children all the positive qualities of loving, nurturing, supporting and caring. Her role is provide a safe environment for her children, allow them to become independent, develop in their own way and achieve goals that are important and relevant to them. When the time comes she will then allow them to leave, knowing that they have a secure set of values, inner confidence and a place to return if needed.
Susan Leigh, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist, www.lifestyletherapy.net