Dear Maura: Do I mother my son too much?
Dear Maura: MY 45-year-old son comes home if he has a serious row with his wife. I think I’ve saved his marriage more than a few times but his wife feels that I’ve made things worse. She wants me to keep my door closed if he arrives after they’ve had an argument. I get on with my daughter-in-law and they’ve two lovely children but I’m not keen on taking instructions from her about my son. His dad agrees with her and is fed up telling me to let him work it out himself. I don’t know what to do because I’m torn between being there for my son, even if he’s in his 40s, or taking heed of what the others are saying. Sometimes my gut is telling me that this is not right but when he’s at the door looking I miserable it’s hard to turn him away. How can I stop doing this after all this time? I suppose I should let him get on with his life and marriage but it’s turning my back on him that’s the difficult thing to do. He’s my only boy and I spoiled him when he was little. Maybe it’s time to get on with my life. Answer: You have a strong emotional attachment to your son. You find it challenging to stop being a hands-on mum to him as you have never fully cut the apron strings. I know that deep down you realise your husband and your daughter-in-law are right about letting your son work through his life with all its ups and downs. It’s important that he stays home after a row and talks everything through with his wife. Running off to his mum and leaving her with the stress of the argument and two children to take care of is just not on. He needs to face up to his responsibilities to his family. You, on the other hand, need to focus on your life — the part after you’ve raised your children.