My mother is my best friend. She has been for the majority of my life. And yes, that even includes the rough patch during my teenage years when I was a “rebellious” teenager who did not have the best mouth, including when speaking to my mother.
Well, that has changed (for the most part — sorry ma). As I have grown up, my relationship with my mother has evolved too. She is still my best friend, but she’s my best friend in a new light. I love her and appreciate her in a whole new way, and that’s not only because she was the one who calmed me down when I got into my first car accident, all on my own, and had no idea what to do.
But, I do acknowledge that it can be almost as frustrating in your 20s to find that balance with your mother as it was as a teenager. We’re in this period of time where we’re discovering ourselves, and sometimes moms can overwhelm us by telling us who we are before we even really figure it out for ourselves.
Moms just want what’s best for us, and sometimes they do know what that is. It seems in my mother’s case that she does always know what’s best for me and I probably should listen to her more. But alas, here I am, still making mistakes. But that’s how we learn, right? And she understands that.
So how can we go about establishing this relationship with our mothers? I am lucky that mine progressed naturally. Of course we have our ups and downs, but she is still my best friend. The Lorelai to my Rory. And here are some ways in which this has happened.
1. I understand her better.
Goodness, how annoying I must have been as a child asking so many questions she most definitely did not know the answers too! And now as an adult, I see that. Our mothers do not have the answers to everything, they do not know all, as much as we like to think they do. They try their best, they’re there for us as much as they can be, and they’re figuring it out as they go.
As I have entered adulthood, I have done the same thing, and it’s been great to have her by my side for support, and to reassure me that it’s normal to feel this way. However, I do like to believe that moms do in fact know everything and anything, even though I know better.
2. We have a newfound respect.
My mother and I have always had respect, but as I have alluded to above, I may not have always been the most respectful especially as a teenager. But now as we are both adults, there is a new respect there. She has respect for my personal life and my independence, being there to support me as best as she can, without overwhelming me or attempting to my control my life.
At the same time, I understand she’s human too and needs her space as well, but of course she will forever be my mom and you bet we speak several times a day.
3. Honesty is everything.
I learned the hard way when I was younger that lying to my mother was much, much easier said than done. And now that I’m an adult? I don’t even want to lie to her. I want to tell her what’s going on in my life, new opportunities that I have been given, new people in my life, and even about the new guy I may or may not be dating. We have an open and honest relationship, and I appreciate that more than anything. I’m still one of the first people she asks for an opinion when she buys a new dress or is getting ready for a night out – and I love that.
4. We communicate clearly.
Communication is key in any relationship, and that includes the one that you have with your mother. Stay in touch with her. Call her. Visit her. When you’re traveling, let her know that you’re okay. I travel constantly, and I text my mother at least once a day just so she know I’m safe and that all is well. Make an effort, and it will not only be reciprocated, but I guarantee that it will be appreciated as well.
Having your mother in your life as an adult is a beautiful thing, one that should be recognized with gratitude. Not many people are this lucky. And having a great relationship with your mother? That’s even more beautiful. If you haven’t spoken to your mother in a few days, take this opportunity to call her. If your mother lives near you, take this opportunity to visit her. A mother is one of the best friends you can have in your life as an adult, take advantage of that relationship.