What to Do When Your Mom Is Totally Ready For You to Be a Mom

More than anything, your mother loved welcoming you into the world, so it’s really no wonder that the woman who raised you is ready for another bundle of baby joy. “The birth of a grandchild brings on the next phase of life for which some women are yearning,” explains Karen Ruskin, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual.

And whether your mother wants to receive the love only a newborn baby can bring, is eager to bond with you in a new way or is concerned over her own aging, she may be putting pressure on you to procreate right now, regardless of whether you’re actually ready to have children. So if your mom wants you to become a mother too soon, here’s how to deal.

First, gently explain how you feel about having a baby and that you’re simply not ready right now. “It is imperative to communicate in a style in which you are being kind to your mother and thoughtful of how her behavior makes sense coming from her position,” says Ruskin. “Validate her feelings by communicating your understanding of her perspective and why her perspective is sensible.”

Specifically, Ruskin says, “validate in a thoughtful, kind and understanding manner your mother’s perspective by reflecting upon what she just said through your mother’s lens. Then verbalize your hope that her voice and yours can be heard so that you can have an open relationship with her in which both of your perspectives matter. Finally, share your perspective whether it is that you are not ready or some other reason.”

If your mother persists, your reasoning falls on deaf ears or you find yourself emotionally exhausted from an ongoing and stressful discussion, you can ask your husband to speak up — but he must tread carefully. “One of the beautiful things about being in a committed, loving relationship is that in times when you’re feeling vulnerable, your partner can take a stand to protect you,” says Tara Fields, Ph.D., couples therapist and author of The Love Fix: Repair and Restore Your Relationship Right Now.

Together, you can decide on how he can best approach your mother. For example, he can lovingly say, “‘I know you love my amazing spouse as much as I do, and I treasure our relationship, but I am going to take a stand on her behalf,'” Fields says. “He’s setting a boundary and saying, ‘this topic is off limits until further notice.'”

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How to Solve the Most Common Relationship Conflicts

When you hit a relationship rut—you and your partner argue about the same thing over and over again—it can seem like there’s no end in sight. So how to escape these exhausting conflict loops? On this week’s episode of “The Labor of Love,” host and RealSimple.com editor Lori Leibovich talks to Tara Fields, a marriage and family therapist and author of The Love Fix: Repair and Restore Your Relationship Right Now, about the five most common and vexing relationship conflicts—and the straightforward solutions that can help couples sort them out.

1. The Parent Trap. When one partner takes on the role of being the parent to the other, begins micro-managing, and insists on having things done a certain way.

The solution: Begin by identifying where these roles stem from. Is there an underlying anxiety or fear at play? If one partner has become so afraid of doing something wrong, he or she will likely shut down and not take any action at all. 

2. Come Close, Go Away. When one partner begins to feel abandoned—and doesn’t understand why the other needs so much alone time.

The solution: Find the healthy balance of being a “we,” and work to create an interdependent relationship. As a couple, you should be “one,” but both partners should also have a sense of autonomy. 

3. Blame Game and the Shame Spiral. When one partner begins to blame and shame the other, often reverting us to our most juvenile selves (name-calling and flaring tempers). 

The solution: Take ownership, practice mindfulness, and do your best not to be reactive. Speak honestly, and say “I’m not feeling good about what’s going on, so when you want to talk about feelings, I’m available.” 

4. Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3. When one partner has started to feel invisible, so he or she begins testing boundaries—flirting with somebody else, checking in with a former fling, etc.  

The solution: Find the emotional courage to ask directly for what you want. Start an open and honest conversation with your partner, and don’t wait for him or her to be the one to do so.

5. Growing Apart. When both partners have begun taking each other for granted, and one person is beginning to grow out of the relationship.

The solution: Be willing to change as an individual as the relationship changes. During major life events, strive to become a team and be there for one another. Start creating the kind of relationship that no one or nothing outside the relationship can destroy.

Read the original article here.