5 Minutes for Books — The Mother Factor

by Jennifer Donovan

We’re celebrating Mother’s Day with fantastic giveaways, now through May 9. Click HERE for all the details.

Do you want some great therapy advice under $20? Read The Mother Factor by Dr. Stephan Poulter. In this book he maintains that our mother’s emotional legacy impacts our life. The way we see ourselves and function in relation to others is in large part a result of our feelings–usually unresolved–towards our mothers.

This book will help you come to terms with the way things are, which may differ from the way you want them to be, with clear explanations and techniques to help you understand her and yourself–without assigning blame.

The following excerpt is from The Mother Factor: How Your Mother’s Emotional Legacy Impacts Your Life by Stephan B. Poulter (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2008). Copyright ©2008 by Stephan B. Poulter. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the publisher (www.prometheusbooks.com).

A very common obstacle to appreciating the profound effect of the mother factor is to rationalize away its significance. For example:
• My mother has been dead for ten years: how could she still have an impact on my relationships or the way I act now?
• I was never particularly close to my mother. I don’t think she has much of an impact on my personal life today.
• My mother was a 1950s–1960s stay-at-home mom and she never had a professional paying job. How can she influence my professional choices and feelings?
• I never respected my mother’s handling of emotional issues or her psychological maturity. I am completely different.
• My mother allowed my father to make all the decisions in the family, and I learned to follow my dad’s lead, not my mother’s.

Women have been defined for thousands of years by how they functioned at home. Now women are not only being defined in the home but by their profession and career. Still, the home has been women’s sanctuary and place of nurturing and healing for generations. It is impossible to minimize the impact that your “mother’s home” had on your entire development and personality. Your home was the place where you learned how “life” worked. School, friendships, and work were and are the places that the home lessons were applied and used, and still are to this day. It is counterintuitive and a mistake to think that your home life with your mother didn’t erect a cornerstone in your life.

Whether their mother was a homemaker or a college professor, many people dismiss the magnitude of their mother’s influence on their life because the relationship was strained, emotionally painful, distant, or highly conflicted.
mother-factor.jpg
On the surface it may appear that you and your mother have nothing in common. Usually it is quite the opposite, and the truth is you have many things in common with your mother. The problem is that the extensive and murky overlap of thoughts and feelings between you and your mother may be unclear, and you need to sort these out. Remember, you are creating your own emotional legacy for the people in your life.

There is often an edge of aggressiveness and cold-heartedness to adults who have never resolved or come to terms with who and what their mother was. In addition, they may never reconcile themselves with what happened positively and negatively in the relationship. The driving force in these sons’ and daughters’ lives is the complete rejection of who and what their mother was as a parent. The challenge for these adult children is overcoming the painful disappointment and disillusionment of their memories of their mother. The ability to trust others and form meaningful long-term relationships are difficult tasks for adults who have had this type of mother-child relationship.

If you’d like to win one of three copies of The Mother Factor, leave a comment here. We’ll post the winners next week.

The winner of all three of the art books that we featured last week (Hello Rousseau! and Hello Matisse! and Gallery Ghost) is #85, Audrey B.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

View all articles by

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alicia April 28, 2008 at 12:17 am

Sounds amazing!

Reply

2 Sandy - Em's mommy April 28, 2008 at 12:28 am

sounds like an interesting read…

Reply

3 Forgetfulone April 28, 2008 at 12:32 am

This sounds like a great book.

Reply

4 Frances April 28, 2008 at 12:52 am

Sounds like a great read!

Reply

5 Jen April 28, 2008 at 12:55 am

Sounds like a great book, thanks for the chance!

Reply

6 Smellyann April 28, 2008 at 12:55 am

It’s interesting, but I wonder what he says about those of us who lost our mothers in early childhood? I’d like to read it.

Reply

7 Sandy April 28, 2008 at 1:02 am

i need a new book to sink myself into….count me in for this one :O)

Reply

8 Barbara April 28, 2008 at 1:50 am

hmm, could be interesting!

Reply

9 Jane April 28, 2008 at 4:57 am

Sounds like a great book!

Reply

10 Heidi April 28, 2008 at 7:54 am

sounds like a very interesting book!

Reply

11 Monica - Paper Bridges April 28, 2008 at 8:03 am

pick me

Reply

12 Nodinsnest April 28, 2008 at 8:14 am

can’t wait to read it

Reply

13 Lisa April 28, 2008 at 8:21 am

Wow, sounds like a book I should read as I continue to struggle with my relationship with my mother and wonder how this impacts me as a mother.
Thansk for the chance to win!

Reply

14 Ashley April 28, 2008 at 8:39 am

I’d love to win thanks!

Reply

15 DARIJAVAN April 28, 2008 at 8:46 am

Sounds like good reading material

Reply

16 Rach April 28, 2008 at 9:14 am

sounds like it’s a book every woman should read.

