Sadly, I have innumerable callers who agonize daily about their relationship with their mothers. Some obsess so much that their emotional state is impacted, and that means their ability to perform as a loving spouse or parent is impeded.
Why would they knowingly do that? Because of the primal need in all of us to be bonded to and loved by a mommy and daddy. "I am a 29-year-old male," a caller told me recently. "I grew up in a dysfunctional home. Both of my parents are alcoholics. My mom was sober during her pregnancy and for the first six years of my life.
"She was an incredible at-home mom. Her dedication shaped my personality, and I'm certainly the kind, compassionate person I am today because of that love and nurturing. We had so much fun together.
"Although my mom went on to become a drunk, it wasn't until recently I let go of the anger I had toward her. It brings me peace and gratitude to know that she was there for me when I needed her most. I would never have this perspective if it wasn't for your advocacy of at-home moms.
"Today, I have very little contact with her. She's living exactly the way she chooses to. And it would be impossible for me to have a good life with her around. I do, however, call her about once a week. After about 10 minutes I'm exhausted.
"I always end the call with 'I love you, Mom, and take care.' I learned this from a really good therapist — you!" This man can see the forest, and he can see the trees.
There was a time when he benefited from her mothering, and for that, he is deciding to let go of his anger about her drunkenness.
This point is only understood by those willing to commit to today by giving to their spouses and children, rather than trying to change a difficult parent into a vision of their dreams.
Dr. Laura (Laura Schlessinger) is a well-known radio personality and best-selling author. She appears regularly on many television shows and in many publications. Listen to Dr. Laura on SiriusXM Channel 111, Mon.–Sat. 2–6pm ET, Sun. 5–9pm ET. Read Dr. Laura's Reports — More Here.
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