When I think of my blessings, I count my mother twice. I’m fortunate to still have my mom, as well as my step-mom living.
Sadly, not everyone can make that statement. Mothers and daughters don’t always have an easy time of it. Sometimes they are too much alike and that can cause friction. Or they can be on totally opposite ends of the spectrum. Regardless, the mother/daughter relationship is usually intense.
She’s the first woman in your life and that relationship has an effect on you when you become a woman. Sometimes in subtle ways we don’t really notice; other times in ways we may not like or want to admit.
If you didn’t or don’t have a great relationship with your mom, it does effect how you interact with other people. If your childhood wasn’t great, holding on to that past can have a negative effect.
If that relationship was strained, it can be mended in your adult life, hopefully sooner than later. But it takes work and effort. People do change and I’ve realized in many cases, mothers have done the best that they can do with the tools they have been given. That was the case with my mom as well as with me. No mom is perfect, in fact no human is perfect.
I determined a long time ago, I didn’t really have to understand my mom or to change her to love her. It’s a choice we each have to make for ourselves. I’ve also discovered I’m thankful for some of the things I did learn from her, whether it was what to do or what not to do, all were lessons to be learned.
Becoming a mom is not for the weak. It takes strength to be a mother and you always worry whether or not you are doing the right things. It takes perseverance for a journey which doesn’t end once your children are grown.
It’s great once they are grown and you discover that you are not only mother and daughter but friends. But that stage doesn’t come easy. In fact, if you talk to different people, you will see lots of people have conflicts with their mothers.
That can happen at times because we don’t listen to each other or respect that both are different. Even when your children are grown, there are boundaries and both sides must honor those boundaries. Mothers and daughters need to emotionally support each other as well. Doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be conflicts or disagreements, just means we should work through it and keep on loving each other regardless.
The ‘let’s be offended about everything’ also enters into mother/daughter relationships. Sometimes, we don’t need to respond to criticism or you can be nice about it and say you don’t see it that way but you appreciate the input, then move on.
Let’s face it, our generation is not the same as that of our mother’s and it is not the same for our children. Generational differences in women’s roles can sometimes cause problems.
My life and I’m sure yours too, looks completely different from my Mom’s. That doesn’t mean we can’t find some common ground to talk about to have a good time together. Now that my children are adults, I strive not to interfere or force my ideals on them. They were all raised in the church and know right from wrong.
That doesn’t mean I don’t voice my opinion from time to time but I try to add, “but that’s just my opinion and you have to decide for yourself.” Sometimes we have to bite our lip and just keep our mouths closed. We have to let our adult children make their own mistakes instead of trying to fix everything for them. No one fixed it for us; at least not me.
Each of our children are different and unique so our relationships with each one is not going to be exactly the same as the other. Wanting each relationship to be equally as good, is something most mothers want but it is not reality.
I stay in touch with my mom weekly and if I happen to not call on my regular day, she calls me. Any relationship is a two-way street. One person should not do all of the calling, but I do feel the children should make that effort if the parent doesn’t. If things are going on in my life I will call her more than usual to get input or, if nothing else, to get her to pray about it with me. That’s one thing my Mother can do, if I do say so myself.
Just hearing the words come out of your mouth about a problem, when talking to your mother, can sometimes give you exactly what you need.
Whether you have a great relationship with your mom, or whether it’s strained, always make an effort to at least tell them your love them. If you don’t you will probably regret it when it’s time for them to enter their heavenly home.
So, to all you mothers out there, I say thank you for your hard work in raising children. It’s not easy and being a mom takes sacrifice. There are sleepless nights and lots of prayer which doesn’t stop when children are grown. Happy Mother’s Day to you all. Blessings.
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org