It is possible to have a meaningful adult relationship with your mom. The more you learn to make peace and find a meaningful connection with your mom, the richer your life will be.
Much of my therapy practice was spent helping women deal with mother-daughter issues. Whether the relationship was great, terrible, or somewhere in between, mother-daughter relationships are powerful and partially define who we are. The more you work through issues with your mom, the better all your other relationships will be.
Simple Effective Tips to Improve Mother-Daughter Relations
Change for yourself, not because someone else thinks you should or is pressuring you to change. Don’t underestimate your mother’s reaction. She may object to changes in the relationship. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong to make changes. Just know that change is difficult but worth the effort when the relationship improves.
Stay in touch. No matter if she is good or poor at communication, you decide to check in regularly and value the relationship.
Don’t lose your sense of self. Having a great relationship with mom doesn’t mean you lose who you are in the process. It is just the opposite. The more you define who you are, the better you can be with her without becoming defensive or constantly needing her approval.
Once you have a better sense of yourself, you can learn to be more empathetic, listen better, consider your mother’s worth as a person, be concrete in communicating, and allow yourself to see a bigger picture of who your mother is and was.
Having a Child of Your Own
A big equalizing factor for many adult daughters is when they have a child of their own, particularly if that child is a girl. Having a child or children of your own usually creates more empathy for job. When an adult daughter begins to grasp what her mother went through and how really tough parenting can be, she can then begin to have more grace, forgiveness and acceptance.
Build your mother-daughter relationship on principles in God’s Word. Although the oneness we had with our moms before birth is the closest to oneness with God, human relationships will always have flaws. A daughter’s yearning for intimacy and closeness is ultimately one that only God can truly satisfy. Look for the expressions of God’s love outlined in 1 Corinthians 13 as we mother and are mothered. Love opens up possibilities. Because of love, we can and should find a way to honor and connect with our moms.
Dr. Linda Mintle is the author of A Daughter’s Journey Home: Finding a way to love, honor and connect with your mom (Thomas Nelson, 2004).