Dear Mom, You’re Fired


Welcome! I’m a practicing psychologist, author and apology critic who helps people find the right words for the right situation. I use my creativity to help my clients and friends work on their relationship and communication puzzles.

Recently, I sat with a woman who loves her firstborn, grown child more than life itself. I tried to creatively and gently explain that her parenting job has ended and her friendship job has begun. I was walking a tight rope: wanting to support her while also encouraging her to loosen her grip. I was trying to find a creative way to get this across to her. I was at a loss in dealing directly with her, so I came up with a perspective shift. I wondered what her adult child would write if they were painfully honest. While I didn’t feel comfortable sharing this with her, I wanted to share it with you in the hopes of providing a perspective shift. Maybe in reading this, you might find some words or thoughts needed in dealing with a parent struggling to cut apron strings.

Dear Mom,

I want to thank you for all you’ve done for me. You gave birth to me and you raised me with loving care. A person couldn’t ask for a better mom than you.

However, I’m  firing you. You’ve brilliantly worked yourself out of a job and I’m fully grown now.  I’m thirty years old but you treat me like I’m only ten. “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” You offer reminders at every turn this feels like control more than support and I don’t think you intend this.

I feel embarrassed when I’m around my friends and you correct me. I cringe when you rearrange my stuff. I’m respectfully asking you to please stop doing this.

Please step away from this job. I’m not your lifelong project. I’m your grateful, adult child. Your GROWN UP offspring. I hope someday we can be adult friends who meet on equal footing. Perhaps someday I’ll ask for your advice. For now, keep these things in mind:

Please don’t give me endless advice. It makes me feel inadequate.

Please don’t criticize my choice of dates and friends. It makes me feel like I can’t do anything right.

Please don’t bail me out. It makes me feel weak.

Please don’t call me every morning. I have an alarm clock.

Please don’t call me every evening. I have a life and I want you to have your own life too.

Please don’t interrupt me. I want you to be interested in what I’m saying.

Please don’t clean my house. I want it to be good enough for you “as is.”

Please don’t compare me to others. I want you to be proud of me.

Please don’t chat with my former love interests. I want you to be on my team, not theirs.

Please don’t critique my parenting. When you criticize me, you cut me to the core.

Mom, you’ve done a lot of things right, including raising me. You used to chuckle and step back when my toddler self would insist, “I’ll do it by myself!” I feel the same way today. Take a breather, mom. You’ve done a good job and I’m doing just fine. If you still want to pour into me, pour words of praise. My plate is so full. I need your encouragement and words of blessing. Be my friend.

With appreciation,

Your independent and profoundly grateful child


How about you? Who or what in your life should be fired? Leave a comment and be entered in my monthly drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card.


I’m pleased to be joining Emily Freeman for her link up about creativity this month.

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