Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day - A Tale of Love, An Exercise in Patience

Many of us have issues with our mothers. They are in our hair, reminding us of our faults and shortcomings, but we have to remember that they really do not mean us any harm. Yes, sometimes the words come out all wrong, but deep down they just want us to be happy and thrive. Regardless of the relationship you have with your mother, observing Mother’s Day in some form and trying to make amends is the right thing to do. After all, your mother created you and brought you into the world and is hopefully worthy of an acknowledgement. Most mothers fall into one of five categories: the helicopter mother, the critical mother, the aloof mother, the martyr mother or the cougar mother. If you have the perfect mother, than congratulations and forgive me, this article is not for you. For the rest of us, read on to see what type of mother you have, how to acknowledge her on the big day and how you might improve your relationship going forward.

The Helicopter Mother. This mother hovers on your every move. She calls multiple times a day and wants to know what you are doing and with whom you are doing it. She cooks food and brings it to your home and can’t sit still when she visits. She is more comfortable doing the laundry or straightening the house. She doesn’t stop and it drives you crazy. Acknowledgement: Call her to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day first thing in the morning before she has a chance to call you. Select a thoughtful card that expresses how much you appreciate all of the wonderful things she does for you. This mother feeds off the drama so offer to take her to a nice lunch followed by a Sunday matinee at the theatre. How to change going forward: Before the afternoon ends, politely and calmly explain that all of the doting can sometimes feel like smothering and, if possible, you would be grateful if she would allow you a little more space as you are convinced it would be beneficial to you both.

The Critical Mother. For this mother, nothing is ever good enough. She is unhappy with everything about your life from the clothes you wear, to the friends you make and the job you keep. You work like a dog to please her, but it just turns out all wrong. Acknowledgement: This mother is hard to impress and the typical card gesture just won’t do. Rather than meeting her in broad daylight, suggest meeting for a cocktail and bring her a bouquet of flowers to soften the mood. A glass of wine will take the edge off and you both may even wind up enjoying yourselves. How to change going forward: Tell her that you love her and that you know she has your best interest at heart, but that sometimes her comments can be hurtful. Explain that you would genuinely like to spend more time together if she can agree to keep things a bit more light and positive in the future.

The Aloof Mother. This mother keeps her distance, maybe a little too much. She is totally self-absorbed and oftentimes needs a reminder to call on your birthday. She likes to be casual and spontaneous. Acknowledgement: You don’t need to bend over backwards for this mother. She may be perfectly happy with a suggestion of a Mother’s Day walk on the beach followed by an impromptu picnic lunch. Since it is her day, indulge her by asking unlimited questions about herself. She will enjoy this immensely and it will make her feel loved. How to change going forward: Tell her that it has been so enjoyable spending time together and that you hope she can make herself more available to you so that you can continue to connect and share in each other’s lives on a deeper level.

The Martyr Mother. This mother never lets you forget the sacrifices she made to give you the life you have. She may also be trying to live vicariously through you and is resentful if you appear to be fulfilling some of the dreams she was unable to fulfill. Acknowledgement: This mother feels entitled and deserving of the absolute best on Mother’s Day. Appease her by treating her to an elegant brunch or dinner complete with a bouquet of red roses. Throw this mother a bone on her day since she will milk it for all it’s worth. How to salvage your relationship going forward: In a respectful and nurturing manner, express how much you care about her, but that she needs to let go of the past so that she can start enjoying the present.

The Cougar Mother. Watch out, this mother is on the prowl! She is a hot, divorced mama and is after your boyfriend, husband or any other male figure in your life. She wants to hang out and party together, much to your dismay. Acknowledgement: Say Happy Mother’s Day by inviting her to civilized high tea where she’ll have to be on her best behavior and no funny business will be tolerated. To make her feel good, complement her on her outfit and mention how young and beautiful she looks. How to change going forward: Delicately explain to her that, although she is fabulous, you have your life and she has hers and sometimes the two should not mix. Boundaries exist for a reason and you feel more comfortable knowing they are there and that your mother respects them. Assure her that if you happen to meet a single, available man that you are not interested in, you would be more than happy to fix her up!!

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