Demanding parents

QUESTION: Masters I am a grown woman with kids. However, I have a mother that is extremely clingy and demanding and wants me to visit and stay with her all the time. If I do not visit at least once a week she gets very sulky, angry and upset. I have explained constantly to her that with kids, work, and study I can’t always be there for her but she is selfish and doesn’t care. My husband wants to move to another state, but she gets furious and angry even when I mention this possibility. She is 92 and in very good health, so I feel guilty and pressured to be there for her. I understand she is being selfish but I can’t help feeling guilty. Though I do try to not pander to her. Is this a past life karmic relationship? And how can I best deal with it. ~Lola, Australia

ANSWER: You are allowing yourself to be manipulated, controlled, badgered, and intimidated. You owe this woman, who just happens to be called your mother, nothing. Think back over your lifetime during all the circumstances when she could have been beneficial to you and chose not to help because it was inconvenient for her. Looking at your life, why do you feel guilty? You have never done anything to generate those feelings.

Age does not bestow the privilege to dictate to others. Granted, she is lonely right now, but mostly that is of her own doing. She has not ingratiated herself with others with whom she could share her time. She figures she has you at her beck and call, so why should she seek out anyone else?

Do not let her control your life. Your purpose in life is to provide for your family and grow them into caring, loving individuals. Seeing you catering to an ungrateful mother is not setting a very good example for them.

Your husband’s desire to move is based on the future of his family. While he understands your mother’s desire to be the center of your universe, she should not be, and it frustrates him that you give in so easily. This is a lesson for you in discerning the importance of each aspect of your life. You are not honoring or loving yourself. You have freedom of choice. Don’t let others make your choices for you.

This is not “karmic” as you call it because that would imply that it is a punishment. This is a lesson in self-worth and understanding character issues such as guilt, obligation, allowing others to control, and being true to your own path in life.