On Mothering – Part 8

Buy the Book! Disentangle - When You've Lost Your Self in Someone Else

This blog post was created by Nancy L. Johnston, author of the book, Disentangle – When You’ve Lost Your Self in Someone Else.

Final entry in a continuing series of posts on disentangling and motherhood.

Question 6. What can a mother do to avoid getting too entangled in her children’s lives?

A mother can help her self to not become too entangled in her child’s life if she is able to keep in mind these circles that I speak of as representing the child and her self. Healthy development overall involves each person’s circle growing strong and clear and being able then to interact with others in ways that respect both the other person and our self.

Much of what I have spoken of previously has been about helping to foster the development of the child’s individual self. Being aware that that is part of our task as a mother over the lifetime of the mother-child relationship can help to reduce entanglements which can come from not acknowledging that the mother and child are, in fact, separate and different people.

And preventing entanglements is helped equally by us mothers remembering to foster our own self-development as we are raising our children. Even when the child is very young and very dependent on us, how can we get a little time for our self? How can we pause and listen to our self and find out what we need for us? How can we assert our needs to others who may need to help us? Losing our self in our mothering is ultimately of no help to any of us.

And as our child gets older and our circles are sliding further apart, there is even more space in our circle of self for our own strengthening and growth. As you move into this new, open, and perhaps empty space, know that your continued learning to listen and respond to your self, creating your own life, is one of the best things you can do to keep your relationship with your growing child well and strong.

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