My mom is probably something like your mom. At times annoying, other times wonderful - always bringing up a mix of complex feelings. She's got the ability to make me happiest and angriest and often that's in the same conversation.
And one more thing: she's a relentless cheerleader.
This is why my mom is NOT one of my crit partners. She cannot see when a plot has more holes than the road she lives on. She doesn't see the problem with having a villain who's motivation is weak or murky. Frankly, she thinks I'm a wonderful writer and she's enjoying my book very much and why doesn't everyone else think the same? I take everything she says with a shaker full of salt.
But even so, I need her cheers. I have lots of people telling me what to do differently in my WIP - what's working and what isn't and each CP has ideas on how to make things better -wildly different ideas, of course. CPs are my mirrors, reflections of how my work is perceived. I get to take those reflections and make sense of them, weave them together into coherence. In other words, I have to make it work.
My mom is having surgery today. It's not terribly serious, but when you're 75 any surgery can be serious. When we skyped yesterday and I wanted to hear all about her surgery, her preparations and who was going to call me after the surgery (my mom lives in Uruguay so I cannot be with her and yeah, it's kind of killing me a little) she only wanted to talk about my WIP. How much she liked it, how it reminded her of people she knew when she was little - a cousin here, an aunt there who had some magic in them. I said, 'thank you' and told her that I was really having trouble with it, it was driving me crazy.
"That's okay," she said. "You'll do it. You just have to work."
Of course I only have to work. It's the simplest advice and the hardest to follow when you just want to give up. But my mother believes that what I'm doing is worthwhile. And I can't believe how much that makes a difference to me. My mom believes in me because she has to. But because she does, I will keep working.
I'm amazed that her opinion is still so important to me.