Whether you're best friends or have a strictly parent-daughter relationship, there might be a time when you’d like to build a better relationship with your mother. The mother-daughter relationship is a tricky one. It changes dramatically as we grow. This is why it’s important to not only check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling towards her, but also to see how she’s feeling about you. Knowing that you both love each other whether you’re close right now or not is the foundation of where to begin to build a better relationship with your mother.
When you’re trying to build a better relationship with your mother, it’s important to remember your age. When mothers allow their daughters to grow—and sometimes fail—without swooping in to save the day, it gives you a chance to understand that they won’t always be there to catch you when you fall. This is just as important to your growth as it is to hers.
Keeping some things to yourself is very important in mother-daughter relationships. If you allow your mother to know every single decision, every feeling you’re feeling or every guy you’ve ever made out with, you’re instantly making her into a friend. While she might be your friend, she is still you mother. That’s why when she says something motherly like, “Why did you make out with that guy?” you instantly feel defensive in your choice. Mothers will judge you differently than your friends will. It might be wise to keep some stories to yourself.
With parents joining Facebook and Twitter more often now, there’s a good chance you’re going to see a friend request from you mom waiting for you. This is another perfect example of creating a separation between your life and your mother’s life. Do you really want your mom seeing pictures on Facebook when you probably weren’t mommy's little angel? No matter how honest we are with our moms, there is still a divide and that includes Facebook.
Creating good boundaries is very important in maintaining and growing a good relationship with your mom. It’s important to tell her where you draw the line and for her to tell you the same. For instance, if you move back home you need to be clear that you are her adult daughter that is moving back home, and you will treat her home differently than you did when you lived there before. That means paying bills, picking up your own dishes, helping out with grocery shopping. She also needs to remember that you are an adult and that asking where you’re going and when you’ll be back is none of her business.
Maintaining your own identity is important in building a better relationship with your mother. If a mother becomes too attached to her daughter she won’t build an identity for herself, and will lose sight of where she ends and her daughter begins. This either puts pressure on the daughter to make her mother feel included, or creates frustration and guilt, causing friction in the relationship. After a daughter leaves the nest it’s important for a mother to find out what makes her happy. New hobbies, friends or taking trips can really help create her new sense of identity if she’s lost it throughout the years.
When a daughter speaks her mind and is clear about the choices and decisions she’s making in her life, whether the mother agrees or not, she is forced to see her daughter as someone who is taking charge of her life and ultimately as an adult. This might be hard and you might stumble, but staying strong in your convictions about whom you’ll marry, what career path you choose or the friends you keep shows to her that you are an adult and should be respected. Just make sure you’re making respectful decisions for your life.
Communication is the key to everything. When you learn how to communicate your feelings in a way that is calm and respectful, real communication can begin. Listen to what she has to say without allowing old triggers to affect you. Both of you want to connect so allow it to happen, even if it’s hard on the first, second or twenty-eighth try.
Moms are human, and make mistakes, but it takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge, so why not forgive her for the wrongs that have weighed on you over the years? It's very freeing to forgive and forget, and it'll help your relationship with Mom if you do like Elsa and let it go.
Nothing helped me learn about my mother as a person than learning what kind of mother she had, what kind of childhood she had. She'll be happy you're interested, and you'll learn so much!
Building a better relationship with you mother will take work and time, but it can be achieved. Whether you’re looking to mend fences or simply re-evaluate what your relationship is, it’s important to approach it with respect and patience. Your mother loves you but she’s human too. How's your relationship with your mom?
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