Is My Marriage Worth Saving?

Couple Having Argument At HomeYesterday I received an email from a woman who is having problems in her marriage.  She has three children and isn’t sure if she should give up on her marriage of nine plus years.  My advice to her was…”It’s important to listen to your husband. Find out what makes him happy.  Try your best to think about his feelings and not just your own.  Spend time alone with your husband, which means hiring a trusted babysitter for the kids and go away to a romantic city for the weekend.  While you are alone, try to listen to your husband.  There will be verbal and non-verbal ques…pay attention”. Read More

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Behaviour Therapy

helicopter propellers


So now I’m seeing a therapist who sits in her chair and listens to me for an hour.  Last week during my second therapy session, I asked the question… “Why do I need behavior therapy?”  Therapist’s response, “Because we need to focus on your behavior.  Not the thoughts or feelings that cause the behavior”.

Boy, did that make any sense to you?  Surely makes no sense to me.  Why not first study my thoughts and feelings, because obviously it’s these thoughts and feelings that are causing me to be a hovering, overbearing and overprotective Mommy.  It’s these thoughts and feelings that make me worry about my son every waking moment.

I sit there and spill my guts out to this woman.  Pay her an exorbitant fee, and then leave her office wondering what the heck just happened?  How many more sessions before we get to the root of this “Helicopter Mom” thing?

I started thinking maybe I am so overprotective because my father died when I was just thirteen.  I grew up without a father and a mother who worked night and day to provide for myself and my siblings.  Or maybe it’s because my mother remarried, had more children and my siblings and I don’t all have the same father?  I’m not sure, but I hope we can get to the root of it all very soon.  This stuff costs way too much money.  But, it was something I had to do, because I have to find a way to function when my son leaves for college next year.  Trying to keep him home with me or following him off to New York – will only hinder his growth and I don’t want to do that – but sometimes my propeller switch stays in the ON position.

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Extreme Moms

I don’t consider myself an extreme mom. On the contrary, I am a very loving mother, who loves her child dearly. I had a happy pregnancy. I was deeply in love with my son’s father. After we split up, I held onto my son because his father and I shared many great memories. This child was created from love, although that relationship has ended my love for my son continues to grow. Now I am happily married to a wonderful man. So, I am lucky because I have two great men in my life.

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Teens Who Want to Divorce Their Helicopter Moms

I was reading an article today about an 18-year-old young girl, who lives at home with her parents. She views her mother as controlling and a bit too much at times. She has a boyfriend that she is madly in love with, but her mother totally disapproves of the guy. According to the teen, her mother wants to control when and where she sees her boyfriend and even impose a curfew. Her mom sets unrealistic house rules and even blurts out things like, “…you are never to move in with him until you are married”.

The problem here is that the 18-year-old wants to be treated like an adult but won’t be – until she starts acting like one. In today’s society, adulthood comes with more than just a number. Yes, she is 18 and in the state of Ohio she is recognized as an adult, but unfortunately she is a “dependent adult” whom depends solely on mommy and daddy for financial support.

In her letter to Dear Abby, the teen writes:

“I am technically an adult, which means to me that I can make my own decisions and suffer the consequences if there are any.

I know I live in my parents’ home. I follow their rules and respect their wishes – but this is a bit extreme, don’t you think?

Abby, please advise me on how to explain to my mom that I’m an adult and not a newborn baby as she regards me.

– Not a Child Anymore in Ohio”

I must agree with her, when she says she is technically an adult. However, in reality she is not. An adult is someone who is responsible for themselves. She needs to get a job, earn her room and board and ultimately her parents will respect and trust her. But, right now she is acting like a spoiled, ungrateful, little brat. The teen complains that he mother treats her like a “newborn baby”, but if you behave like a newborn, then you will be treated as such. Grow up and stop whining!

If you are sick and tired of your mommy being all in your business, then get a job, move out and get your own place. Start school (if you haven’t already) and begin to act like a young, responsible adult. Your mother isn’t hovering because she’s bored. She’s hovering because you are immature and she’s worried that you will make some really bad choices. (i.e. your current boyfriend) She doesn’t want to see you hurt. So, wake up and stop blaming your Helicopter Mom, she only means well.

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Blended Families

Many of you out there have blended families and sometimes it’s difficult to show favor to all of the kids, particularly when the child is not your biological offspring.  Many of you have gone through the baby-mama drama with your boyfriend’s, husband’s or fiance’s ex and it’s caused major turmoil in your relationship.  But, how can we not show too much favor to our biological children, which sometimes makes our stepchildren feeling left out or not as important as our own?  Well, this is not an easy situation.

After I was married several years ago, I wanted to be a stepmother to my husband’s three beautiful children.  But, his ex-wife was not having it.  She made it impossible for my husband to have visitation with his children and when we tried to ask her for monthly visits, we got the door slammed in our face.  So, it’s been hard for me to develop a relationship with my stepchildren.  I would like to treat them like my own blood, but how can I when their biological mother is insecure about my relationship with her children?