Reply

17 ariane April 28, 2008 at 9:22 am

i love reading books! hope i’ll win pls count me in!

Reply

18 Deanne S. April 28, 2008 at 10:00 am

Sounds interesting. I’m in the social work field and this sound like great info for working with clients who have relationship issues.

Thanks for the contest

Reply

19 Jennifer Bogart April 28, 2008 at 10:36 am

Sounds interesting, thanks!

Reply

20 Courtney April 28, 2008 at 10:55 am

Sounds like a great book!

Reply

21 Patricia McClimans April 28, 2008 at 11:02 am

Sounds like a very interesting and useful book. If I don’t win a copy I will look for it in my bookstore.

Reply

22 Jacki April 28, 2008 at 11:34 am

Sounds great. I’m always looking for new books about motherhood.

Reply

23 Kristinia April 28, 2008 at 11:52 am

I’d love to read this, always looking for anything new on parenting/motherhood!

Reply

24 Michele April 28, 2008 at 11:59 am

Sounds really interesting…count me in!

Reply

25 Kara Portilla April 28, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Would love the book!

Thanks!
Kara

Reply

26 Bebemiqui April 28, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Great giveaway! Count me in. bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

Reply

27 Michelle Rosborough April 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I would love to read this book

Reply

28 lovedandamazed April 28, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Please count me in. I am one of those people who has an extremely strained relationship with my mother and wants to be pretty much be the opposite of her emotionally. I know this is a problem and I am often bringing it before God, but perhaps this could be a tool He would use to help me come to terms with this issue. Thank you for the chance to win.

Reply

29 Cindi April 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Happy Monday, I would really like to win a copy of this book. I have struggled with feelings very similar to your excerpt! Please enter me in your drawing. I certainly appreciate it…..Thanks,Cindi

Reply

30 Wendy April 28, 2008 at 1:26 pm

This sounds like something I should definitely be reading!

Reply

31 BlapherMJ April 28, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Please enter me… I’m very interested in reading this.

Reply

32 Kim aka Accidental Mommy April 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Very interesting!

Thanks!

Reply

33 Jo April 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I would really like to read this book. My relationship with my late Mom was not always that great, and would most likely explain the roller coaster realtionship I share with my adult daughter.

Reply

34 Meg April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Sure I’d love to try to win one! This book sounds intriguing. Thanks!

Reply

35 C Duran April 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Looks interesting – I would love to win!

Reply

36 Patty April 28, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Sounds interesting!

Reply

37 the mama hood April 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Love what I am reading about it so far!! It would be great to win!

Reply

38 1stopmom April 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm

This definitely sounds like a book i would want to share.

Reply

39 Holly April 28, 2008 at 6:49 pm

One can never have too many books.

Thanks for sponsoring this drawing.

Reply

40 Money4Mom April 28, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Hey Moms … We had our fifth child back last year, and I was looking for flexible ways to make some extra money while she stayed home with kids. As we turned to the internet, and started researching different ideas, she continually ran into scam and spam at every turn. As I became more involved, we realized there were money making opportunities, they just need to be uncovered and understood. While much of this has been trial and error, we started to discover what was successful and what wasn’t. At this point, it was time to document some ideas and successes, and hopefully get some feedback and suggestion from other entrepreneurs. Of course, part of this blog in itself is not only to share ideas, but hopefully gather a viewer and referral base, to have more opportunities for everyone to be successful.

Cheers.

http://freedollars.wordpress.com/make-money-as-an-affiliate/

Reply

41 Gillian Gauthier April 28, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Thanks for the chance to win – sounds like a great book! :)

Gillian
gillian@gigiphotography.com

Reply

42 Jen April 28, 2008 at 11:14 pm

My mom & I have been through a roller-coaster relationship, but I am now happy to say that we enjoye a tremendous bond now that means so much to me!

Reply

43 Belinda April 28, 2008 at 11:34 pm

I think this book would be of some help to me.My relationship with my mom has been strained ever since
I got married which was five years ago. Thanks for the giveaway!

Reply

44 Reiza April 28, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Oh wow. This sounds very interesting. I’m very curious to see if I can learn more about my mom and my relationship with her, but also how I can have a more positive effect on my daughters.

Reply

45 stampedwithgrace April 28, 2008 at 11:42 pm

sounds like a great book :)

Reply

46 TopazTook April 29, 2008 at 12:10 am

Is it wrong to immediately think of a friend who needs to read this?

Reply

47 The Pumkin Patch April 29, 2008 at 12:25 am

Of course I’d like to win..I’m a book junkie!

Reply

48 Jean April 29, 2008 at 12:49 am

Sounds interesting…

Reply

49 Leni April 29, 2008 at 1:22 am

Mother daughter relationsip are so interesting to me andthis sounds like a good read on this.

Reply

50 Valerie Mitchell April 29, 2008 at 1:31 am

fabulous!

