So, we have mommy issues. The first step in healing from these mommy issues is recognizing that we have them. It is recognizing the power this issue has over our life and the change we want to make. In my experience, mommy issues are not talked about as much as daddy issues. So, let’s talk about it.
First, what are mommy issues? Mommy issues are “personal issues stemming from the relationship you had with your mother as you were growing up.” According to Nicole Beurkens, a clinical psychologist, mommy issues stem from the attachment style that the child creates with their mother during childhood. These attachment styles look at the patterns of interaction and relationships between mother and child. It then looks at how this impacts the child’s development.
According to TalkSpace, mommy issues are the result of many factors, these factors include, but are not limited to, mothers who are overprotective, overly permissive, controlling, loving but are emotionally unavailable, manipulative, abusive and/or neglectful. However, mommy issues can come from seemingly innocent behaviors from the mothers as well.
Mommy issues are also defined as “psychological challenges you deal with as an adult that result from your childhood relationship with your mother or another adult female figure in your life.” These psychological challenges can be presented in your relationship with others and can prove to be detrimental if not caught early enough.
For example, growing up I was always nervous to ask my step mother for something because I was afraid of how she would react. Now that I am in a relationship, I notice that I get anxious and overthink my boyfriend’s reaction to some of my questions. This has a direct correlation to my childhood and asking my mother questions. If I am afraid to ask my boyfriend questions, how can we grow and learn together? Leaving this issue unresolved can become detrimental to our relationship.
Next, what are some signs that you may have mommy issues? The signs for mommy issues show up differently in women and men. For women, some signs include low self esteem, difficulty trusting others, having very few friends who are women, wanting to do everything perfectly, avoiding anything that has to do with your mother and having difficulty setting boundaries. For men, some signs include needing to stay in contact with your mother, avoiding your mother, disrespecting women, feeling insecure and suspicious and cheating on partners.
Mommy issues tend to be passed down from generation to generation. According to Very Well Mind, the way that a mother treated her children is directly correlated to how her mother treated her. If the mother felt that their mother was accepting and supporting of them, they went on to form the same relationships with their children. The same can be said on the other side of the spectrum. If the mother felt her mother was overprotective, they end up being overprotective with their own children, forming insecure attachments.
Lastly, how can you heal from mommy issues? Jenni Jacobson says the first step is noticing that you have mommy issues. Some other ways you could begin to heal from this is by seeking social help, setting healthy boundaries with your mother, changing behavioral patterns in everyday life, cutting off unhealthy relationships, putting yourself first and more.
In my opinion, the most important thing for you to understand when going through this process is that you are not alone. Although your mother may not be in your corner, there are others out there who are.
Originally Published 3/23/2023