You’ve undoubtedly heard of women with “daddy issues” — but what about “mommy issues?”
Fathers aren’t the only parents with the power to negatively impact a female’s life.
Thanks to dear-ole Mom, many ladies are saddled with personality quirks and behavioral tics.
Unfortunately, mommy issues in women can be difficult to pinpoint, yet they cause considerable emotional and mental damage.
So today, we’re unpacking it all.
What are mommy issues?
What are the signs?
What are the solutions?
Let’s get to it.
What Are Mommy Issues?
No two mommy issue cases are alike, making the condition challenging to treat. Sometimes it’s rooted in childhood trauma; other times, mommy issues are a symptom of overly doting mothers who did everything “right.”
Broadly speaking, mommy issues arise from strained and challenging mother-child dynamics that affect personal development.
Common culprits include:
- Emotional distance and lack of affection
- Extreme domestic conflict
- Narcissism and other types of pathological self-centeredness
- Physical and emotional abuse
- Extreme conflict avoidance
11 Signs of Mommy Issues in Woman
We’ve discussed the roots of the problem, but what are mommy issue symptoms?
Reasons run the gamut, and so do the signs. Some women with maternal-related behavioral quirks become overly exhibitionist, others pathologically retreat into themselves, and still others become hyper-controlling.
That said, there are patterns, and women who struggle with mommy issues tend to exhibit some of the same behaviors. Let’s take a look.
1. You’re Needy
People raised by emotionally distant mothers may crave emotional nurturing and become very needy.
If this describes your situation, the first thing to understand is that you’re not some freak. Many people go through periods of neediness.
Many people will make you feel like neediness is the worst thing in the world. But most people go through a clingy phase at some point. Now, is it something you should work on and try to change?
Absolutely. But don’t beat yourself up.
A positive affirmation to combat neediness: I enjoy being self-sufficient, materially and mentally.
2. You Have Difficulty Expressing Affection
Do you put the “I” in stoic? Is expressing affection a challenge for you?
If this sounds like you, it may be a symptom of mommy issues.
- Was your mother withholding?
- Did she treat you more like a project instead of an individual with likes, dislikes, and feelings?
- Was everything about keeping up “appearances” in your family?
If so, that modus operandi is probably what you internalized, and now you continue the tradition. After all, we learn habits from our parents and guardians.
A positive affirmation to combat extreme stoicism: It is safe to express my emotions with friends and family.
3. You’re Detached and Resentful
Are you perpetually on edge?
Does every unexpected cough, flash, and bang send you flying across the room?
How about your relationships? Are you always suspicious of what other people “really mean?”
If this description sums you up, you may be dealing with detachment issues, which are often linked to maternal relationships.
In most instances, people with this quirk detach from people before being rejected. They also tend to keep their guard all the way up at all times.
Being overly critical and resentful of other females is another telltale sign of mommy issues in women.
A positive affirmation to combat detachment and resentfulness: Everyone is trying their best, including me.
4. You Engage in Excessive Caretaking
People who become excessive caretakers may develop the behavior because of a neglectful mother or a hovering one.
Some people fall into this pattern to “over-correct” the “sins” of the mother. On the opposite side of the excessive-caretaking coin are people mirroring their mother’s tendency to control family members and situations.
Sometimes, folks who fall into this category neglect themselves to the point of ruin.
A positive affirmation to combat excessive caretaking: I deserve caretaking, too.
5. You Live With Constant Tension
Does tension mold your life?
Do you worry and fret about every last thing?
As a result, do you find yourself frequently snipping at people when things aren’t exactly as you envisioned?
If your head is bobbing up and down in agreement, there’s a chance you’ve got mommy issues. Many people in this category discover it’s a multigenerational trauma — or a tick passed down from mother to daughter for ages.
A positive affirmation to combat constant tension: My body is an expert at releasing stress. I am calm.
6. You’re Freighted With Insecurities
Was your mother, shall we say, less than complimentary?
Maybe she never patted you on the back or said, “good job,” or perhaps she was the type who would ignore you if you were anything less than perfect or withheld when you didn’t win.
Either way, your childhood was marred by your mother’s impossibly high standards.
People who dealt with a mother like this are often freighted with insecurities as they grow older. Things can grow especially fraught in their twenties when they’re trying to figure out adulting but are still highly influenced by “the crowd.”
A positive affirmation to combat insecurities: I am worthy, talented, beautiful, and capable.
7. You’re an Extreme People Pleaser
Some women with mommy issues become pathological people pleasers. They bend over backward to gain acceptance.
Sadly, people pleasers usually go out of their way for people and get little in return. It’s a toxic cycle. Moreover, the line between kindness and people-pleasing isn’t always clear-cut.
