The Value Of Having A Mother Figure Who Isn’t Your Mom

March 1, 2019  |  
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mother figure meaning

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I have several second mothers. When introducing my boyfriend to all the important people in my life, my second mothers were at the top of my list. My boyfriend was trying to get a grasp on what my relationship was with them, since I wasn’t quite able to describe it yet myself. To say, “I’m introducing you to my friend today” would throw him off, since these friends were clearly triple my age. But, they aren’t my aunts. We have no blood relation, and it was important my boyfriend knew that, too. Then I got it: they’re my second mothers. That was the best way I could explain it. They feel nurturing and maternal towards me. They have been there for me in the ways a mother will be. They feel invested in my life the way a real mother is. But, ultimately, since they aren’t my actual moms, it’s a unique and valuable relationship. Here is why having a mother figure who isn’t your mom is so important.


They can just be excited for you

When you tell your second mom about something exciting—like a home you’re buying, a new job, or a trip you’re going on—she’s just excited for you. She picks up cues from you to know how to respond. You’re excited and happy so she’s excited and happy. Second moms can be great people to share good news with.


Real moms jump to concern

Your real mother can sort of sour the experience of sharing good news by coming in with concern. Rather than mirroring your enthusiasm for the news, she may immediately bring up potential problems. “Well how’s the neighborhood where you got the house? Is it safe?” or “Are you sure that job is right for you?” Moms can’t help but worry, but sometimes it can ruin the experience of sharing good news.


Your career isn’t about money to them

You can tell your second mom about your passion as it pertains to your career. Let’s say you got a shout out in a reputable publication for your new side business. She’s excited for anything that lets you do the thing you love more.



Mothers worry about finances

Again, real moms can’t help but worry. Your mother might immediately ask, “Well is this side project making you any money? What’s the plan to make this financially lucrative?” You can feel as if you can’t share your passion with her, because she instantly sullies it with talk about money.


Baby talk comes with no pressure

Perhaps you’re on the fence about having children. You have days you feel you’d be great at it, and days you feel you’re not ready at all. It’s nice to have someone to talk to about that, without much pressure.


Your mom wants grandbabies

Your mom can talk to you about whether or not you should have kids, but just remember she has a personal investment in the outcome. She wants those grandbabies, so it can be hard for her to give totally unbiased advice.


Unbiased parenting advice

If and when you do have children, you can go to your second mom for parenting advice. She isn’t personally involved in the situation. She just wants to give you all the knowledge she has to help your kids grow up happy and healthy.


Your mom takes it personally

Your mom cannot help but take it personally if you choose to raise your children in a different manner than she raised you. She takes any hesitance on your end to follow her lead as a judgment on her parenting skills.


They have a pure view about your partner

When it comes to your second mom’s opinion on your partner, it’s very simple: does he make you happy? Does he treat you with respect and kindness? Do you laugh together? Do you communicate well?


Your mom has a different agenda

Moms will be moms and yours may care about things like…how much money he makes, what his family is like, or what religion he comes from. She can focus a lot on those aspects of the relationship, which makes you feel that she doesn’t appreciate your partner’s great qualities.


Honesty in marriage advice

Your second mother will give you honest and unbiased marriage advice. She’ll be pretty open about the struggles her own marriage has faced, the sacrifices she’s made, and the real work that goes into a successful marriage.


Your mom may withhold information

Your mom will always want you to have a certain view of her marriage. Those are your parents, after all. She may not tell you everything because she doesn’t want to pull back the curtain on the people to whom you look up.


An added set of maternal eyes

Having a second set of maternal eyes on your life is only a bonus. This is just another woman, who understands what it’s like to be a woman, and who happens to have a couple of decades of experience on you, so she has wisdom to share.


Your mom is still your mom

Having a second mom doesn’t diminish your relationship with your real mother. It doesn’t disrespect it. Hey, your real mom probably has some younger women she treats like daughters, who aren’t her daughters.


She doesn’t know your past

Your second mom might be someone you meet later in life, after those messy childhood and teenager years. She sees you as an adult. Her view on you isn’t blurry due to your past.


Your mom remembers the past

It’s hard for moms to forget about those tough years. What about those years you had an eating disorder? Or an emotionally abusive boyfriend in college? You know that you’ve far outgrown these, but they were so scary for your mom that she can’t forget them. She filters her advice and conversations with you through those memories.

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