Dear Annie: I’ve tried to forgive my mom but she won’t change

Dear Annie: I was abused by my dad as a child, and my relationship with my mother was hell growing up. She was verbally and physically abusive toward me well into my 20s. She began a new relationship and things got worse. The situation between us got a little better when she became sick and I had to take care of her. My siblings didn’t pitch in, even though she treated them better than she did me.

I have two daughters now, and she makes comments or critiques the way I parent. If I defend myself, she calls me disrespectful and says I’m hurting her feelings. I am very close to my two daughters. My mother now wants to be close with me (and them, too), but I can’t. I’ve tried to forgive her for the past, but she hasn’t changed. She’s rude to my kids sometimes, and I have to defend them from her. It’s not the relationship I want them to have with her. I had a great relationship with my grandmothers. I love her, but I don’t want to be around her sometimes. She’s just too much. How do I tell her she needs to change or we can’t have a relationship?

-- Over It

Dear Over It: You are under no obligation to bring harmful energy around your children -- whether it comes from your mother or anyone else.

The first step is establishing what your boundaries are. Then, communicate them in no uncertain terms to your mother. If she is not willing to respect them, then she is not welcome around your kids. Simple as that.

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Dear Annie: I’ve been feeling increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of my job, and I’m not sure how to proceed. I’ve always been a hard worker and dedicated to my career. But lately, it seems like no matter how much effort I put in, I’m constantly falling behind.

On top of that, the work-life balance is totally out of whack. I barely have time for myself, let alone for my loved ones or hobbies. I feel drained, both mentally and emotionally, with no end in sight.


I know I need to make a change, but I’m hesitant to take any drastic measures that could jeopardize my career or financial stability. How can I regain control of my work-life balance and prioritize my well-being without sacrificing my professional goals? Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

-- Feeling Overwhelmed

Dear Feeling Overwhelmed: Balancing career aspirations with personal well-being is a delicate task, but it’s important for maintaining overall happiness and fulfillment.

Firstly, I encourage you to consider setting boundaries and communicating openly with your employer about your workload. It sounds like things weren’t always this stressful; did something change recently in a way that’s not working for you? Employers typically want to set their employees up for success, so he or she may actually be grateful that you’re bringing this to their attention.

Additionally, prioritize activities that recharge your batteries outside of work hours. Whether it’s spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies or relaxing with a book, self-care is important for maintaining your emotional resilience.

Annie Lane

Annie Lane offers common-sense solutions to everyday problems. She's firm, funny and sympathetic, echoing the style of her biggest inspiration, Ann Landers. She lives outside Manhattan with her husband, two kids and two dogs. When not writing, she devotes her time to play dates and Play-Doh. Write her: