Ever wondered how to know if you have mommy issues? The term seems to be all over the internet and discourses. In fact, psychologists and sociologists even publish scientific papers discussing mommy issues and theoretical explanations for them. But how do you find out if you suffer from it, too?
In this article, we will take a closer look at what mommy issues are. We’ll also discuss what it looks like to have them, how they impact daily life, and how to resolve them.
How to Know if You Have Mommy Issues
If you want to know if you have mommy issues, you’re in the right place. In this section, we’ll describe some of the tell-tale signs and reflection points to know if you have mommy issues.
Evaluate Your Relationship with Your Mom
There are two ways having mommy issues can impact your relationship with your mom. Firstly, the more obvious one is that you grew apart over the years. Maybe you don’t talk much anymore or only superficially on special occasions.
Usually, the first scenario involves feeling strong, complex, and negative feelings for your mother. That’s why it’s easier to know you have some unresolved issues with her. However, the second way mommy issues may manifest is more insidious and inconspicuous.
This is when you have an unrealistic, unsustainable, or unhealthy dependency on her. On the surface, it may look like you’re very fond of each other and inseparable. But on closer examination, it’s more of a codependency.
There are no boundaries between you, making it hard for you to take up or fulfil adult responsibilities. Maybe you have too much influence over each other’s decision-making. Consequently, there’s no room for autonomy or your respective significant others.
So take a while and sit to reflect: does your mom’s presence in your life overshadow other areas of your existence? Or vice versa?
Reflect On How You Think About Women
Next, you need to take a look inside and consider how you feel about women as a sex. Do you think that women are hard to trust? Do you hold any fixed ideas or opinions about how all women behave? Perhaps you feel similarly about femininity in general, regardless of the person’s gender.
A mother is the first exposure any child gets to the feminine energy of humans. If something about your interactions with your mom left a deep psychological impact on you, it will affect how you feel about femininity.
Some people with mommy issues detest women and consider them the weaker sex. Others oscillate between deeply desiring them and wanting nothing to do with them. If you are significantly more comfortable around male energies, you probably have some mommy issues.
How Do You Respond When You Don’t Get Your Way?
If your mother was harsh and strict with you, you might expect things not to go your way. On the other hand, if your mother was overly indulgent, maybe you’ll have a tough time not having your way.
Parents are supposed to shape us to adjust to the realistic demands of the world. Ideally, this occurs smoothly when a parent encourages autonomy and yet stays firmly in charge.
Someone with mommy issues may have missed out on that kind of upbringing. So, you need to reflect the next time you’re disappointed. Do you think you deserve it because of your flaws? Do you feel infuriated and like you deserve better? Both perspectives could have something to do with mommy issues.
Do You Struggle with Trust and Intimacy?
Typically, people with mommy issues are unable to create intimacy with others comfortably. This can include physical, emotional, and sexual intimacy. Establishing trust, too, is a challenge, and it’s very easily broken.
As mothers are usually the primary caregivers, how they create trust and intimacy with the child influences all future relationships. Therefore, see if you struggle in similar areas as well. If yes, there is a chance of you having mommy issues.
How Are You with Boundaries?
Obviously, boundaries go hand in hand with trust and intimacy. A person’s ability to set boundaries and hold them up comes initially from their upbringing. If you’re not sure what healthy boundaries should look like between you and your mom, this article might help.
If you have mommy issues, maybe you’re not very good at respecting boundaries, be it yours or others. Unhealthy boundaries can either be too rigid or too porous.
Are You Okay with Making Mistakes?
Finally, another warning sign that you have mommy issues is an aversion to making mistakes. Mistakes are a normal and necessary part of the learning process. You cannot progress much without making plenty of mistakes and learning from them.
Having said that, if you have mommy issues, you probably cannot stand the feeling of making an error. This usually happens because your mother was overly critical of your mistakes in childhood. It can also happen if your mom swooped in to fix your mess, unwittingly depriving you of the opportunity to learn.
What You Should Do if You Have Mommy Issues
Now that we have discussed how to know if you have mommy issues, let’s delve into what to do about it.
Get Professional Help
Clearly, mommy issues are quite complicated, deep-rooted, and involve attachment trauma. That’s why it’s a good idea to consult an expert when embarking on this healing journey.
