The two obviously have an amazing relationship, openly discussing Tinsley, 42, freezing her eggs and going wedding dress shopping together, but her mom crossed a line with Tinsley when she admitted she spoke to her daughter’s boyfriend Scott about Tinsley not having much time left to have babies. Embarrassing to say the least.
We all love support from our moms, but when — and how — do you say back off?
“Moms do this for a few reasons largely. It’s usually a form of insecurity or a fear,” New York-based therapist Jason Ross says. “Usually this leads to resentment and defiance. Very delicate subject matter…Kids are the biggest decision you can ever make. Ask a parent to define their job as a parent in one sentence...usually they say ‘I want my child to be happy,’ but where does the parent end and the child begin? How she wields that power is very important.”
Ross adds that, at some point, you have to live for your own hopes and dreams, otherwise how can you be happy?
“A child isn’t a status symbol; it shouldn’t be anyway, but often is used as one,” he says. “It’s similar to overzealous dads who push their children with sports to fulfill their own insecurities, failures and misgivings. Never works out well.”
As for a mom having a discussion with your partner about your “timeline,” you can explain your boundaries to her, and hope she respects where the line is.
“Triangulation is usually an ineffective way to manage relationships. It’s dishonest and sneaky and an adult child is not going to appreciate it,” Ross says.
Lauren Eavarone, who offers sex therapy and relationship counseling in New York City, says that moms often see traditional gender norms as women caring for the home and raising children.
“We continue to redefine these norms as women have access to education and focus on building careers,” she says. “Depending on your familial culture and beliefs, the push from a mother on their child to have children may be due to the ingrained belief that childbearing equates to ‘success’ and ‘fulfillment.’ As a result, the daughter or son may experience their intentions as overwhelming.
“If that is the only way of life your mother has experienced, that’s the language she speaks. This can be a challenge for the mother-child relationship if the child experiences this message as an expression of disappointment or disapproval from their mother. It would be useful to differentiate between others’ expectations of you and your expectations of yourself.”
Eavarone says that if the pressure is negatively impacting your well being and/or relationship with your mom, be assertive and establish new boundaries about the “shoulds” she thinks you need to do.
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