Stuck in Mama Drama?
Today, I’m going to talk about Mama Drama.
So, what’s Mama Drama?
Mama Drama is a term that’s used to describe a difficult relationship with our mothers.
Your mom is supposed to love you unconditionally, treat you nicely because you’re her child, and be there for you no matter what, right?
Many times it seems like the opposite, because of the treatment we’ve received.
Our moms know how to push our buttons by saying hurtful things, and treating us as the enemy.
We want their approval, acceptance and love, yet that’s not what we get.
Many want a “Leave it to Beaver” Mom and end up with “Mommy Dearest“.
The worse they treat us, the more we strive for their approval, and the harder we try to get it, the more miserable we become.
The definition of approval is the belief that something or someone is good or acceptable.
When you seek approval from others, it often means you haven’t provided it for yourself.
Psychcentral.com says that approval-seeking behaviors may involve:
- Finding it hard to make decisions, big or small, without getting others to weigh in on it
- Feeling sad, happy, guilty, or anxious depending on whether others approve of you
- Seeking excessive reassurance that you’ve done or are doing the right thing
- Feeling unconfident about decisions you’ve made or are making
- Rejecting opportunities and experiences you want because you worry whether others will approve
- Feeling ashamed if someone questions or dislikes your work, actions, or decisions
Many spend a good portion of their adult lives seeking approval from their mothers and end up feeling anxious, insecure, and sick, thus leading to Mama Drama!
As adults, we become responsible for ourselves no longer needing approval, yet we still seek it.
We’re actually taught as kids to seek our parents approval.
If they’re happy with what we’re doing, we receive that approval, and we make it mean we’re doing things right and loved. We always want to shine bright in our parents eyes.
If they disapproved, we made it mean that we’re unloved and that something is wrong with us.
I have clients who’ve experienced so much Mama Drama, they’ve actually wished for nicer moms.
Why do moms behave in this manner?
We Can Only Guess!
From your vantage point, your mom’s disapproval, negative tones, and overreactions may look irrational.
Perhaps the relationships is difficult because your mom is:
- Feeling like she’s no longer needed
- Grieving the path she wished you’d taken
- Jealous that in her eyes, you have your whole life ahead of you
- Envious of your success and happy life, and wishes she’d made better choices
- Suffered trauma and dealt with it through alcohol, drugs, or overeating
- Anxious or depressed and is embarrassed to discuss it with you
- Lost a spouse or friends her age and is feeling scared
- Experiencing severe loneliness, and has insecurities and low self-esteem
- A victim of being treated poorly, or was abused during adolescence
- Fearing for her safety (and yours too)
- Upset that you moved away and can’t visit you all the time
- Feeling inadequate because she thinks you’re so much smarter than she is
- Slowing down and not as healthy as she used to be
There are so many reasons they act the way they do, and appear to disapprove of you.
Whatever the reasons, we feel unloved and like we’ve done something terribly wrong!
This is a hard way to go through life.
What I’ve learned over the years, is that our mom’s thoughts and actions have nothing to do with us!
It helps to get curious as to why our mothers, act in unloving ways.
Another thing that helps is to find the compassion and view life through her eyes.
Kind of hard to do, especially during moments you’re feeling deflated, criticized, minimized or insulted!
My mom lived alone, and suffered with worry, insomnia, and anxiety.
I love my mom and once I started deeply examining her situation, it became easier to find the compassion.
Just because her love was poorly expressed at times, didn’t mean she didn’t love me with all her heart.
During this exploration, I also learned about setting boundaries.
Personal boundaries are the limits we put in place to protect ourselves from being violated by others.
We create boundaries for ourselves, not others.
A boundary is not a threat to another person, but something you use for yourself.
When you first set a boundary with your mom, it feels strange.
You don’t know how she’ll react and that’s OK because she’s responsible for her own thoughts, feelings and reactions, and you need to allow her to have them, even if she appears angry.
One huge lesson I learned was that she didn’t need to change, I did!
If she acted a certain way, or did or said something upsetting, she was being herself.
When she was being herself, I was able to decide how I would react (or not react) by setting and enforcing boundaries.
This didn’t mean I got to control her!
Ideas You Can Try:
If your mom yells at you on the phone, calmly say “I love you Mom, gotta go” and then hang up.
If your mom criticizes you, say with kindness “Thanks for the input, love you mom“.
Once you’ve mastered boundaries, you can let go of anger, control, and resentment and accept your mother for who she is…a human just like you!
It might be hard for her (and for you) at first, but if you keep practicing with consistency, she’ll eventually get the message, and may even stop pushing your buttons.
You are responsible for your own thoughts and feelings, and your mom is responsible for hers.
It’s not too late to create a loving relationship with your mom!
Go set some boundaries, you’re relationship depends on it!
Your relationship with your mom is completely different than someone else’s.
No two look the same and you get to decide how and what you want it to look like.
Maybe a better relationship with your mom means:
👩👧Talking every Sunday at a certain time on the phone for a 1/2 hour
🤱 Sending greeting cards expressing loving thoughts
👩👧 Asking your mom about cherished memories from the past
🤱 Getting advice on how to hard boil eggs
Decide what you want your unique relationship to look like.
Boundaries may be required, which can come from a place of love, not anger.
Your relationship with your mother is based on your thoughts about her.
When you change the way you think, you get to show up as yourself and risk disappointing your mother and that’s OK!
Again, you have the power to create a unique and authentic relationship with your mom while she is still alive!
Just like you, your mom makes mistakes, and gets things wrong sometimes, and that’s OK.
So, where do you chose to focus your time? Hanging out in Mama Drama feeling angry, resentful, and stressed out? Or, would you rather have a different relationship with your Mom and come from a place of compassion, understanding and love?
You get to choose!
Once our moms leave the earth forever, that’s it!
You have the power to approve of yourself, think your own thoughts, and be the person you choose to be.
Need help setting boundaries? Grab the Beyond Boundaries Blueprint!
I provide an online program called “Broken to Balanced: A Game Plan to Improve your Mother Daughter Bond” to help others who struggle in relationships with their mom. Click the button below for more information!
TOPIC: Stuck in Mama Drama?
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