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Overprotective mother, still tries to be part of my decision making, but i'm 28?

Community Member


So the story is i'm a late bloomer at most things in life so far, I'm 28 (f) and still living at home (I will admit due to poor choices along with being scared to move in the past). Three of my siblings have moved out long ago (all in their early 20's), it's just our youngest sister and I at home.

As i've always been a bit of a loner, my mum and I have always been close, and done a lot of things together.

Recently, I met my boyfriend (first) and have been spending a lot of time with him, which I know is perfectly normal. The problem is, I can see my mum getting annoyed by the fact I don't spend as much time with her anymore (I stay at his house a few nights a week).

Another issue I've been having is that I can sense my mum getting irritated by the fact i've been agreeing or taking advice from him, while I once would have done everything my mum said or recommended. Now i'm looking at things from (to her) an outside perspective, and I suppose in her mind making opposite or 'wrong' choices. From my understanding, it's normal for someone to adopt views or habits of their partner in some ways. A recent example- I was going to have my car updated/fixed at her local mechanic, but when I told my bf how much it would cost, he recommended a guy he knew who could do it for much less and recently did the same for his car, so I agreed to go for it. When I told my mum i'd cancelled her guy she became very defensive in a way that made me feel like a naughty child!

I guess my mum must feel she's losing me to him? But I'm starting to feel suffocated by her. I should also note, her mum became the same way as she aged, wanting to be around her all the time, acting clingy. My mum always said "I wont ever be like your grandma", but it's definitely happening....

She was able to let my other three siblings go, and has no say in their life (while still on good terms with them).

When I try to explain how I feel to her, she gets all defensive and I have to act all apologetic and reassure her.

My dad knows how I feel about it, and completely understands.

What can I say to her? Any advice would be appreciated!



4 Replies 4

Community Member

Hi livm88. As a mum myself to 2 grown children I can sort of relate to how your mum feels when her 'babies' suddenly start growing up. We try to protect, guide and nurture our kids as it's hard to believe they grow and want to pursue their own lives. We promise never to interfere or distract our kids from making friends, stretching their wings etc. Suddenly, seemingly out of the blue they meet their prospective future partners and all their promises to never leave home disappear, leaving mum so bewildered and confused. When you met your now bf and all of a sudden you appeared to be hanging on to his every word, your mum felt betrayed, angry and possibly slightly jealous. To her, your bf was attempting to usurp her in your life. You probably don't realize this, but your mum possibly was not enthusiastic when your siblings left and it's quite likely she has had to learn to 'bite her tongue' when speaking to them. At 28 she is finding it harder to accept your wish to pursue your own life, as she has become used to and possibly believes this arrangement would stay as is. If you have suddenly started staying with your bf, without preparing her, this will upset and dismay her as she is worried that you are going to get hurt. Try to make a special time for her and you once a week to enjoy dinner and just be together. At the same time, tell her your bf is a great guy and whatever happens you can deal with it. Yes, you may eventually split from him, you may not. But tell your mum whatever happens you still love her, that won't change and gradually she will start to accept your new life. She's had a shock and needs time to adjust.


Community Member

Thanks pipsy!

You're right, she probably has been liking our arrangement and hoped it would stay this way (I guess in a way I made it seem like this by being ok still living at home, never really complaining about it).

She definitely likes my bf, and is very happy i've found someone, but I guess he has opposite opinions to her on many things (in a way she and I are cautious/anxious/opposite of go-getter type people), and I suppose i've been changing a lot of my own opinions lately when once I would have said the opposite.

I should try to make more time definitely, we used to go out at least once a week for dinner, I haven't been doing that much lately!

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Olivia, a good reply by Pipsy, and yes you're her last person she feels attached to so it's rather daunting for her, but eventually you have to get your own life but this doesn't mean that you leave your mum out, you and your b/friend can take her out for a pinic, or the movies if you can afford it, in other words involve her in certain things every week and then slowly decrease involving your mum, it's just a way to recondition your mum slowly so she can still be happy.
Maybe you could take her to a bingo night so that she can meet other people, and again slowly stop going yourselves.
She feels lost, that's only natural, so she has to learn on meeting other people. Geoff. x

Community Member

Thanks Geoff,

Yes good advice. I guess she wants to be involved a little, she does want to see my bf more (problem is he's a bit shy of my parents, although the times he's met them they've gotten along well, even if it's only a brief meeting).

Thanks again!