Are you ready for a moment of Freud? We're going to talk about your mother. You love her, obviously. But sometimes she drives you crazy, embarrasses you or says something so insane you question whether you're related to her at all. Maybe sometimes you hate her. But, according a new book by clinical psychologist Stephan B. Poulter, your bond with your mother has a huge impact on your life and your unconscious and totally influences how you form adult relationships. You're thinking, well, just like we're all different people, there are many different kinds of mothers, right? Wrong! According to Dr. Poulter, there are only five types of mothers:
- The Perfectionist Mother — whose family must look perfect in every way
- The Unpredictable Mother- whose ups and downs can create lifelong anxiety and depression in her son or daughter
- The "Me First" Mother — whose children come second or last
- The "Best Friend" Mother — who's now in vogue but can wreak havoc
- The Complete Mother- who provides guidance and shows compassion to her child
I love my mom! But she was — and is — rather unpredictable. Now I'm on Celexa, haha. Kidding! But she was also a "best friend" type who didn't care if I went to CBGB the summer I was 15 as long as I didn't talk to any sailors in town for Fleet Week "because they've been at sea a long time." She also provided plenty of guidance and compassion. So are there really five styles of mothering? Maybe. But my list would be more like this:
- The Clueless Mom — who really believes you were "studying" when you come home with grass on your back and doesn't know what that pretty glass vase in your room is really for
- The Alarmist Mom — who thinks the desks at school might be made with carcinogenic materials and wonders if your moles are "growing" and assumes you're dead if you don't call exactly at 11p.m.
- The Mean Mom — who grounds you first, asks questions later. Hates your boyfriends, tells you you're going nowhere fast. New friends come over once and never again. Capable of withering plants with a single gaze.
- The Old-Country Mom — who was born elsewhere and uses you as an interpreter, ambassador and errand-runner. Understands more English than she lets on but pretends not to. Just wants you to marry a nice boy.
- The Stage Mom — who pushes you into fame but hates being left behind; wants to share (or steal) the spotlight. See: Lohan, Dina; Rocky.
Did we miss any? Are there more types of moms? And which do you have?
How Your Mother's Emotional Legacy Impacts Your Life [EurekAlert]