But you’ve probably crossed the line if you have an icky feeling that a relationship isn’t egalitarian. The realization can be devastating, but the best thing to do is cut it out like cancer.
It may hurt initially, but the Universe rewards people for taking the proper steps. Instead of being upset about ending a connection, be thrilled that you’ve made room for one that’s more fulfilling.
A positive affirmation to combat people pleasing: I deserve to please myself.
8. You’re Controlling
Are you the spitting behavioral image of your controlling mother?
We promise you that it’s not a good look. Controlling people can suck the life out of situations and make others feel uncomfortable.
People who fall on the insufferable end of the controlling scale may have trouble maintaining equitable, healthy relationships.
A positive affirmation to combat control issues: I relinquish control to the divine Universe.
9. You’re Very Judgmental
Are you wondering: Do I have mommy issues? If so, the next question to ask yourself is, “Am I very judgmental?” Because the two often go hand in hand.
The tricky part is that we tend to think we’re much less judgmental than we actually are.
So getting to the bottom of this issue requires a ton of self-awareness and an ability to stare down one’s faults without becoming defensive and reactionary.
Other variations include always talking about other people behind their backs and avoiding conflict to a destructive degree.
A positive affirmation to combat being judgmental: Everything is how it should be, and compassion is the best guide.
10. You’re Codependent
Do you hate being alone? Do you need other people around to feel safe and sound?
This feeling may be rooted in a mommy issue called “hovering.”
Mothers who don’t let their daughters be their own people often raise codependent ladies who rely on others to handle their responsibilities.
A positive affirmation to combat codependency: I have everything I need to live a happy and successful life.
11. You Go Through a Promiscuous Stage
Some women with mommy issues may go through a period of promiscuity that stems from a need to feel loved.
Since their mothers didn’t offer unconditional love, they search for it in all the wrong places. Promiscuity often happens when women end up self-medicating.
If this sounds like you, don’t beat yourself up. Females are too often chastised, shamed, and ridiculed for sexual activity, while males are not. It’s a double standard that needs to end.
However, if you’re not feeling good about your heightened intimacy, consider working on it with a therapist or life coach.
A positive affirmation to combat sexually related shame: I am loved and accepted just as I am.
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What Are the Effects of Mommy Issues?
Mommy issues follow us directly into adulthood. In fact, many women don’t realize they have them until they’re well into their 50s or senior citizens.
Unfortunately, letting them fester and never addressing mommy issues can metastasize into other problems, including:
- Self-Doubt: Crippling self-doubt can stall your life, and it’s frequently a symptom of mommy issues.
- Relationship Maintenance: A lack of solid relationship role models may affect your ability to be a great partner or friend.
- Serial Monogamy: Some women with mommy issues become serial monogamists. They quickly and repeatedly become entangled in intense relationships. But the unions usually blow up in spectacular fashion because of unresolved issues and dismissals of early “red flags.”
- Mental Health Challenges: Women with unaddressed mommy issues may struggle with anxiety, depression, and even borderline personality disorder when older.
How to Deal with Mommy Issues
The key to overcoming mommy issues is recognizing you have mommy issues. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, getting over them is so much easier.
How do you do it? Let’s take a look.
Identify the Problem
As we said, identifying the problem is step one. At that point, take responsibility, then start journaling and meditating on the issue. Try to cultivate compassion for yourself and others, including your mother.
Setting boundaries is the next step. Usually, you’ll need to set these with your mother while you work through your issues. Talk with her and be honest about how you feel. Do your best to be as kind as possible.
If your mom is no longer here, you can still talk to her. Write a letter and tell her how you feel. Remember that most people try to do their best, so cultivating compassion for your mom is necessary and kind.
Work on Yourself
Once boundaries are in place, it’s time to start working on yourself. This step can be tough because correcting behavioral and personality shortcomings is much more challenging than many realize.
Try to maintain compassion for yourself throughout the process, and reward yourself for small wins. If you should apologize to certain people, do it. Invest in yourself by working on your flaws.
Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations sometimes get a bad rap. But it’s a highly effective tool — because we are what we think.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change itself, and using positive affirmation replaces your internal critic. Doing them may feel funny at first. But stick with it to reap the mental health rewards.
Work With a Professional
If possible, enlist the help of a therapist or life coach. They can help you process your mommy issues in a safe environment and pinpoint destructive patterns that need changing.
Don’t beat yourself up if you think you have mommy issues. We all must navigate certain flaws and personality quirks throughout our lifetimes. The key is pinpointing yours and having the courage and compassion to face them.