Ending generational curses and breaking those chains of trauma can take time (and so much therapy). However, calling it out, naming it, and then working to make sure that you’re own kids don’t succumb to those same kinds of setbacks that affected your childhood (and adulthood) is a huge step in the process of growing.
One millennial mom, Gabi Day, posted a TikTok asking for advice from fellow moms regarding boomer parents, especially boomer moms, who lovingly project their worries and anxiety onto their grandchildren, creating a stressful environment for all.
“Does anyone else have a boomer mom whose primary love language is anxiety at you?” she asks.
“Because I feel like we need a support group. The shit is beyond exhausting. And before boomers in the comments get real fragile about this, I understand I love my mother, I know that she cares about me. But this, this gotta stop.”
She goes on to say that, growing up, her mom was very reactive, on edge, and nervous. This was them passed onto her and her sisters who “absorbed that energy,” and now they are anxious adults.
“And also anytime she was worried about us she made sure that we knew and that we understood the full essay version of why she was worried about something. And then compound that with the fact that she is definitely an anxious person who is in denial that she has anxiety. So she’s just always like giving that, giving off that vibe,” Day explained.
Day, who now has 18-month-old twins, worries that her boomer mom, who is also very involved in the childcare for her twins, will pass that anxious vibe along to her kids.
“So, for example, say one of them is playing on like the Nugget couch, right? And they’re kind of near the edge and they might kind of fall off, you know, a few inches of height onto a padded mat on the floor. She’s immediately like, gasping and just really like exaggerated physical reactions. And then, of course, that kind of startles my kid,” she retells.
“Again, I know that this comes from a place of caring. It’s just, it’s a lot.”
Not only does her mom’s anxiety affect herself, her kids, and the entire vibe of their visits, she also notes another negative aspect to her mom’s nervous tendencies.
“And then the flip side of this is she sees me actively trying to be the calm in the room, model emotional regulation … And she looks at me like, confused as if me, not anxiety “atting” my children somehow means that I don’t care about them enough,” she vents.
“I went through years of unexplained infertility, a high risk twin pregnancy, a very traumatic birth for all three of us. Like I really wanted to be a mother and love my kids so freaking much. So yeah, it’s frustrating, this like unspoken assumption that like I just don’t care. I must not care.”
She then pleads with her followers to help her through this, looking for support from other millennial moms who may have anxious boomer moms who “at” their anxiety onto their grandkids.
“How do you cope? Especially when that parent is now involved as a grandparent. She loves my kids so much. That’s not the issue. It’s just like how do I protect my kids from not becoming anxious like I did?” she asks.
After over half a million TikTok viewers saw her video, several millennial moms chimed in with their own stories of boomer moms.
“I didn’t realize I had taken all this in until my husband told me “everything isn’t a crisis” and I realized I was gasping and becoming reactive OFTEN,” one user wrote.
Another wrote, “I saw something about the boomer generations panic response overall is because their parents did not allow for mistakes”
“Woof. Maybe,” the OP replied.
One user joked, “Have I found my people?! I could write a book titled ‘Your Anxiety Gives me Anxiety’ So exhausting”
“I relate. I just low key treat my parents like toddlers, too. I’m modeling for them too and I narrate to my toddler what is happening with my parents,” another said.
Day replied, “This is so smart 😅 and slightly savage but probably effective. I love it.”