Like many cliches, my relationship with my mom has always been a difficult one. She was an emotionally unavailable person while I was growing up and then, at one point, the roles were reversed. I became the parent.
She is young (only 56), pretty, and healthy. However, she seems to always be unhappy with her life and circumstances. And I? I always feel guilty.
It is true that many of us have unhealthy relationships with loved ones. And it took me a long while to realize that my relationship with my mother was a co-dependant one. She has a problem, I jump in to fix it.
The hardest thing I had to do, have to do, in order to change this relationship (since I cannot just dump my mom. I still love her) is to change how I behave towards her. It would be, I have to say, much easier if she was just happy and stopped bitching about everything every time I call her. But truth is, I have no control over her happiness and I am not responsible for it either.
I do have control over how I behave though and I have stopped to jump in every time she has a problem to solve it. I find a reason to hang up if she starts complaining or just don't pay much attention. I still feel guilty, but the first step to a healthy emotional relationship is setting boundaries. Respecting my own limits... I owe myself that much.