Mothers, You Can Be Friends With Your Daughters

Best friends forever? Mothers can have healthy friendships with their daughters.

I could be totally naive or maybe my daughter is too young for me to tell if we’ll stay friends throughout her childhood, but right now she says I’m her best friend, and most days she’s mine. And I love it.

So as you can imagine, I read Eve Vawter’s piece at MommyishI Don’t Want To Be My Daughter’s BFF, with extreme interest. 

The relationship I have with my daughter Ivy is one of the most precious things in my life right now, to be honest. Of course, she is only three-years-old and I am in store for a lot, I’m sure. I can see where Eve is coming from — not wanting to be a BFF if it means giving in to her every wish and irresponsible choice. But, can’t you still be the best of friends without buying “her a thong when she is 16″ and turning her into your “own little pal”?

She asks, “Do we really need to be shortchanging our kid’s childhood just so we can prove how open-minded and progressive we are to the world?” I agree — I don’t want that either, but I also want to give my child some credit and not assume that in order to be friends with her that I will need to be any different than who I already am, much like I hope she will never feel the need to conform in order to be liked or someone’s best friend, or girlfriend. I think a mother-daughter friendship can fall into place without either person changing who they are, as any friendship should be.

Instead of refusing best-friendship with my daughter, I will teach her that the moms (and anyone, really) who try to be someone that they aren’t in order to be liked — those moms on TV that let their daughters dress inappropriately or make questionable choices that they might not be mature enough to understand — really aren’t acting like a best friend at all.

A true best friend is good for you, is someone that encourages and is a good influence. Who better to teach my child an example of a best friend than I, her mother? I can’t expect to remain at the top of her list to play or hang out as she grows up, but I’ll treasure our friendship always. I’ll be there no matter what…  from what I can recall, my best friend was always the person who was still there when the superficial girls and boys lost their luster or left me behind. I can be that, and her mother. At least, I’ll try. I will give myself the benefit of the doubt that I’ll be able to distinguish between those two roles, which I am finding is one of the most difficult, mysterious, and amazing parts of motherhood.

Read Stephanie’s posts at Strollerderby and her personal blog Adventures in Babywearing.

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