A misguided sense of obligation is the root cause of many young people’s crushing debt, despite the fact that they appear to be very successful. We investigate the reasons behind why this occurs, as well as the solutions that are available to you.
The Oldest Child, Who Takes on the Role of the Father
The “absent father syndrome” is something that some of us struggle with because we come from dysfunctional families where there was no father figure. Everyone has heard of the daughter who, through various romantic relationships, including dating older men, tries to fulfill her father’s role in her life.
However, we don’t speak about the children who assumes the responsibilities of the dad and feels pressured to assist their mother in carrying the financial burden of the family. It is common for the first-born child to adopt the role of the father, assume responsibility, and act as their mother’s right-hand man in social situations.
They take care of the children and even start working at a young age so that they can contribute to the household expenses. Suddenly, their other relatives aren’t just their other relatives; they are also their children.
The Financial Repercussions of Stepping in to Fill the Role of Absent Fatherhood at an Early Age
Nobody can dispute the fact that these youngsters are incredible in everything that they do. On the other hand, they never get the chance to be carefree, and they have no idea how to prioritize themselves. This presents a challenge for them. They began making decisions that were appropriate for adults at an early age and learned to find common ground in the same way that their parents would compromise; as a result, they have no idea how to prioritize their own needs.
A significant portion of their worth comes from the fact that they are everyone’s rock and source of strength. J ust like a father, they are unable to stop themselves from providing financial assistance to their mother, other children, and siblings. They won’t come right out and admit it, but the fact that everyone looks up to them and relies on them makes it so that they frequently have the impression that they are all by themselves. Their greatest asset is also their Achilles’ heel.
In addition to the fact that their mothers have depended on them for a considerable amount of time, these women also have protruding mother scars as a result of the fact that they did not have a “mom” in the traditional sense. The term “mother wound” refers to the emotional scars that we carry as a result of our relationships with our mothers, including feelings of abandonment and a lack of mothering, as well as the ways in which we either stayed faithful to or rebel against our mothers’ experiences of sexism and oppression as women. This scar can cause us to self-sabotage, feel guilty, and refuse to dream bigger because we don’t want to upset our mothers, have them envy us, and then end up losing their love.
In many cases, the obedient daughter who adores her mother will learn to give up on herself and stop acting like a child in order to assume the responsibilities of the father so that she can better understand her mother’s hardships. As she gets older, the repercussions of this situation play out in the form of her having a difficult time saying no to others in her family, accepting responsibility for everyone (especially her siblings), trying to do it all by herself, and being unable to rely on others to care for and support their dreams.
This makes it difficult for them to let go of control and have the confidence in other people to assist them in expanding their companies or help educate them how to boost their income, which significantly delays their ability to achieve financial independence. They are also the one who is expected to be responsible, and they usually live up to this expectation financially by making an effort to solve everyone else’s problems, which results in them frequently quietly drowning in debt.
Their stock portfolios are also more centered on other people, which means they may over-invest in funeral policies rather than coordinating their financial vision with their strategy and concentrating on achieving financial independence.
Due to the fact that they took on the role of father in order to ensure their own survival, it is possible that their approach to managing money is one of survival rather than one of thriving.
Regarding Daughters Who Take Care of and Nurture Their Mothers
At other times, nobody asks us to shoulder any responsibility with regard to money. Instead, we take it upon ourselves, and most of the time, it is connected to our mothers and is associated with the mother scar. The more successful we become, the more likely it is that we will experience feelings of guilt, and because we have no way to deal with those feelings, we may end up giving our mothers more money than we are able to afford to give them.
We want to continue being our mothers’ “little girls,” but at the same time, we’re going through a great deal more than they did at this point in their lives. This leaves us feeling confused. Our lives as adults are nothing at all like the lives of our mothers. We don’t want to overshadow our mothers or put them in a position where they have to doubt who they are.
Because of a patriarchal society, we are afraid that our mothers will take a dim view of our success, and we even fear that they will envy us for our success and our freedom. We are aware that our mothers did not enjoy the same level of privileges that we do because they were raised in a different era.
As a result, many of us feel obligated to give more than we should in order to compensate for the inequity of patriarchy and for everything that our mothers sacrificed in order so that we could live this life. We might even feel bitter for having to provide more than we would like to, which in turn causes us to feel an even greater amount of guilt, and as a result, we offer even more out of shame and guilt.
What Gives Us the Right to Feel That Way About Our Moms?
Either we move back home so that we can be connected to our mothers (even though we don’t like the idea), or we choose to leave our children in the care of our mothers so that they will always have company. T he more we give, both monetarily and mentally, the more complicated our feelings become, and we find that we are mothering our mothers from a mixture of love, obligation, guilt, shame, appreciation, and bitterness.
Many times, we are unable to be truthful about it, and as a result, it continues to fester, causing problems with both our funds and our relationships with our mothers. The intensity of the mother-daughter relationship can be attributed to this factor.
How Can Situations Be Improved for Daughters Who Have Assumed the Role of Their Fathers?
Reparent the Child That Resides Within You
Because you became an adult too quickly and started mothering everyone else when you actually required a parent yourself, you need to mother your inner self and help repair her before you can begin setting boundaries regarding money and how you help other people.
Allowing Yourself to Be Supported is Something You Deserve
You gained the ability to keep your composure, look out for everyone else, and handle everything on your own when you served as a deputy parent. Allowing yourself to be supported is important, especially when it comes to achieving your personal financial goals, so give yourself permission to do so.
Make Some Adjustments to the Way You Give People Financial Assistance
You were taught at an early age how to find solutions to people’s problems; you should now begin assisting people in a manner that gives them agency and removes you from the formula. Acquire the skill of declining certain requests, particularly those made by family members such as siblings or parents.
Put an End to Your Efforts to Save Your Mother
This presents a significant challenge due to the fact that daughters who play the role of the father frequently perceive themselves to be competing with their own mothers. Because of this, it is difficult for them to distinguish between the emotions that they feel and those that their mother feels. Get better so that the suffering of your mother won’t influence the choices you make.
Have Fun and Put Your Enjoyment First
The experience of pleasure has been shown to be restorative for the nervous system, and studies have demonstrated the importance of play in the process of mending the “inner child.”