3 Tips To Calm Mom’s Codependent Relationship Woes

codependent relationship

Is Your Codependent Relationship Killing You?

Are you a mom in a codependent relationship with one or more of your children? Am I being dramatic when I say it could be killing you? Well, maybe just a little. I do speak in hyperbole. Maybe you have grown children who are always telling you in graphic detail how hard and difficult everything is. And then you just can’t stop feeling bad and worrying about it, and wanting to solve all their problems for them. And then you’re mad at yourself because you know you should be able to let them sort it out. It’s part of growing up. Do you need your own life back?

Codependent Mom’s Relationship Worries

You see the mom in our featured image? I’ll call her Carol. Carol is having powerful feelings about a text she just received from her daughter, Sally, a working mother of two. Sally’s text may may keep Carol up all night agonizing. Oh, my goodness. It’s terrible. Poor Sally. What can I do to help her?

I’m not talking about deadly illnesses or fatal accidents here. Sally’s having a tough week with sick kids, and work pressure, laundry to do and no time for herself. She may have a husband who doesn’t help enough, or earn enough. You hear all about Sally’s woes on a daily basis. And it makes you feel bad. Sally’s complaining to mom may be part of who she is, but Carol doesn’t have to react. She can put the phone down and relax.

Recovering From Codependency

I am not Sally’s mom, but I am a recovering codependent mom. I’ve read all the books, taken my own good advice learned from experts, chanted, and tried a thousand ways to pray myself to serenity. And I’m still vulnerable to caring too much, worrying too much, getting off track for days at a time, and then beating myself up for not being more easy going and letting them sort it out.. After all, my offspring are grown up.

In fact, my daughter, Lindsey, is my business partner and co-author of our new book, see below. Mom’s codependency with grown children can be the most challenging habit to break, believe me, I understand. So here are my three tips for today.

Codependent Relationship Tip 1: Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Caring too much, and then doing too much, is a slippery codependency slope. Do you do everything for a son or daughter whether they ask or not? Answer every text the moment it arrives? Drop everything in your life to help with chores, and babysit? How about the laundry? Do you do their laundry. Send food, or order out for them? Do you get on a plane every time a son or daughter feels overwhelmed with work and childcare? We know plenty of moms who do all this, and more. If you enjoy the extra work and you’re adequately appreciated, don’t beat yourself up for the loving care you provide. Sometimes support is healthy support.

Codependent Relationship Tip 2: Give Yourself A Break

Caring too much about your sons’ and daughters’ struggles and hard times may ruin your day, your week, or whole years of your life, especially if your loved one is suffering from addiction or mental illness, in a divorce, or having difficulties keeping a job. Suffering because your children are suffering is another kind of beating yourself up. It’s not your fault. Give yourself a break and put down the phone. You don’t have to answer every text and every call. You can allow yourself be happy even if they aren’t.

Codependency Relationship Tip 3: Love Yourself When You Relapse

If you’re a mom who’s in recovery from codependency, like me, you are going to relapse. It may happen regularly by your not keeping boundaries, or by your experiencing anguish when anguish won’t help. Relapse in the codependency department is par for the course. It takes a lifetime to become codependent, and shedding the habit won’t happen overnight, or even after years of hard work. It comes back when you least expect it. Don’t beat yourself up for having the feelings. You’re human, and being a loving human means you’re going to care.

Want more from Leslie and Lindsey. Our Book is now available.

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