I never thought blending my family with my husband’s would be so difficult.  But, it has been an uphill battle since we said, “I Do”. His ex-wife set his kids against him, they rejected his telephone calls, said they wanted nothing to do with their father; all because he’d moved on and remarried.  His ex-wife’s anger took over and she made it impossible for us to grow closer to his biological children.

Now, several years later I wonder if it will ever happen?  If I will ever have a close relationship with my stepchildren.  I long for a special relationship with them.  I really do.  But, it looks bleak for me and possibly for some of you.  But, I would like to hear your comments.  Please post them here and let me know if you were able to have some sort of relationship with your stepchildren.  Did the ex-wife, ex-girlfriend or ex-fiance ever put her feelings aside and put those feelings of the children to the forefront? Tough question.  I am curious.

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Where Helicoptermoms Unite

Helicopter moms care so deeply for their children, that in the midst of their hovering they sometimes cause more pain than happiness in the lives of their children.  I know, because I am a helicopter mom and I have a seventeen year old son, whom I love dearly.  But, sometimes I have a difficult time letting go and allowing him to grow up and become an independent, young man.  As mothers we want our children to become productive contributors of society.  We would like to see them succeed and of course, we don’t want them to endure the growing pains that we ourselves have endured in the process of maturing and becoming adults.  We’ve made mistakes and learned some very harsh lessons from what I call the errs of life.

We want to protect our children, by completely shielding them from the misery and suffering that ultimately fosters growth. I am hoping that as a mother who is currently experiencing this phenomenon known to many as over-parenting, that I can tell my story and help other mothers voice their personal struggles and experiences as self-confessed helicopter moms.  Through this forum, we can come together and help one another.  I have been a helicopter mom since the birth of my son almost 18 years ago.  I started law school and didn’t finish because I feel the need to hover over my son to ensure he does not have so many problems I see teenage boys his age experiencing.  So many parts of my life have been placed “on hold”, because of my need and desire to control all aspects of my son’s life.

However, I want to stop trying to control his life and relinquish the reins to him, because he will be 18 in February of next year and if I don’t stop now, I am afraid I will do more harm than good.  I’ve watched many helicopter moms on talk shows like Dr. Phil, Anderson, Oprah and Good Morning America.  I don’t want to be one of those helicopter moms that ruins the relationship with my son and his future family.  Therefore, I need and want help and I’m hoping that by opening up this platform I can help other mothers who suffer from the “helicopter mom” disease.

We’ve gotta cut the umbilical cord and allow our children to grow up.  Yes, it may be difficult at times but we must learn to trust their decisions and trust they’ve learned the valuable lessons we’ve taught them.  If we don’t get help now, unfortunately our actions will have a profoundly negative impact on the lives of our children.  The children we love so dearly.

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Feeling Neutral Today

I am trying to remain neutral about the decisions my son will make about his future.  I would like for him to attend a college nearby, not more than a two-hour drive away.  Of course, I would like to be able to visit with him on the weekends and holidays, but my husband is hoping my son attends a college in another state.  That is a big move for someone so young, particularly if they don’t have any close friends or relatives in that “new” state.

My son will be applying to state colleges, UC colleges and a few Ivy League schools.  He has a great chance of being accepted to an Ivy League and wherever he goes, well – I plan to follow as his mother.  Am I wrong?  I want to be near my son should he have any problems, then he can come to myself and my husband for help or advice.  He’s talking about moving to Boston, New York and even Philadelphia and I am looking for apartments in each of those areas.  I promised my son that I would not get involved in his personal or professional life, but I would like to be a springboard should he need me.

Please let me know if I am wrong or if there are any other mothers who feel the same way I do.

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The Dark Knight Fell

I am horrified by the massacre that occurred in Aurora, Colorado at the opening of the new film, The Dark Knight.  I am a huge movie fan and attend frequently with my family.  It was a tragedy and we have to pray for the families who lost loved ones that night.  Those who are injured, we must pray they return home safely to their families.  I cried most of the day just thinking about “what if it were me or someone close to me?”  It was a senseless act, by obviously a deranged human being.

Unfortunately, we don’t know what makes people do crazy things but we do know there are lots of crazy folks out there who inflict harm on innocent people.  All we can do is pray for justice to prevail.  I was planning to see the movie Saturday morning with my family, but we were afraid there might be copy-cats out there.  So, my family suggested we wait a few days before we go to the movies and we will probably attend a matinée.

I am a super big fan of the batman films.  I love Heath Ledger, may he rest on peace and Christian Bale is fantastic.  We just have to support the families of the victims, while at the same time we must continue to live our daily lives without fear of the unknown.  Despite this tragedy, we will rise above it and everyone will get through this difficult time.

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