Q&A with Dr. Carletta Perry — Meddling mother

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Q. My mother is always in my business. I don’t want to be her whole life anymore. What do I do?

A. Hello and thank you for writing into the column.

I am not sure if you are the only child but it is apparent that your mother loves you. Perhaps it feels like she is smothering you. Nonetheless, she loves you.

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I know you are saying, “Dr. Perry, I love her too, but does she have to be a part of everything and does she have to make everything about her?”

I understand and I hear you so let’s talk about this a little more. I would also like to add that not only does your mother love you but it seems that she actually admires you — perhaps your drive, your style, your personality, and so forth.

Your mother is probably not shy, so sometimes it can seem as if she is competitive or a shadow in your spotlight, but remember she was Diva No. 1 before you came along, so it’s only natural that when she looks at you, she sees herself. That’s a compliment.

However, should she be in your business? I don’t know the whole story, but I feel like she was invited.

First, a good parent is always concerned about their child, and stays in her business typically until the child is 18 or until she moves out. Most parents continue this behavior well into adulthood, not necessarily because they don’t know how to stop, but because the now-adult child still needs the parent, still asks for advice, still asks for money, still asks for recipes, still asks for relationship advice, still asks for help. The parent is invited.

Remember how she was there for you when you needed her to be as a child? Remember how she was there for you when you wanted her to be as an adult? You invited her, and you should be thankful she keeps showing up.

Mothers and daughters can have a special adult friendship. Be grateful for your mother and your mother-daughter relationship.

Dr. Carletta N. Perry offers therapeutic life, relationship and career coaching. Catch her television show, “It’s Life Changing with Dr. Carletta Perry,” Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on WSKY/SKY-4 and on YouTube. Email her at contact@drcarlettaperry.com.