Mother/daughter relationships can be beautiful but some, if not most, mother/daughter relationships are challenging. One of my favorite books is “Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl – The effect of fatherlessness on African American Women.” It is one of my favorites because it is a really good book but it is also my favorite because it is one of the few things that brought me and my mom together. I remember having such a great time discussing that book with her at the time. I learned how different her relationship with my grandfather was. There was a clear difference in how he treated his daughter and his granddaughter.
Mother/daughter relationships are tricky but no matter what your relationship is with your mother, it is critical to your own mental and emotional health to understand your own limits while still spending value added time with each other.
Today my relationship with my mother is loving and cordial. I believe that some of the ways we have hurt each other are irreversable but I’m happy to say that inspite of that, we have a relationship of love and laughter and for the most part, an adult respect for each other.
So what do I want to offer you with this Mother’s Day message? Well, first of all, if your mother is still with us, spend quality time with her. Technology has made it possible to do “Face Time” or “Skype” if it’s inconvenient to physically be together. My mother and I have Mother/Daughter day once a month. I drive to her and we spend the day together. Committing to that time means that we are committed to work on our relationship. Which takes me to point number two.
Don’t take for granted that because you are family, you just wait until birthdays and holidays to connect. I am not saying you have to call each other every day although I know some people who do that. I’m suggesting that you make a purposeful effort to check in, share your life, and participate.
Now what if you don’t have a relationship with your mother for whatever reason. My guess is, if that is the case, there is some healing needed there. That has to be your healing work. It’s easy to say, “If she would just _______” or “I can’t support her because______”. Whatever may be happening, it is your own feelings around it that you must work on and move forward from there. That is where the H.A.P.P.Y. process helps you get to real feelings that may be buried. However, it is your choice. You don’t have to if you don’t want to but once she’s gone, there are no do overs.
Lastly, if you have lost your mom – find a special way to honor her. Think of something significant to you and her and once a year honor her memory.
Make that day mean something for you.
No matter what your history is with your mother, remember – she did the best she could with the information she had at the time.
Now…it’s up to you to make your life what YOU want it to be.
Go! Be! Do!
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