Fighting with your mom, does it do you any good?
I must admit I just wrote a user manual for myself in how to handle my mom, the title says: 'Read this before talking to your mom.' So that I won't fall in to the same trap again and again. By trap I mean my own trap.
My own traps are: ( They've got a lot to do with wanting things from her)
Wanting her to understand me
Wanting her to have the right ideas about me ( My right ones, not her right ones, right? 😉)
Wanting her to respect my choices
Wanting her to STOP trying to convince me to do things her way.
Now, I don't know if I'll EVER get over wanting the last point, that one just gets me a few shades more red and a few degrees more hot in the face every time it happens. But wanting the three points before that seems like something I could eventually get over.
Let's tackle the first point:
I want understanding, I think that is an ok thing to want from your fellow human being, but....
not from your mom. I know it sounds weird, but it is asking for trouble as the dynamics between moms and daughters in general don't facilitate understanding. There is the generation gap, there is the investments your mom made in you by taking care of you and most probably she wants to get some of that back by seeing you blossom in to the women she approves of. It's not ideal but lets face it mothers are just human. Then there is her wanting you to be safe. Imagine her running after you when you were learning how to ride a bike frantically trying to protect you from falling. She'll keep on doing that, even though you are forty years old. Then there is that she wants you to be happy. But for her, there is only one version of happy and that is the one she knows herself. Now, if you make choices that differ from what she had in mind for you, or from what she thinks is safe, or from what she thinks will make you happy, there are chances that there will be very little understanding going on. In fact I think you can call yourself lucky if she will understand anything at all.
So expectations on this level, throw them out the window. Besides you don't need it, weren't you going to be just fine without her?
Point two: Wanting her to have the right ideas about me.
Hm, yes that one is a little harder already, I find. But still possible.
This is actually a logical consequence from the first point.
Because when your mom doesn't understand your choices she is likely to get all the wrong ideas about you.
They may vary but they could be somewhere along the lines of that you are making all the 'wrong' choices just to upset her. Or because you are ungrateful, or too stubborn to take her advise. You name it, they all come down to you not taking her feelings in to account.
It leaves you feeling awful thinking that she thinks like that, right? Because the least thing you want is that your mom thinks you are a selfish after all she did for you and while she is your third favourite person in the world. You don't want her to think like that.
What can you do about it?
Nothing. Just accept it. It doesn't really effect you. And besides you don't need it, weren't you going to be just fine without her? So, stop wanting her to have the right ideas about you.
Point three: Wanting her to respect my choices
This is not possible without the first point being fulfilled.
So it's no use expecting anything here.
Point four: Wanting her to STOP trying to convince me to do things her way.
Oh it's sooooo annoying especially when you have told her so many times HOW annoying it is for you and she just won't stop. She'll tell you 'Yes, sweetie I respect your choices and give you your space, Of course I let you go, I have done that ages ago, you can live your own life, and you have for years now, but could you do it this way?' You want to pull her hair out so badly, but all you 've got to do is let go of your expectations on this one too, as this one isn't possible either without the first two points being fulfilled.
The things is, I don't think mother are wired to understand their children, they are wired to teach them how to do things their way and they just can not stop doing that. So they can not understand when you make different choices. That's just the way it is. The price for having had a mother when you were little who taught you all these things is maybe having to live with disapproval from her when you are older and make different choices. But you'll be ok.
Besides you don't need it, weren't you going to be just fine without her?
Do I sound like a cynic? I think I have sort of seen the light on this today after four harrowing days of awful emails between my mom and me. This is how it is and how it will be here after, I might as well accept it.
All I'll do is this. I'll practice patiently saying: 'No mom, that is not how I do things, but thanks for the suggestion.'
Whilst keeping in mind that she means well and can't help being wired the way she is as a mom.
a tired daughter with hope for better dynamics with my new manual.