Mother's Day is approaching. This is a time designated to remember and give thanks for our mothers. Though this form of gratitude is ideal year-round, it helps to set aside a specific day to acknowledge the women in our lives who have helped make us who we are.
I recognize that many people do not claim their mothers, have not met their mothers, or experience some other circumstance that leaves them estranged from the person to whom they refer as "Mom." If this is your experience, I hope there is at least one person in your life who has been there for you to provide support, guidance, wisdome, and a swift kick in the ass when needed. I imagine everyone has at least one person who has contributed at least some level of positive benefit to our lives, whether she gave birth to you or not. My interpretation of days like Mother's Day is to pay special attention to anyone who has made your life better in some way.
On a personal level, I most certainly would not be where I am in my life without my mother. the obvious notion is that she gave birth to me, so clearly the above goes without saying. On a deeper level, however, I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with a mom who is exactly whom I need her to be, even in the moments I think I don't need or want her to fulfill that role, because I can very well do it on my own.
I can't do what I do for a living, and not think of boundaries when I think of people's relationships with their mother. No matter what end of the spectrum your maternal relationship falls, take time in the present to find balance assert the necessary boundaries that are healthy and beneficial in your life. When you assert yourself and remain consistent with these boundaries, others (even persistent mothers) will respond accordingly. There will most likely be some exhibition of resistance, whether through passive-aggression, evasion, or smothering, but your consistency will pay off. Boundaries are tough, and sometimes painful to implement. If they were easy, everyone would use them, and I would most likely be out of a job.
I often suggest to my clients, 'Take what you need, and leave the rest behind.' In all modesty, I did not birth that motto, but I am certainly learning to live by it. We cannot be all things to everyone. Likewise, we do not need everything that everyone offers or pushes onto us. So, take what you need, be grateful that someone is willing to give it to you, and take time to thank that person (those people) who have cared for you enough to offer their love and acceptance.