How to Be a Mother and a Best Friend
Can you be a best friend and a mother to your child? I remember as a child going through that phase when I was not happy with my parents. I did not really talk to them about anything that was truly going on in my life or share my feelings. As time went on, I truly found a best friend in my mother. What a gift this was to me! We would go so many places together like shopping, movies and at home we would watch television together. How mad I was at myself that I had wasted so many years not treasuring her and sharing my life with her.
When I had my children I had promised myself that I would do everything I could to be not only a good mother, but a best friend too. My mother passed away at a young age for today’s standards and I was heartbroken thinking back of time lost in my younger years. This would set the path that I was determined to follow and be for my children what my mother was for me, which was my very best friend.
To understand and follow this concept, of course, parenting must come first. There still has to be discipline and rules. This does not mean that you always say yes to your child when they ask for something. This goes much deeper than your regular daily family life. I have made it a point to truly listen to my children--yes, this can be trying at times, especially now when I have my teenage daughter telling me things that nearly must make my eyes bulge out of my head. Since they were young I made of point of going in their rooms and talking with them about their day, not just schoolwork and what they were feeling at that time. When told secrets, yes, for the most part I did keep them, unless it was something that truly needed to be shared.
I made it a point as often as I could to have time alone with them outside the house. This could be a trip to store or a meal, with just one of them so that they had me all to themselves and could freely talk. For my teenager, I go to her room and have what we call “Pow-Wow’s” where she can ask me anything and I do my best to answer her questions honestly. Now, her girlfriends come over and I get invited in the room for questions that they have and are afraid to ask their own mothers. By earning my daughter’s trust, we would continue to grow closer and closer. She knew I was someone she could come to and wouldn’t judge, but listen and actually help with experienced advice. I also have come to be the designated parent to do all the driving for them, sometimes at crazy hours I must add.
This is something I was lucky enough and started very early with my children, this is not to say it doesn’t work when they are older, as I am living proof it does since I lost so many years of time with my mother as my best friend too. I just personally think that maybe it would have happened earlier if I had been more comfortable around her during those trying teenage years. The years move by very quickly and there is no better time than today, to make the effort, take the necessary steps and choose to be a part of your child’s life, instead of watching them from the outside of their world. Of course remember, you are still the parent, but with trust, time and love you could just maybe be their best friend too.