BossBitch: S(mother)ed

Dear BossBitch,

My mother is extremely overbearing and micromanages a lot of what I do (without my consent). Whenever I have a paid job, she'll call me in the morning to ensure that I'm headed to work. Once I complain enough and tell her to stop, she starts calling my roommates or my boss to ask if I went to work that day. How on earth do I stop this?

Dear S(mother)ed, 

All these damn self-centered Millennials and their arrested development, ammirite? 

Don’t you love when the baby-boomers helicopter for 20+ years and then turn around and call us coddled? It’s so fun. 

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. Can you imagine knowing someone from the day they were born and watching them turn into a full-grown person while you stay at least somewhat the same? Wouldn’t it be hard to constantly rearrange your mindset about that person? I freak out when I think about the kid I used to babysit who’s now a senior in high school. I can’t begin to picture what it would be like to watch a person become a person. What I’m trying to say is, I get why your mom struggles. 

I have similar issues with my father. He doesn’t coddle me, and he sure as hell doesn’t call my office, but he does have trouble thinking about his kids as adults. While my mother transitioned into friend/parent seamlessly, my dad has more trouble; he’s still very much a parent/parent. I try my best to empathize with this. When I struggle and get frustrated with my dad, I think about the kid I babysat. After I freak out a little bit about my mortality and the ceaseless passage of time, it’s easier for me to understand my dad’s point of view. 

Your relationship with your mom won’t change overnight. You’re going to have to train her a little. First of all, put your phone on Do Not Disturb in the morning. If she panics and starts calling police stations, try weaning her off the phone calls and text her in the morning instead. It can be just to say hi or you can change the conversation and ask her about her life. 

I can’t make assumptions about your relationship with your mom, but it might help to start having friend conversations with her. This starts by making it as much about her life as it is about yours. I credit my grown-up relationship with mom on the fact that somewhere along the line we switched from being mother and daughter first to friends first. She shares as much of her life as I share mine. We have shared interests too. This is partly just a happy accident, but partially purposeful. We read books the other recommends and we watch the same shows. We talk about these things in detail. We also gossip about family and friends. Our relationship is a team effort and I can’t guarantee that this will work with your mom, but it’s worth a shot.  I think focusing on your friendship with your mom is the best strategy to cool the helicopter tactics. 

And for the love of God, don’t give your mother your work number or your boss’s number. If that ship has sailed and she already has your boss’s number, then you need to very firmly explain to your mother that she CANNOT call your boss. You will never have any respect at work if you mother calls in. Them’s the breaks. I get that you understand this, but she needs to. If need be, show her this article. Are you listening Mom? No more calling your daughter’s office! If she doesn’t make it in to work that is her problem. You got her this far; trust her to take it from here. She’s got this.