Decoding Mom Logic: The Limitations Of A Liberal Mother


My Saturday afternoons are strictly reserved for extensive naps and binge-watching Netflix‘s best drops. One such Saturday, I was deep into my Sex Education binge-watch. Watching Otis belt out sex advice to his classmates in a dingy, isolated bathroom was quite thrilling for me. I was glued to the couch without any signs of moving and my mother decided to hand me a bowl of fruits, just like all mothers do. Gillian Anderson’s character, Jean Milburn caught her eye and she decided to watch an episode with me. “How is this woman talking about sex so confidently and with so much grace?”, she wondered. But, when she read my first print byline about clitoral stimulation, she had the opposite reaction. “Is it really necessary for you to be so open about something like this?”


When I was getting ready for Lollapalooza, a music festival that I’d been looking forward to for months. I was going to watch my favourite artist Halsey perform for the first time and I wanted my makeup and outfit to match the energy of the festival. I took the ultimate concert girlie route by donning a silver mesh top over a black sports bra with classic ripped jeans. My makeup was gothic with dark lipstick and I chose some intense eye makeup with rhinestones. Just as I was wrapping things up, my mother walked into the room and exclaimed, “Are you going to go out looking like THAT?”, with a hint of disgust in her voice. I was slightly taken aback because I expected better. Better from a woman who raised me to express myself exactly how I wanted to. She taught me that dark lipsticks should be worn with confidence and that eyeshadow is one of the best ways to unleash your creativity.

Of course, I have a liberal mother, but her feelings of liberty come with their own set of limitations. Limitations that I have dealt with all my life, limitations that I’ve often failed to understand and limitations that impact my relationship with her.

Understanding the roots of these limitations

While these constant limitations imposed on me always put me in a difficult position, they also pushed me to understand why they exist for mothers. One has to consider the existence of several factors that result in mothers feeling a certain way towards clothes, makeup and relationships. For instance, it’s important to understand that our mothers were brought up in a specific way and societal conditioning has pushed them to have conflicting opinions. Unlearning this conditioning isn’t an easy task. Along with this, the relationships our mothers share with their mothers and husbands have a major role to play in the birth of these limitations. While my mother has no qualms with me spending a week at my partner’s house in a different city, she may express dissatisfaction with the idea of us going on vacation together. Finding the spot between these two and simply existing there is how my relationship with her is flourishing slowly.

Dealing with these limitations

Initially, I would find myself in a sticky spot and often react to her limitations with anger and frustration. But, approaching the situation with maturity and love is how I’ve embraced these limitations. We’ve all seen Claire Dunphy from Modern Family constantly place limitations on Haley while she was living her life. But these limitations slowly disappeared as a friendship blossomed between the two. Extending a hand of friendship and treating my mother with empathy instead of vexation has allowed me to open a healthy portal to our dynamic. Along with this, acknowledging and appreciating her liberal acts no matter how limiting they are has pushed her to push her boundaries too. By slipping her a small thank you note when she allows me to spend days with my partner and taking her out for brunch—I’d like to think I’ve started seeing her as a friend.

All these years, our mothers have imparted several lessons to us while teaching us how to distinguish between right and wrong beliefs. Now, it’s time for us to impart a few lessons to them and help them break away from age-old beliefs that they’ve carried with them. They’ve raised us and it’s about high time we raise them a little too.

- Beauty Writer


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