What is an overbearing mother?
What is an over-bearing mother? It is possible you already knowThe official definition of over-bearing: Haughty, domineering, rudely arrogant and very critical..
It is particularly angst-provoking when the over-bearing person is your mother or your spouse's mother. What is an overbearing mother? Someone you would probably like to shove overboard but, alas, can't.
An overbearing mother ignores boundaries. She sticks her nose into your business even though you may be forty-five years old and completely capable of handling life's vagaries on your own. After all, you have been doing it independently of her for 20 years -- or as independently as she has 'allowed' you to be -- but she won't let go and persists on insinuating herself into your life.
As much as you would like to permanently cut the apron strings, mama is having no part of that. She wants in the mix and insists on telling you how to cook and discipline your children and what to do with that "no good ...." husband of yours.
Dealing with a bossy person is stressful. A reaction is often avoidance. You start avoiding your parent because she causes you and your family such grief and distress when she's in your midst.
A definite Catch-22. Avoiding her makes you feel guilty because you are guilt-ridden to begin with, courtesy of mama. This woman has spent her entire life molding you into the creature of her choice who is eternally beholden to her. When resisting and not following the party line she strikes back and punishes you. You are consumed with guilt when you don't succumb to her demands and are also a tiny bit afraid of her. She is scary!
A bossy, domineering person eventually gets on everyone's nerves. Being helpful is one thing but instructing a person in every nuance of her life is annoying and offensive, particularly when the person is an adult.
The danger is you may never manage to slip out from under her control and may even mistakenly consider her behavior normal, resigning yourself to it, settling into the meek role she has thrust you into and wants to keep you in.
You may not consciously realize your parent is controlling your life. The consequence is you do not learn to fend for yourself because she does the fending for you. When this happens, your wings are clipped and you never fully become the person you were intended to be.
And, of course, there are always strings attached. Don't forget that part.
Overbearing mothers are also over-bearing employees, bosses and neighbors. Their bossiness does not stop at their front door. They carry it with them into the world.
Dealing with an overbearing mother
You can ignore her. Put in ear plugs. Or do the exact opposite. Confront her, nicely, and ask why she thinks it is necessary to micro-manage you and everyone else in her orbit. Be patient and listen. Do not argue with her. If she gets off on a rant, tell her that's enough and walk away.
Reflect on your own behavior. Have you been too dependent on her? Are you weak in various areas and rely on her to bail you out and remedy certain situations? If so, stop behaving in this manner. Do not figuratively open the door allowing her to come and take charge.
Do not call her every time you are in a bind. If you give her an inch, you already know she is taking a mile. Grow up. Take care of yourself. If she offers or insists on helping tell her, 'No, but thanks for the offer.' It is time to stand on your own two feet.
The meddling has to stop or you are never going to be at peace with yourself or with your mother. Establish boundaries. They don't have to be physical boundaries but they can be. You can tell her that she can only come to your house on certain days or certain times if necessary.
You do not have to tell your mother everything. If your husband is experiencing erectile dysfunction she does not need to know this. Keep certain things to yourself. The less fodder you provide her with the less material she has to work with.
It is never easy dealing with this type of person but do it. You will feel better. She might not but she will adjust in time. She isn't going to disown you and even if she does ... maybe it's worth it.
If she gets mad, she gets mad. Either she gets over it or she doesn't.
When people age they sometimes succumb to illnesses such as Alzheimer's that can make them very difficult to deal with. The disease alters their personality drastically. The individual becomes demanding, irrational and illogical. This is stressful. An otherwise kind person may become over-bearing when afflicted with this disease. This takes real patience on the part of family members.