Relationships between mother and daughters are complex and ever evolving. We always strive to be a better daughter but life sometimes gets in the way. When you were four you adored her, tottering around in her high heels with ruby red lipstick smeared on your face. As a teenager you were embarrassed by her and would rather hole yourself up in your room with Smash Hits than converse with her. In your twenties you kind of forgot her, life was too vibrant and fun to remember her really. But now that life has simmered a little and come full circle, you can see her for who she is and who she has helped you become.
Mother’s Day is all about celebrating your mother, your step mother or any influential woman really, who has made a positive impact on your life. It’s about stopping to remember why you love her and showing her how much you care.
And sure, flowers, chocolates and lunches out will go a long way this Mothers Day but actually changing your actions could go way further. Here are 5 ways to help you make that change.
BE PATIENT. BE KIND.
If you lose the will to live whist explaining simple technology to your mother, we hear you. There’s only so many times we can explain how to type a URL into the address box. But really if we chillaxed a bit ourselves we’d all be a bit happier. Your mother might be a bit slower at doing or getting things (both physically and figuratively speaking) but give her a break. Don’t forget that it was she who taught us how to read our first words and to count to ten. Without her we would be a much smaller version of ourselves. Be patient. Be kind.
ACCEPT HER GENEROSITY
You’re old enough to buy your own clothes and pay for groceries now (we hope) but be gracious if your mother offers to help. In ANY way. Even she’s sending you off home with a 10 litre vat of her turkey bolognaise (that you really don’t need or kind of like) take it with a smile – she feels like she’s helping you. If she offers to treat you for lunch or pay for your new jumper at the cash register, let her. You can probably afford it yourself but it’s not really about money after all. A mother will always be a mother. She just wants to care about you in some way by treating you to something. Allow her that privilege.
And FYI, we’ll always gladly accept any kind offers on childcare and we won’t feel in the least bit proud if our dad insists on filling our car up with petrol next time he’s over either 😉 In fact sometimes, we admit, it’s quite comforting to be looked after.
LITTLE THINGS GO A LONG WAY
If your mother lives far away or even if she’s close by, it’s sometimes hard to involve her in your day to day life. Not because we don’t want to but sometimes because we can’t get ourselves off the spinning top of life to pick up the phone. If you are totally squeezed for time, hand your phone to your kids and get them to take an inane video of their antics and send it on. It will probably give her more pleasure than you care to imagine.
Talk to her when you can: share your plans with her or ask for her advice or opinion on something. It doesn’t have to Mother’s Day to show her you care. Write her a card or send her one of your favourite books in the post if you think she would enjoy it. Those out of the blue surprises go a long way.
LET IT GO
We appreciate that all mother daughter relationships are not always buttercups and light. If yours is tainted in some way by your past or your present, try to find a way to put it behind you or at least to put your differences aside and move on. We only get one mother and our lives are too short to harbour grudges. If you need outside help to get past that then find the strength to do that.
This can be a prickly subject for some (not for us obvs) but it’s the relationship with your mother in law can be a tricky one. Finding a happy medium that you can live with will help you, your children and your other half. Remember that your mother in law raised the man you fell in love with so she has obviously done something right. Be assertive but not rude. Take criticism seriously but not personally. Be inclusive but set your own boundaries. Your MIL will never take the place of your own mother but if you allow her in a little you might be surprised at the relationship you develop.
We dedicate this months The Nub to our amazing, fabulous and continually supportive mums Kathy & Marjorie. We promise to call more often! xxx
One of our favourite video’s that really makes you appreciate the role of motherhood… and possibly bring a tear to your eye!