Reply

51 Cheryl English April 29, 2008 at 1:40 am

I now know what’s wrong with me, “I’m a drone of my mother”. Oh know! Thanks for the giveaway. And Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mothers.

Reply

52 Ann April 29, 2008 at 1:47 am

I would love to read this! Thanks for the great giveaway!

Reply

53 Wendy April 29, 2008 at 7:25 am

I would love this book. Sounds like a great read!!

Reply

54 Patricia April 29, 2008 at 8:34 am

This looks like a fantastic read! Thanks so much!

Reply

55 mjenningsdesigns April 29, 2008 at 9:34 am
56 Angela April 29, 2008 at 10:14 am

This looks like a great book!

Reply

57 Liz April 29, 2008 at 10:37 am

Definitely seems interesting…

Reply

58 Bree April 29, 2008 at 11:04 am

This sounds like a terrific read! I’d love to win!

Reply

59 Nada April 29, 2008 at 11:06 am

Thanks for sharing!

Reply

60 Mary M. April 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

Wow, I really could use this book! This week, I have been thinking about all of the ways, good and bad, that my mother has affected my decisions, even as an adult! This looks like a great read!
~Mary

Reply

61 Mary April 29, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Great giveaway, thanks!

Reply

62 Belinda Abel April 29, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Sounds like an enlightening read.

Reply

63 Mae April 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Sounds really interesting. I could use a little mental tune-up.

Reply

64 christy April 29, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Sounds like a great book!

Reply

65 jenni April 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Please enter me. Sounds like a read that I could really use right now.

Reply

66 Kristinia April 29, 2008 at 2:36 pm

This sounds very interesting! Enter me in!

Reply

67 Amy April 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I am now very curious…Thanks!

Reply

68 Roxanne April 29, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Thanks for the contest

Reply

69 Min April 29, 2008 at 4:36 pm

This site has some awesome gift ideas!

Reply

70 Min April 29, 2008 at 4:37 pm
71 Erika Montgomery April 29, 2008 at 7:01 pm

I would love to win a copy of this book. My mom passed away a year ago and the last few years of her life were very difficult for the entire family. I want to remember the good times and not the bad…sometimes it’s difficult. Thanks for the opportunity!!

Reply

72 megan April 29, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Sounds great! What mother/daughter relationship couldn’t use a little therapy.

Reply

73 Michelle April 30, 2008 at 12:23 am

This book sounds like a good read! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

Reply

74 Caryn Bailey April 30, 2008 at 2:44 am

Sounds great!

Reply

75 Ginnie April 30, 2008 at 5:42 am

Sounds interesting! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Reply

76 Lindsie April 30, 2008 at 10:43 am

This sounds like a great book! My reading pile is getting very short after a long winter!

Reply

77 Ilissa H. April 30, 2008 at 11:46 am

I’d love to win a copy. Please enter my name. Thank you.

Reply

78 Cassidy April 30, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Sounds like a good book. Please enter me

Reply

79 April W. April 30, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Sounds awesome!

Reply

80 Danielle S April 30, 2008 at 10:56 pm

sounds like a good read!

Reply

81 Peter Orlowski April 30, 2008 at 11:03 pm

I would like a chance, Thanks!

Reply

82 SJ April 30, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Sounds like a great read, I would love to have this book!

Reply

83 Sarah Fischer May 1, 2008 at 12:07 am

I have a great relationship with my mom but would like this book for my best friend because her relationship with her mom is shakey.

Sarah F
Bloominwild89@yahoo.com

Reply

84 Noreen May 1, 2008 at 3:55 pm

interesting book

Reply

85 Kathy Conley May 2, 2008 at 9:53 am

This I could certainly use!

Reply

86 Fruitbearer May 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Please count me in. Thanks!

Reply

87 Pamela White May 2, 2008 at 10:24 pm

I would love to win.

Reply

88 Sarah Berry May 2, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Sadly I think I would reap the benefits of this book.
Thanks

Reply

89 WherestheBox May 2, 2008 at 10:42 pm

This looks like a really interesting take on the topic of dealing with your mother. Definitely interested to read it.

Reply

90 Hannah May 2, 2008 at 11:33 pm

i love this site!

Reply

91 philip halter May 3, 2008 at 8:19 pm

pick me

Reply

92 JenO May 4, 2008 at 12:47 am

I love my mom…we get along pretty well (she is hear now helping with my newborn) but would love to pass this on to my MIL, who still has issues with her now deceased mom.

Reply

93 lorides May 4, 2008 at 9:39 am

looks like a good one

Reply

94 kathy pease May 4, 2008 at 10:47 am

please enter me :0

Reply

95 Eva May 4, 2008 at 9:03 pm

for fun

Reply

96 Lexa May 6, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Heh, I wonder if my mother would be offended if I sent a copy to my sister … who lives with her. *grin*

Reply

97 christel May 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Am I too late?

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: