5 Minutes for Books — The Mother Factor

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.
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.


  1. says

    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!

  2. Deanne S. says

    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

  3. Patricia McClimans says

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

  4. lovedandamazed says

    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.

  5. Cindi says

    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

  6. says

    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.

  7. says

    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.



  8. says

    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!

  9. Belinda says

    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!

  10. says

    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.

  11. Cheryl English says

    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.

  12. Mary M. says

    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!

  13. says

    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!!

  14. says

    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.


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