Post # 1
OK, in a year or two my girl will be leaving the nest. Like many folks, I had lots of ideas about how I wanted to raise her, but I never thought about what kind of a mother I wanted to be once she is grown up. My mom died when I was a kid, so I have no model to follow for the adult daughter-mother relationship.
I have seen women who just assume they are the boss for life and treat adult kids as if they were children. Don’t want to do that.
I have seen women who are not harsh like that, but still seem very involved in their kids’ lives. Kids come to them with their problems and mom tries to solve them. Not sure I want that either. I want to be close to her and talk often, but actually looking forward to her being responsible for her life and think that might be best for in the long run.
Would just like to hear from bees about what has worked and what hasn’t in your relationship with your mother after you became an adult.
Post # 2
Carolsays: I think you are on the right track, somewhere in the middle of two extremes. I love my mother and she used to call every day to check on me (I’m not married). When a time came in my life when I was very stressed, I did not appreciate the calls because I did not want to talk. We have not gone back to talking every day (sometimes it was just hello & goodbye), I am still not ready for that. I know she feels bad, but I don’t know how else to handle it.
Post # 3
I don’t think you can force any specific kind of relationship with your children, and that they need to evolve naturally. I’d pretty much follow her lead and you’ll find out quickly where you’ll fit in her life as she enters adulthood.
I was always close with my Mom, and my girls are very close to me. I think most kids live what they see and feel.
Post # 4
Carolsays: I’ve actually been giving my relationship with my mum a lot of thought lately. I think its because I’m getting ready to TTC after the wedding.
I love my mum. Somewhere in the last decade (I’m 32) we went from being a parent/child relationship to a mother/daughter friendship. I call her when I need a sounding board, when I’m trying to make a big decision and I want her advice or opinion. I don’t really know how we got here, but I’m so glad we did.
My mum is pretty good at staying out of our decisions until we ask her for her opinion. I don’t get a lot of unsolicited advice from her (possibly because she knows I’ll come and ask anyway?) She always supports us, even if we choose an option she didn’t endorse.
I love my mum! We go shopping, for pedicures, on girly weekends together. I hope if I have daughters some day I’ll end up with the same kind of relationship. I’m hoping she and my pops move to our new town. I want them close. And she’s offered to do child care for us when we do have children. I can’t imagine anyone better to care for my kids.
Post # 5
At 18-22 I still had a lot of questions I felt like only mom could help with and got in touch a lot for those. google could have answered 90% of them but with mom you get advice too. I also missed her and home more at that age. I was nostalgic and homesick after being in dorms. Occasional surprise care packages with homemade treats were the best!
I second not giving too much unsolicited advice. Let her come to you with the issues, and try not to panic or judge when she starts dating a guy you don’t like or takes a class you think is silly. Don’t sweat thr small stuff. It is just such a time of transition, and not everything is going to work. But it’s nice to know that even after making mistakes that come with growing up that mom will be there. I stopped being religious in my late teens and my mom was so pushy about it that I didn’t talk to her as much for awhile. 10 years later I know she isn’t happy with my choice, but she is much less vocal about it and I appreciate that although we disagree, I don’t feel judged. I love talking with her now.
For or what it’s worth you already sound like a great mom. Call her some, and always let her know you love her and that if she needs advice or help she can come to you.
Post # 6
You are clearly a very thoughtful woman. It is very wise of you to take time to think about what kind of mother you would like to be.
My mother used to try to control my life in every way. She was often very insulting and overbearing. As I grew older and set boundaries, she realized that I was not going to have her in my life if the awful behavior continued. She expresses sadness that we are not best friends and complains that I am much closer to my father.
I believe that while it is fine for mothers to give advice, they need to do it in a supportive and caring manner. Being rude and pushy just doesn’t work, particularly if their adult child is very independent the way I have always been.
It sounds like you are aware of the problems that overdependence on parents can cause and you also do not want to overstep boundaries. If you keep those values in mind when you communicate with your daughter, you will probably have a great relationship now that she is leaving home.
Post # 7
Carolsays: I’m definitely independent and responsible for my own life/choices, but I still am extremely close to my mom. We talk every single day, and right now, I see her at least twice a week (she and my dad are temporarily living in the same city). FI thinks it’s a little weird, I think, that we see each other so much (he sees his parents 4-5x a year, even though they only live 2 hours away). But I love my mom, and I truly do mean it when I say she’s one of my best friends. Yes, she certainly drives me crazy at times, and occassionally tries to treat me like I’m 12, but most of the time, she’s right anyway.
Post # 8
Carolsays: I would say I have a great relationship with my mom. She is always there for me when I need her, but she never interjects herself into my life unless I ask. For instance, if I call her with a problem she’s there to listen but doesn’t try to fix it all for me. But, if I call her and ask her for her help she will drop everything to help me.
She does fun things with me. As I’ve got older she’s relaxed more. Once I turned 21 we would go to a bar together or concert, in other words do more adult activities together. This was nice because it helped shift us from the role of me needing her to take care of me to the role of her and I being friends. I think this is a big things my friends envy. My mom is fun and willing to actually hang out. Sometimes we have very different ideas of what fun is (she likes country music and baseball, I like nature and yoga) but we both do things that interests the other. Now that I live 1000 miles away we’re planning a mother/daughter trip. I hope that this sticks and we do it every year 🙂
I think you just have to be there for her, which clearly you are. Be a safe place so that she can come to you and not feel judged. Don’t be afraid to let her see you as someone other than just her mom.
