Ask Amy: Mother's Constant Calls Smother Daughter

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dear Amy: I am a busy stay-at-home mom to two young children.

My mother seems to think that I have nothing to do because she calls me many times throughout the day to tell me unimportant things and basically narrate her day.

It is not uncommon for her to call my home phone, and when I don't answer, she'll call my cellphone - and then my house phone again. She will usually wait about five minutes and then repeat the process.

Sometimes I just can't pick up the phone, and then when the calls become stalker-ish, I don't pick up out of spite.

Amy, I know I am blessed to have a mother in my life, but I don't want a "smother," I want a mother!

I know she means well, but calling me eight times in a row to tell me something completely inconsequential is a little crazy! How do I tell her to quit calling me so often without hurting her feelings? -- Busy Mom

You may have to risk hurting your mother's feelings, just a little bit, to convey your frustration at her behavior.

You know from your encounters with your young children that they respond best to limits, clarity and consequences.

Give your mother the same understanding, firm and loving treatment you'd give the kids, and explain how her behavior affects you.

You should also teach your mother to text. Receiving text messages may be slightly less annoying than calls; they are also easier (and less time-consuming) to respond to. Know, however, that you run the risk of unleashing the texting beast within.

Your mother sounds lonely. If you can fold her into your life more often - actually, vs. telephonically - she might settle down.

Dear Amy: An expectant mother sent me an invitation to attend a baby shower she is giving for herself in her house.

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