Ever notice that when you get together with your Mother, you end up playing the same roles that you had in junior high? No matter how sophisticated and worldly we become, we revert to those same roles we had at sixteen. We all love our Mothers and appreciate what they have done for us by raising us; However, the same arguments and resentments can bubble up and despite the lovely flowers, cards and chocolates, the best intentions for a pleasant day can disappear in a flash. Here are some tips for getting along with your Mother this Mother’s Day.

1. Don’t Let Your Mother Push Your Buttons.

There are always a few hot-button topics between Mother and Daughter that will generate an emotional response. It might be hair, weight, style of dress, child-rearing, or choice in men. For me that topic is hair. My short-cropped hair has always been too short for my mother. When she would visit, sometimes her first comment would be, “You could be beautiful if you let your hair grow.” I would usually say something nasty in response; one of us would give the other the silent treatment and the first day of the visit would be ruined. If I knew then what I know now, I would have focused on the goal (having a nice visit) and checked my emotions at the door before my mother’s visit. Emotions such as anger can make one lose control and losing control is not what I want to do in the first five minutes of my mother’s visit. Now I make a light-hearted comment and go on to some other topic.

2. Look Forward, Not Back. The Past Is Called The Past For A Reason.

If one gets too involved in what has happened in the past, it can be counter-
productive. Don’t try to settle old scores during Mother’s Day. Remember your goal is to get through Mother’s Day without any flare- ups. Even if you feel that you have a grievance against your Mother, try to get beyond that, at least for now, and give yourself a reprieve from thinking about that issue. If you are still angry, take a few deep breaths and this will help relax you. Try to stay in the present and build new memories.

3. Be Willing To apologize.

If you have an argument with your Mother, make the first move to reconcile. Be prepared to shoulder some of the blame even if you don’t believe you did anything wrong. A sincere apology, and I mean sincere, can go a long way. When considering whether to make the first move, keep in mind that people do make mistakes, especially Mothers. When we are young, we think that our parents can do no wrong. As we get older, we realize that they are human and make mistakes, too. Also consider that your first move may be rejected and don’t be upset by that. Try at least one more time. Then you know that you made the effort and tried to take the high ground.

4. Try Something New

Ever notice that when you negotiate or argue with a loved one like your Mother, that you use the same techniques and even the same arguments over and over. There is often a sense of déjà vu. Try something different. If you want your Mother to do something but you are afraid to ask, ask anyway. It does not hurt to ask. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. The worst that can happen is that she says no. If there is something very important to you don’t take no for an answer, even if it is your Mother. As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Don’t be intimidating but try to think of a different way to convince her to give you what you want. Make a minor change, or compromise or suggest a trade off so that she gets something she wants as well. For example, if you want your Mother to take care of the kids for a weekend, then think of something nice you can do for her.

5. Be Thankful

Be thankful for being able to share this Mother’s Day with your Mother. Remember that
she may not be around next year or the year after and that those very maddening habits
you dislike now, you might even miss when she is gone. Try to remember all the
good things now and thank her now.

If you follow these tips, you will have a Happy Mother’s Day.

Author's Bio: 

Mary Greenwood, Attorney Mediator, and Author of
How to Negotiate like a Pro, 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes
Available at www.barnesandnoble.com or www.amazon.com
Visit http://www.Marygreenwood.com
Email: Howtonegotiate@aol.com
DIY Award 2006, Best "How To" book
Finalist ForeWard Magazine, Book of the Year Award