Post # 9
Carolsays: I think with your awareness and attitude, it will work out great!
Post # 10
I think your relationship with your daughter will probably be similar to your relationship now. I’ve never been overly close to my mum, I think because she had PND for the first 6 years of my life so the chance to form that bond at the beginning of my life was limited. I am certainly a lot closer with my dad, and my two sisters are closer with mum than I am.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love my mum and I do spend time with her etc. but certainly for most of my life, especially as I got older, both of my parents have never interfered into my life (nor my sisters’ lives) but they have always been there for us when we needed them. When we all became adults they realised this and let us get on with it. However, because my parents (especially my dad) are really great at giving advice for a lot of life’s dilemmas I definitely go to them for their opinions on big decisions. They don’t push themselves onto any of us and, even though I do seem them every 2 weeks due to another engagement, if I don’t seem them for a while they really do not care – not because they don’t love me but because they know I have my own life.
On the other hand you have my MIL who gets worried if she hasn’t seen DH for a couple of weeks. She is nice, but could be even nicer if she didnt interfere in her children’s lives – my DH who is 29 and my SIL who is nearly 28. Both of whom have good jobs within their own fields and own their own houses (with their respective other halves). However, she still feels the need to comment negatively on things such as DHs hair length or the fact that SIL spent £10 on something that she (MIL) does not approve of. I agree it’s ok to take an interest in your children’s lives but trivial things like that is not necessary. My DH lived at home until we got married last year and MIL still told him off for staying up too late!
I also think about my friends who have parents who are too involved in their lives..but that’s because they let them and don’t say no. My DH and SIL really don’t listen to their mother!
So to sum up: You need to be there for your daughter but don’t push yourself onto her. Dont feel that she has to be tied to living near you if it’s her dream to live somewhere else or if a job opportunity/future husbands/partners job takes them someplace else. Let her know that you will support her decisions, but, if you think there is anything bad going on (like abusive relationship) then please don’t sit back if you know. She may not take your advice but at least you’ve given it. It’s the same in most things…you can give your opinion bu she doesnt have to take it.
“Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught them.” — Jonas Salk
Post # 11
The relationship I want? The one I currently have, where my mother is on the other side of the planet to me.
My mother is a bitter self obsessed woman who didn’t want to be a mother in the first place. She blames her children for the fact her ex husband had affairs and ultimately left her. That was 25 years ago, and she’s still very bitter and angry about it. When I was 25 I had a massive nervous breakdown and tried to kill myself because of the emotional blackmail she heaped on me.
All I can advise is try to treat your adult children as individuals in the own right, and not your personal property. And that if they make decisions you don’t agree with, it’s their right to, and not a personal insult to you.
Post # 12
- Wedding: December 2014 - Maui
I’m happy with my relationship with my mother. We live in different countries so we only see each other about once a year. We talk only a few other times than that, like on birthdays and mother’s day. I love my mom, I totally respect her and I’m thankful for the way she raised me, but honestly our personalities are pretty different and I find that we don’t really have much to talk about. We just keep each other in the loop with major life developments. I have friends who have mothers who contact them frequently and are always trying to tell them how to live their lives, criticize their appearance, want to spend time together, etc. Luckily, my mother is nothing like this.
Post # 13
I’m closer to my mother now (at 34) than I even was in my 20s. In my 20s we had a good relationship, but she let me have a LOT of space. In a great way. She never nagged me especially about dating, she never asked how a date went (much appreciated as if it was good, I’d tell her, if it was bad, I’d tell her only if I wanted to talk about it). I moved to another city and we talked on the phone probably twice a week and I came home for holidays.
The older I get, the more we talk! I call my mom every day and DH and I are moving next year back to my hometown so we can be closer to them as we start a family.
I think the reason I stayed so close to my mom is that she was very non-judgemental when I left the house. My friends mothers were always bemoaning their lack of dating/marriage/children, and my mother NEVER once made me feel like I was less than because I hadn’t met anyone when I turned 31. Without that pressure, I was able to comfortably wait for the man of my dreams, and we got married in August.
We are really good friends, and I still look to her for advice. And I still appreciate the step back she took when I left the nest.
Post # 14
I love my relationship with my mum. I see her fortnightly (I’m 20 and lived away for two years) and we talk heaps online. But my mum is a young mum at 40 we are also so similar. We just get along so well! (Which is good we used to argue constantly when we lived together) She my mum and will help me through anything but she’s also a friend. Basically as soon as I hit 18 she stopped treating me like a child, I have always been mature for my age and she has always treated me with respect and respected my age and maturity.
I hope I can have as good of a relationship with my kids when they are adults as I have with my mum.
Post # 15
It is sad when women who really shouldn’t have children become mothers anyway. Perhaps if my mother didn’t have children, she would have been a much happier person and realized more of the her dreams. I know how it feels to have a mother who resents your presence and blames you for the mishaps in her life. My relationship with my mom turned me off motherhood.
I rarely ask for my mother’s advice or opinion because I am not interested in her outdated and ridiculous views. I also do not want to become the subject of gossip.