Is Your Mother a Control Freak? 19 Ways to Keep the Peace

Like it or not, your mother gets to claim you as her very own. Does that mean she has the right to tell you how to live your life? Of course not. So what happens when your mother crosses the line just a bit too much? Here, grown-up daughters share their personal strategies for keeping the peace.

Be pals, not clones

“My mother and I know that we can be friends and love each other without having to agree on every single little thing -- and that’s why we get along!” --from laila_seastar

“Even though we might want them to be, our mothers don't have to be our best friends. Keep your expectations in line with your personal relationship. My mother and I didn’t have a good relationship, but now I try to ask her about herself. It takes the focus off of me so I don’t feel like I’m up for judgment. Now, I almost always find that she is chatty and fun. Instead of harping on where your relationship with mom falls short, find the good in it and make the most of what you have.” --from passion8

Make a connection

“If you want to have some relationship with your mom, but don't want to share personal issues, talk about local and national news. There are ways to insert personal feelings when you talk about a universal problem. You’ll find that once you start talking you can resolve the issues that seem to be keeping you away from her.” --from thistle

“Ask your mom questions about herself. “What was it like growing up ?” “How did you meet Dad?” Stuff like that. Sometimes my mother likes to reminisce and tell stories about her childhood. I love that because it makes me more a passive participant, the proud guardian of her special memories.

“Or instead of forcing yourself to find topics to talk about, take a walk with your mother or make a date to look at family photos. If you live close by, sign up for a class with her. But start out small. I dove head first into a just-the-two-of-us trip with my mom and there was no escape. LOL. Seriously, the short visits work for me because I can remove myself from a situation that isn’t making me happy.” --from passion8

Forgive her for the past so you can move on

“ If you have memories of mom treating you badly as a child, it can be hard to accept her advice as an adult. So forgive your mother for your sake, not hers. Once you do, you can let go of the past and say hello to a brighter future.” --from zoomom2000

“Writing a love letter to your mother is a stroke of genius. Put down on paper al the good she has done for you. Then, the tense issues will be so much easier to digest because they will be grounded in love.” --from cclueless

Avoid conflict -- before it starts.

“If your mother makes a habit of criticizing you, be more selective about what you tell her. Why give her fuel to light the fire? It's not your job as a daughter to tell her everything. Doing so won't help your relationship. Creating a life for yourself that you can be proud of will.” --from bearz

“When my mom starts to get critical, I call a time out. Then, we cool off and discuss whatever subject we were stuck on later.” --from loveslife25

“My problem is that I get so defensive with my mother. A simple "Hmm so you had your hair cut…" from her, and I hear, “Yuck, what a bad hair cut!" I am learning to take her comments for what they are, and it’s wonderful.” --from friscomom

“From my experience, moms will make you crazy even if you have a great relationship with them. Maybe your Mom is harping on you because she sees you doing things in your life that she always wanted to, but couldn't find the courage to do. At some point I realized that my parents had no idea how frustrating it was to hear all the things I should be doing. When they were giving me annoying advice, it really meant I love you. They. Once I figured that out, it all got so much easier!” --from libzmom

She says things you don’t like so tell her how you (really) feel

“When she starts in on a familiar rant, cut her off. Just say plainly (no hinting) that you will not listen to her if she upsets you anymore. Remind her (just like she used to) that, “If someone doesn’t have anything nice to say, she shouldn’t say it at all.” --from magnagirl

“The best way to handle you mother when she says something that makes you upset is to be firm. Don’t scream or get raving angry even if that is what you want to do. Quiet, firm and consistent gets your point across, honestly.” --from syna99

“When your mother makes comments that you think are inappropriate say, "I'm sorry, but I don’t like the way you are speaking to me. When you can treat me with respect, call me back." I had to leave a 3 x 5 card by the phone to do this without feeling guilty, but it works.” --from friscomom

Do what you (really) want

“My mother and I don't disagree as much as we used to and here’s why. I let her state her opinions and give her mine, but then do as I see fit. I am an adult, 41 years old, and I have confidence in my decisions. Plus, squabbling just isn’t worth it. Who wants to be wasting the remaining years we have together in a power struggle?” --from twoki

Look at life from the “mom-point-of-view”

“Moms can be wrong. Mine was and I have been with my daughter all the time! Just remember a mom wants the best for you and whatever she does, she does because she loves you that much.” --from liliff

“My mother still wants to take care of me even though I’m an adult. I know she's just trying to help, but I can't help reacting like a rebellious teenager every time she tells me how to decorate my house, where I should buy my groceries, or that I spent too much on my car or whatever the current topic may be. But she means well, and I love her for all of it. --from sarah.smiles

Just love her, it’s enough

“I have finally accepted the fact that my mother's happiness is her responsibility, not mine. I couldn't have said that when I was 15 or 25 because I was the consummate peacemaker, always trying to keep everybody happy. Thankfully, I got over that and can tell you it really helps.” --from brah1st

“Show your mom love without giving up things you want. When my father died, my mistake was to let my mother depend on me too much. I gave her too much of my life. And the thing is she became much stronger when I let her get a life of her own.” --from dianast


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