My mother was not my best friend growing up and that’s ok. In fact, it’s more than ok. Hear me out.
Mama and I disagreed quite a bit when I was younger. Then, I couldn’t stand her for it. Now, I couldn’t be more grateful.
The older I get, the more respect I have for my mother. She never let me leave our house in an outfit she felt was inappropriate to win my praise or be seen as the “cool mom.” I couldn’t always do everything I wanted. I was taught to honor my commitments and manage my time accordingly. Mama had rules and expected you to follow them. If you chose not to, there were consequences. There was no negotiation. She was the mom and those were the rules. She did her job as a parent.
Mama made every effort to raise a daughter who loved the Lord, loved others, and walked with dignity and self respect. I know this wasn’t easy for her. I am quite stubborn and set in my ways. If that’s not enough of a challenge, I don’t have much of a filter. I’m the outspoken person in our family. I’m sure my mother still stops breathing when someone asks me a controversial question. She knows I’ll give them more than they bargained for instead of the politically correct answer they were expecting. What’s the fun in that?? Although I am far from perfect, I say this to say: had my mother let me walk all over her as a child, I wouldn’t have had a chance at being independently successful as a young lady.
The day my parents dropped me off at Meredith, someone asked my mom if it was hard for her to leave me at school. Of course she replied yes, but she also said, “I have spent almost 19 years raising Haley to make good decisions. I am confident she is fully capable of that. If not, I have not done my job as a parent.”
Moms, I urge you. Be your daughter’s parent. Don’t try to be her best friend. There will be times that it feels like she hates you and that the phase will never end. It does end. She won’t hate you. She will grow to love and appreciate you for it. I am living proof.
If you are scared of what may happen if you disagree with your child, think about what will happen if you don’t step up and do your job as a mom.
The example you set as her mother will have a huge impact on her life. If she sees that she can bend the rules with you, she will know there is no substance behind your words and pay little to no attention to your counsel in the future.
When you watch your daughter graduate and go to college or begin a career, will you be able to say, “I did my job as a parent?”
For her sake, I hope you can.