Most people believe that a mother loves her child unconditionally. But this is not always the case. In fact, some mothers can place a heavy burden on their offspring.
They are called “toxic mothers”. What are toxic mothers? What types of mothers are toxic? What can you do to overcome maternal toxicity? This guide gives you the details.
What is a toxic mother?
From birth, a strong bond is formed between mother and child. Some mothers tend to be overprotective, while others can be considered “neglectful.” In the end, it is not a good idea to judge a mother on how good of a parent she is. Especially, if no abuse, neglect, or any bad behavior has been seen or noticed.
What can be said is that each woman has her own way of experiencing motherhood. And, most women do their best to be good mothers in general and don’t appreciate judgemental people that have nothing but negative remarks to make.
However, it may not be a general rule but toxic mothers do exist, unfortunately. Most mothers are caring and would do the impossible for their kids, but there are a few exceptions and these are the focus of this article. A toxic mother is a woman who cannot maintain a healthy relationship with her children. In most cases, she adopts negative behaviors such as:
–Threatening to disown their kids,
It should be noted that maternal toxicity is not a psychological disorder. Generally, it is the women who did not really want children but ended up having them nonetheless, that treat their kids the worst. These may also be mothers that had kids for the wrong reasons like to keep a man, etc; that end up hating or rejecting their own offspring.
As mentioned before on this website: Every child deserves a mother but not every mother deserves to have children.
How to live with a toxic mother?
Having a toxic mother is often an unbearable situation. However, it is necessary to know how to overcome this problem. If you want to know how to rebuild with a narcissistic, jealous, dominant or castrating mother; then here are the right reflexes to adopt.
-Understanding that she didn’t choose to be a toxic mother:
Some mothers are unable to assume their responsibilities. They become “mothers” to “be like the others”. In this case, maternal toxicity is an expression of deep suffering. It can also be qualified as a call to distress.
Motherhood is not for everyone. However, society is yet to understand that; since everyone starts pressuring everyone else to follow the traditional plan of life: finding a partner, getting a good career or job, getting married, having kids, etc. We have addressed this topic before and explained how to deal with your family and friends pressure to get married.
By taking into account your mother’s experiences and feelings, you will; perhaps, be able to look at her in a positive light and maintain a more balanced relationship with her. Understand that before being your parent, she was a young girl, with other ambitions or aspirations or whatever plans that she may have had to drop to take care of you.
Even if you think she didn’t do a good job at it; babies don’t grow into adults on their own. They still need to feed every two hours months and months after being born, they still need their nappies changed, they still need to be put to sleep, showered, and a lot of attention, etc.
If she kept you alive and didn’t just abandon you; try to find compassion for her. Or if you cannot; try to be grateful for having survived and grown into a strong and brave individual.
If it wasn’t for her though; you won’t even exist and whether or not you can survive a toxic mother wouldn’t even be a question: because you simply wouldn’t be alive, to begin with.
In other words, if she didn’t at least carry you in her body for 9 months and go into the pain of labor to bring you to the world; you won’t even be given the chance to exist. So the question of how you survived infancy or a traumatic childhood or a toxic mother wouldn’t even be asked, because you simply would not be. So that’s one thing she did for you that nobody can take away from her. So that’s one positive angle to look at things from!
-Stepping back from a toxic mother:
When a relationship with a toxic mother begins to deteriorate, it is sometimes essential to take a step back. This step will allow you to get out from under the influence of your toxic mother, evolve as you see fit, and simply find happiness.
For some, moving away is kind of liberating, as it allows them to feel better about themselves.
How to set boundaries with a toxic mother?
Toxic mothers are often overbearing, critical, and manipulative. If you have a toxic mother, it can be difficult to set boundaries. However, it is important to set boundaries in order to protect yourself from her harmful behavior, especially if you’re not ready to move out and will be sharing the same living space as her.
There are a few things you can do to set boundaries with a toxic mother. First, make it clear what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Second, stick to your own standards and values, even if she doesn’t approve.
Finally, be prepared to take action if she doesn’t respect your boundaries. This might include cutting off contact, moving out even if you don’t have a complete plan in place yet of what to do next, or seeking therapy to help you deal with her toxic behavior.
Setting boundaries with a toxic mother is not easy, but it is necessary in order to protect yourself.
Can you forgive a toxic mother?
If you feel guilty about things you shouldn’t, sabotage good relationships or you suffer from a lack of self-confidence… This is normal and a direct consequence of having had a toxic mother. That’s because you may have been raised with the chilling idea that no matter what you do, you will never measure up or be enough; and you will always be treated badly or abandoned.
There are several ways to get over these things, reflect and choose healing and a better and more peaceful state of mind and future. Sometimes, you can choose to offer forgiveness.
Offering forgiveness doesn’t have to be a heroic thing you do for the other person. It can be a very selfish act sometimes because the reason we may forgive is to take control back from that person; by removing them completely from our life, memory, present, and future, and moving on! Thinking of yourself first is a necessity.
Deciding to forgive your mother, and therefore no longer looking for recognition, excuses, explanations, or reasons, can be very liberating. You no longer expect anything from her and you can decide to be happy, fulfilled, and complete, right now and right here. You become your own engineer of happiness.
It is important to be accompanied by a psychologist who will be able to give you the keys to letting go and the steps to forgive.
The other solution is to accept your parent as he or she is. To seek recognition from your mother at all costs is to hope that she will change, that she will see you differently, with new eyes and full of love. But keep in mind, that may not be enough to help you move on as you will think that you wanted that as a helpless child, not a grown strong adult that demands it clearly.
-Act accordingly with your personality type:
In the end, you have to accept that everyone is free to choose their own destiny. If you choose yours, and you choose happiness, kindness, and light, you must accept that it is not so for everyone!
Your mother may continue to be toxic towards you. And you should expect that, as some say: nothing can ever harm us as long as we expect the worse from anyone at any point. You should decide how important it is for you to have a good relationship with your mother and what it would mean if she changed and repented.
If you find out that given your personality type this matters a lot to you, then work on getting close to her and fixing your relationship with her. However, if you find that it won’t make any difference as you’re bitter about the past or if you think what happened cannot be changed; (unless time-travel could have undone it) then try to work on yourself instead and move on away from the toxicity.
The bottom line:
Being raised by a toxic mother can be a real ordeal. But at some point, you have to let go of your past and rebuild.
Forgiveness is a step that will allow you to move forward and have a more balanced life. To achieve this, it is necessary to make a great effort. But know that you have nothing to lose by taking this step, as it could be beneficial to you mentally but doesn’t have to be offered to your mother in person.
Having a toxic mother can create an imbalance for many people. In order to get out of this situation, it is advisable to call upon a specialist in order to better manage your relationship with a harmful parent.