Ask Marwa: The Key Word is: REVOLUTION #Jan25
Date posted: May 18, 2011
Please help, I’m living the worst days in my life. My mum and I are always in constant fight since I got divorced. We had a great relationship before I got separated from my husband, but now she’s interfering tremendously in my life. She’s commenting all the time on how I bring up my kids, she’s forbidding me to go out especially after the revolution, and spying on my phone calls. She’s invading my privacy and being too protective as if I’m still a teenager. She’s always blaming me that I got divorced and accusing me that I didn’t try to make things work, even though the reason behind the divorce is that he cheated on me with my best friend and actually they got married now! Her over protectiveness and interference are not making me take any decisions without her consultation and that always makes me feel dependent on her. Ever since I was young, She was overprotective and all I can say is that it affected me in many ways, most of them negatively. First thing, it has made me be afraid of almost anything. Ever since I can remember, she wouldn’t let me ride a bike, skip rope, or even ride the bumper cars alone. She wouldn't let me go outside and play with my friends; She always demanded that she’d held my hand to cross the road even when I was 15. She wouldn't let me go outside for a walk around our neighborhood afraid that a car might run me over while trying to cross a street! That was bit understandable when I was young but now I need my freedom, my independence and a life of my own. Please help
Dear Egyptian Daughter of an Egyptian Mother
Do you realize that you are no longer 15? You are a mother yourself yet you are still “allowing” your mother to invade your space. Who is to blame? Whose fault is it? Your mother is the same … she has not changed … and why would she change? If your mother is like our former president Mubarak and she thinks that she is doing this for your best interest because you are totally incapable of taking charge of your own life, and if you are like the many generations who lived in his Egypt under his terms and complained about their lives to every Tom Dick and Harry but never did anything to change the matter of fact, then how do you expect me or anyone to help you? The president stepped down and stepped out of our lives when he was forced to do just that! The same applies in your case! YOU set the rules! YOU set the boundaries! YOU stand up for your rights! YOU take charge of your life!
Your mother is not a bad mother; she is mothering you the only way she knows how to be a mother! She knows that you resent it but she truly believes that it is for your own good. Now it is up to you to prove to her that you are an adult and that you can take care of yourself or you can keep reassuring her that you are not capable of surviving outside her cocoon. I also want you to know that your relationship with your mother will certainly impact how your kids see you and how they turn out to be. Your “revolution” has to start with your independence. As long as you live under her roof, then you are obliged to follow her rules. Until you get your own space, you have to set the limits – firmly and aggressively. When she does something you do not like or when she crosses one of your red lines, tell her clearly that you will not tolerate his behavior and that she is setting a bad example for the kids. What is she teaching them? It is ok for a man to cheat on his wife? It is ok for a girl to hit on her friend’s husband to steal him? It is ok to spy on phones and calls? It is ok to go through other people’s things without their permission? Is that what you want the kids to learn from their grandmother?
The key word here is “revolution”!