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I have a relatively problematic situation with my mum that I can't really talk about to somebody.

As long as I remember my mum and me had (at least most of the time) a good relation to each other. I'm 21 years old now, after I finished school two years ago, I moved to a larger city (about 150km away, which is considered relatively "far" where I come from ;)) and started working there since the job situation there was and is still much better.

Since I moved out, my mum called me every evening, the first months I had to come home every weekend (now it's just every second but still a lot especially because it takes me at least three hours to get there). Now, if I'm not at home on weekend she calls me like three or four times, both saturday and sunday. If I'm not at my flat she writes me "tons" of text messages.

My mum "annoying" (it's not really annoying, but I can't find a word that fits better) me actually keeps me from having my own life I think. For example: on our phone call every evening she always asks me if I eventually found a girlfriend which is simply impossible. After an eight hours workday with about one and a half hours of travel time plus about one hour talking to my mum there is not much time left to spend on doing such things. I'd like to use the weekend for something like that but usually I have to spend that time with her as well. She also wants me to move back to her (yes, the same house) after I finished my apprenticeship. To her it also seems obvious that I "want" to spend all of my holiday with her, she never thinks that I could actually want to go somewhere on my own.

So instead of using the time I have to solve my own problems I have to either talk with my mum about things I'm not interested in at all (like what her neighbours friend had to lunch..) or help solve her problems, which is pretty difficult sometimes.

Every time I tried talking with her about my problem she started to cry or make me feel bad and guilty so I don't know how I could change that situation.

I think the problem is that she always used to spend her free time with me instead of her friends or even her husband (my dad ^^) and she wants to keep that.

I really hope somebody here has an advice how I could change this situation or talk about it with my mum because it's very frustrating and I actually love my mum, but currently I don't even want to answer the phone when I see it's her.

  • Just a few background questions: Are you an only child? Is she living with your dad? (And, as I took a peek at your profile: Is your dad one of the cliché non-talking Swabians?) Welcome to the site! – Stephie Sep 19 '16 at 16:07
  • Well, that situation is even more complicated, I used to be a "care child" and hot adopted when I was 18, but lived with my care parents, now adoptive parents since I was 3 years old. – Stefan Sep 19 '16 at 16:14
  • my dad lives with my mum, but he is (don't want to insult him..) not that intelligent, but not stupid. He usually lets my mum do all the paper work. Thats why she always talks about things like that with me – Stefan Sep 19 '16 at 16:15
  • "Foster Child" 😉. Will be away, why don't you take the tour and browse our help center until the answers start coming in? – Stephie Sep 19 '16 at 16:16
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    Just as a read-up that might explain some things: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_nest_syndrome – Erik Sep 20 '16 at 8:21
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I can't say I had similar problems, it wasn't as bad. But still, at some point in my life I felt the same urge to have to be able to have my own life. And especially not have to "check in" with my parents about every step I take. It can be hard, because you love them and don't want to hurt them neither want to loose the closeness or endanger this relationship in any way. One thing that helped me was seeing it this way: They once in their life did the same. They started to separate more from their parents and have a life, build their own family, focus on their career, whatever it is you want to. So I just did that. Without further notice, without making a fuzz about it. I did not tell them every detail of my life anymore. I send texts saying "Sorry, can't call tonight, will be out with friends. Is tomorrow okay for you?" And sometimes the answer was "No, we are not home tomorrow, but wednesday should be fine. Have fun!" No drama. At some point I started to just not call. Not because I wanted them to feel bad, but I felt like I don't want to have a fixed appointment for that. I called when I felt like it, and I asked them to call me when they felt like it. Which they still rarely do. We use messengers, though. It's different than messaging with your friends but it works nicely to get over the "no phone call"-days. In the end, I was the one who was making a drama out of it. My parents reacted just fine. They might miss me sometimes, but they know that this is what adults do. And that I will always come running when they need me. Or when I need them ;-)

To make this more relevant... I grew up close to where you live. Same culture, I guess.

TL;DR: Phase it out. Not completely, not suddenly, but step by step. You will all survive.

  • To be honest this is what I'm currently trying to do already, did not work that well yet but I think I'll just have to continue.. It's just very difficult ;) – Stefan Sep 21 '16 at 14:37
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Consider limiting the times that you'll take calls from your mother. You don't need to tell her; just stop answering except at those times. She'll eventually learn to call at the times that you're likely to answer, and you can have the rest of the time to yourself.

If you want, you could even call her at those times.

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    On top of this, I'd also recommend setting some sort of "time limits" for those calls. One hour a day just strikes me as way too much, but of course, these don't have to be "hard limits" nor should they be implemented overnight. Effective time management is a rising virtue these days. – Marc.2377 Sep 21 '16 at 13:25
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Get some hobbies that involve meetings, classes, and social events: "I'm going to my crochet class tomorrow evening, so I won't be phoning.". "I've got community theater rehearsals all this week, and performances Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. Won't be home this weekend. I'll call you next Monday.".

That has two benefits. It gets your mother used to less frequent phone calls, and it gives you a chance to meet people outside work.

  • Thanks, that's a great advice though it's actually pretty obvious :) – Stefan Sep 21 '16 at 18:48
  • @Stefan I was surprised it had not already been suggested. – Patricia Shanahan Sep 21 '16 at 18:49

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