You can consult a therapist for individual counselling. Nevertheless, if more people in your life are impacted by your mommy issues, it’s recommended to get each one therapy. You can also try couples therapy, family therapy, or some of our self-paced courses.
Work on Your Relationship with Your Mom
As you keep working on overcoming your mommy issues, you will learn more about your relationship with your mom now; if your mother is open to learning as well and changing your dynamics, nothing like it.
You can work on improving this relationship by getting professional help. Another option is to start setting boundaries that help both of you. Remember, boundaries may initially feel like they’re driving you apart, but they’re essential to keep a relationship going.
Improve Your Communication Skills
Working on your mommy issues will require a lot of conversations. These will be conversations with your therapist, your mom (maybe), your romantic partner, friends and other loved ones, and yourself.
It’s crucial to improve communication to make the most of these conversations and continue progressing to a healthier state. Learn how to communicate in non-violent, assertive, and non-accusatory ways.
Get in Touch with Your Emotional Self
Honestly, you won’t be able to do much about your mommy issues if you avoid feeling your feelings. You’ll have to learn how to assign words to your emotional experiences in order to process them.
Additionally, you’ll have to develop the skill of noticing where the emotion lies in your body. You’ll be able to regulate only after enough practice of recognising thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and bodily sensations for every emotion.
Learn More About Mommy Issues
Possibly, you are finding all these suggestions impractical or not doable. Nevertheless, each aforementioned step is critical in learning how to overcome mommy issues. After all, mommy issues are an umbrella term for trauma, emotional neglect, and abuse.
Educating yourself more about mommy issues will definitely make this process easier for you. It will also help you make sense of these steps and find more specific ways of applying them.
Impacts on Daily Life if You Have Mommy Issues
If you’re still wondering why it will benefit to know if you have mommy issues, this section will clarify. Let’s take a look at how mommy issues impact a person’s daily life.
Interpersonal Issues and Conflicts
Naturally, mommy issues show up in interpersonal relationships because of insecure attachment. They cause the individual to feel insecure, jealous, or afraid of abandonment and rejection.
The problems with intimacy and trust, along with the lack of healthy boundaries, cumulate to create conflicts. These conflicts tend to be recurring, frequent, and hard to resolve.
Difficulty Taking Feedback
The low self-esteem that comes with mommy issues can make it very hard for people to take constructive criticism. Either they get overwhelmed with shame and guilt after negative feedback, or they become defensive to offset the shame.
Ultimately, even other people feel uncomfortable being upfront and honest with these individuals. They end up walking on eggshells around them.
Chronic Feelings of Emptiness
Quite often, mommy issues stem from childhood emotional neglect. This can happen either because of an abusive or harsh mother. It can also happen because of a well-meaning but uninformed mother.
As a consequence, the child may grow up to experience a chronic sense of emptiness throughout life. You may try to fill this emptiness with your career, financial growth, relationships, or addictions. But whatever you do, nothing fills up the hole in your soul.
Similarly, in attempts to get rid of the emptiness or even the previously mentioned shame, a person may become impulsive. Mommy issues isolate a person from their feelings to the extent that any emotional experience can be deeply disturbing.
One may indulge in risk-taking behaviour or impulsive decision-making to feel less. It’s not uncommon for people with mommy issues to develop habits of substance abuse, gambling, and sex addiction.
Constantly Comparing Self with Others
Someone with mommy issues will also suffer persistently because of a pattern of always comparing themselves to others. No matter how good things get, they feel like others have it better.
Furthermore, whenever they see someone else’s happiness or success, instead of being happy for them, it somehow pinches to witness. This further exacerbates all the problems listed so far.
Mommy issues comprise unhealthy patterns of behaviour that are caused by attachment failures in the mother-child relationship. These can happen because of outright abuse and neglect. At the same time, they can also occur because of well-intentioned but ignorant attempts at parenthood.
Regardless, it is important for one to know if you have mommy issues because the impact on daily life is severe. Getting expert guidance and support goes a long way in overcoming mommy issues. At United We Care, you will find an abundance of resources to assist you with this.
 Webb, J., 2012. Running on empty: Overcome your childhood emotional neglect. Morgan James Publishing.
 M. Carey, “Chapter 5: Healing the Mother Wound,” Routledge, pp. 85–90, Feb. 2018, doi: 10.4324/9780429493461-5.