No doubt, mothers and daughters have a unique connection.
It starts out nurturing and playful when they are children, travels through ignorance and stubbornness, and winds down to respect and admiration. How can that journey become a more joyful experience when we are both grown? Follow these 6 (simple?) rules for a better, more fulfilling mother-daughter relationship.
1. Tensions between two women, in general, can be stressful.
But between a mother and daughter it can be suffocating. Communication is the key.
Listen, talk, then listen some more. Ask questions. Don't judge.
Unravel the tension by being encouraging, accepting and offering unconditional love instead of offering advice. How? For mothers - step into your daughter's shoes. What pressures is she under? For daughters - see you mother as another woman. What experiences brought her to where she is? See your mother as another woman.
2. Mothers - look at your daughter as a woman who has goals, intentions, and expectations.
Daughters - see your mom as a woman who can share valuable guidance based on her journey. The secret is all about how you approach your mother. Do you come with anger, disappointment and conflict? Or do you begin with patience, confidence and wanting to be closer?
3. Another important ingredient in the mother-daughter relationship is acceptance
When we reach the stage of acceptance with our mothers, the snide remarks, hurtful speeches and constant bickering takes a back seat. Why? As we get older and our need for a closer relationship with our mother increases we realize the futility in playing these games. This is when I realize I really do like my mother.
4. We want things for our daughters just as our mothers did for us
Only it was easier when they where three. Boundaries can be hard for mothers. Just ask my 26 year old daughter!
Our mothers don't want to watch us be hurtful by the 'wrong' man, or the unruly demanding boss, or the disrespectful teenage daughter. So what do they do? They interfere! It's in their nature to protect their young.
You can do more than listen and smile. You can, and should, listen closely to what the message is and from where she speaks! Whether we like it or not, most times our mothers have the wisdom we are just beginning to actualize.
5. Its okay to be separate from our mothers
Two things are central here. One, daughters have the right to make their own mistakes. Two, daughters want their mother's approval - no matter how old they are. Mothers- give your daughters approval early in their life. They will grow into the independent, enthusiastic woman you can be proud of.
Don't waste time living up to your mother's expectations (unless they match yours) that it makes you unsure of what you want.