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Dealing with an unsupportive family – the mum complex

A great article by Ruby Lee on the entrepreneurs relationship with her mum!! https://www.rubylee.co/blogs/dealing-with-unsupportive-family-the-mum-complex

You are in the soul-led realm. There is a fire in your belly. You are dating your passion and falling in love with it each and every day, so much so, that you don’t want to sleep at night and it’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning. 

Yes, this is you! You got this! You are feeling into this life you are designing and you are living it…you’re really doing it!

and then you hear…

  • But that’s not a real job though…
  • What if it fails?
  • What if it doesn’t make the money you need?
  • What’s going to make you really successful?
  • How do you know it’s going to work?
  • What if you can’t find another job?


You feel like your family and friends are throwing shade at your dreams, your plans, your life. Your guard is down and you let it get to you, time and time again. It’s that dagger to the emotional heart.

The sceptics 

You are not alone! There are many of us, myself included, who have been through this part of side hustling. You start second guessing yourself and so begins the mental struggles and the emotional battle to pull up out of it.


It’s very common that the mother complex hits us hard. 

Feelings of doubt about yourself as an adult is the last thing you want to hear from you mum, mom, mama, mummy, mother figure.

When we hear those dreaded questions about our business we feel raw and vulnerable and would much rather sweep it under the rug and deflect the conversation. We put up a mental guard, albeit a childish snappy defence mechanism but a guard nonetheless… and then what happens, everyone stops asking you about it and you think, why aren’t they asking me about my business?!

I have thought to myself before, did I inadvertently create this?

We so badly want to be able to share our ideas, our business growth and our ups and downs with our mums. We want them to say ‘well done baby, I’m so proud of you’, ‘I always knew you could do it’. The reality is, the answers we want are not what we always get – hence, we unconsciously become defensive and stick our backs up.

Let me tell you, I am not immune to this! From my experience with the mum complex, I have learnt some techniques that work for me and I think you will find them enlightening too. My mum has essentially played a huge role in my business, and probably without her knowing.


We know that our mothers have the best intentions. She wants to know the ‘how to’. By knowing this, it better helps her to know how she can support, nurture and keep you safe. The blanket answer of “it’s ok, I’ve got this mum, I know what I’m doing” just won’t help her to understand.

“Take a deep breath and absorb that initial instant reaction”

You may find yourself repeating the same spiel over and over again, and that might be just what has to happen right now. So, if this is the case, align yourself with the right person or people who you can talk to after the fact. Ease that steaming bursting feeling before you explode – we all know that if that time comes it’s always at the wrong time, in the wrong place and you completely regret it.


Sometimes you just want to throw your hands up, stomp your feet and scream this is too freaking hard!! But hold up – call yourself out on that 16-year old eye roll and attitude. Hold yourself accountable for your reactions. Ground yourself at that moment.

Take a little breather and have a think about – why did that question make me feel so insecure? Why am I so offended by mums questions?

“Ground yourself from a place of love. ”

Ground yourself from a place of love. If this is what you were born to do and this is your place of unconditional love for the purpose-driven work that is absolutely you – then feel into that and use that love before you react.


Much of this friction is coming from miscommunication and misunderstandings, from both parties. Yes, that means you. Check in with the energy that you are putting out. 

“Are you offering a fruitful, wonderful and peaceful atmosphere to open up naturally to your family about your business?”

How can you help bring your business into a conversation with your family? How can you bring them along with the journey? You can show them through the bright, vibrant and colourful kaleidoscope of love that you have. No matter how close you think you might be to someone, no one truly knows your mind. So, be open to knowing the different forms of love languages and begin to communicate without judgement and without seeking approval.


to unbelievable success and abundance is practising a state of gratitude and gratefulness


Let’s stop sweeping this part of our lives under the rug. Your relationships are interconnected with your business, your business is interconnected with your relationships, your health, your home, your money – open up that space and conversation today. 

I challenge you to write your 5 most grateful points about your mum, step-mum or mother in law and send it, email it or text it to them now.

Whatever comes back from this exercise is part of your release. You are releasing the need for permission, the need for approval and they ways in which you used to want all the happy things to come into your life in the form you thought you always needed. I hope that from this you are able to see things from a different perspective and start a super positive relationship this year.


  1. “Mum, I am so grateful that you have continued to show me what real strength and resilience is, even during our darkest times together as a family
  2. I’m so grateful that you have always got this infectious chuckle and laugh on you that makes the whole room light up.
  3. I am so grateful for how generous you are, always giving gifts always showing up with presents and always slipping in a little bit of cash, that is so gorgeous of you.
  4. I am so grateful for you protecting me when I was really little and I was getting bullied and for giving me those pep talks whilst you were cooking and telling me to be a strong independent gal and how to do that.
  5. “And most of all, I am most grateful that you are always around to come around to cook one of those badass curries of yours!!”


Posted on March 10, 2019

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