Daughters have a unique set of things to deal with when they return to mom. Our need to show our competency and success lives inside us. Whether we have gone off to college, the big city, or have been raising a family. And, there’s nothing like a holiday weekend back home to show our own personality weaknesses.
**For those of you who have outgrown the inner need for parental approval, have perfect loving adult relationships with your mom (or mother-in-law), and the entire idea presented here is foreign… No need to read further. And have a wonderful glittery day!
Many conflicts begin in our own mind… our own self-demanding expectations. We want to show how we “have it all together” and the second we hear advice (whether out of love or habit) we snap. We turn inward – telling ourselves that WE ARE doing it that way or the BEST way. Anger simmers. Sometimes we clinch our teeth and try to ignore it. We becoming passive aggressive, withdraw from the celebration, find excuses to leave early. Or worse, we blow up and turn into the child we thought we had outgrown. Basically, we are reacting…and not in a positive way.
< insert happy music and sunshine>
What if we could manage our own expectations? And, be ready to react to perceived digs, comments, and advice in a constructive and loving way. (Sure, maybe it’s not “you” to react this way… but isn’t that kind of the point of having a plan ahead of time? To create new patterns, new ways to interact, a more adult relationship?)
Here are five helpful strategies:
- Keep personal things personal. (details about your college classes – your children’s struggles – your husband’s annoying habits…) Don’t provide a platform for advice.
- Understand that your mom needs your respect. She wants to be of value and important in your life. Her life has changed since you left.
- Take an interest in what mom does with her energy now. Compliment her new haircut, decorations, etc. Go where SHE is.
- When the ADVICE comes (and it will), how about your AGREE with her? “That’s a good idea, mom.” or “I’ll think about that, mom.”
- Show her how happy you are in your life by BEING joyful and loving. After all, isn’t that what she really wants for you?
I truly believe that relationships can improve as we create new patterns of interaction.
For me?…I will always be her little girl. I have released my own expectations of how our time together should go. I now choose to live more in the moment. And just maybe, I have matured a little.