Halloween was two days ago. I never really dress for the occasion anymore. If pressed, I just go as a gypsy. A little extra makeup, scarf and a long skirt and I have nailed it. No extra money spent, so forethought. As an adult, I understand that free candy is just an invitation to bloating and additional crunches.
I liked several Facebook photos of little children dressed as their favorite super hero. Apparently, I am old as I did not recognize half of them. I had to google ‘yellow and blue costume’ to know that my friend’s son was The Wolverine. And, who the heck is Elsa? When I was kid, everyone was either Superman or a Ninja Turtle. The 80s rocked, lol.
Back then, I thought my mom was super human. A super woman of sorts who worked two jobs, fed us, and kept a roof over our heads. She did her best to rescue us from mistakes that she knew would take our lives down a hard path. She spoke to God and actually knew what we children were going to do before we could do it. Seemed pretty super human to me.
As I became a young woman, the mother-daughter dynamic became more difficult to manage. I have learned that the complexity of this relationship is standard. The power-dynamic changes as you get older. A mother no longer needs to or can make all of the decisions. I had to move out and grow on my own. As a child becomes a woman, a mother’s role must adapt as well. A daughter no longer needs to be rescued but respected.
1. You cannot be best friends because you are not equal.
Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “Only equals make friends. Any other relationship is out of order.” I and my mother did not go to school together. We never partied together. We did not raise our children together. Our life experiences are different. We can learn from each other but equal we can never be. She will always be ahead of the game.
2. Acknowledge mistakes but forgive.
Through life’s ups and downs, I began to see the humanity of my own mother. She made mistakes and was sometimes wrong. That is okay. She is still a great mom and did her best with what she knew. We are still finding our balance. It is easier with me allowing my mom to be human and she seeing me as an adult.
3. Establish boundaries.
“Space – the final frontier.” The opening sentence of Star Trek : Enterprise tv series. Exploring the boundaries of relationships is a work always in progress – learning what to discuss and to what extent. My mother remarried and some discussions (sex) still creep me out and are a no-fly zone. Maybe you are more mature than I am. I am okay with that.
I talk to my mom almost every single day although there are more than 1,000 miles between us. Sometimes the conversation is less than 5 minutes but I make the effort to connect just to see how her day is going. Other times, the conversation is longer and more in depth. The blessing is that she is still around and able to talk to me so I never get to busy for her.
Proverbs 17:22 states, “A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.” (NKJV).
We make each other laugh. Our relationship is the better for it. It is the one super power we share.
How is your relationship with your mother? How can you make it better? Please share.