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Many women think of their moms as their very best friends. For others, their moms seem to push all their buttons and not in a good way. I’ve seen mothers dote on their daughters, even as adults, talking to them several times every day. Some moms I’ve known love their kids, but want to spend Mother’s Day in a spa or at a restaurant with girlfriends no kids allowed!

The mother-daughter relationship is a complex one, bringing joy and pain. I remember in high school telling my mom things I would not have shared with my girlfriends. When I had my daughter, I felt I appreciated my mother more, understanding some of the things she experienced as my mom. I loved my mom, but I didn’t always like her. Even her sisters said she was “prickly” and told me how they had to be very careful with their words to her.

In the last year of her life, I was given a gift. I got to take care of her and mend some fences. I gave up holding her to some impossible-to-meet standard because I was hurt by her. I allowed her to be human, to be less than perfect. I stopped being angry with her. We both were able to relax, enjoy some absurdities, laugh with each other, comfort each other.
Our moms shape us as women. In non-verbal ways, they teach us how to treat them and in turn set a standard for how we will allow ourselves to be treated.

Thinking about my mother-daughter relationships from both sides, I have some thoughts on being a mom: don’t criticize…listen, sometimes your daughter just needs to vent, she’s not looking to you for a solution…don’t assume your daughter wants what you want, she has her own ideas about how she wishes to be treated and dealt with…apologize for your mistakes for they have caused distress even though that was not your intent.

As a daughter, I wish I could have seen my mother as a person. If a girlfriend had gotten a little tipsy, thrown her pantyhose out the bathroom door because she couldn’t get them back on, it would have been hysterical!
Kels:me202-11-12
Love you mom. Love you daughter!

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