Friday, 19 August 2016

When Your Mum Becomes Your Friend

Mother and DaughterToday, I want to talk about my mum and my relationship with her. As a child and teenager, both my parents were pretty strict. My brother and I had rules and boundaries, and neither of my parents would take any crap from us. No-one likes their parents really laying in to them, right? So we were pretty well behaved children (apart from the odd fight between ourselves). Which led to us getting on pretty well with our parents as youngsters. And like mums are, Mum was always there; when we'd fallen over and hurt ourselves, when we needed help with our homework, and when we just needed someone to talk to.

I don't know at what age my relationship with Mum changed, but it did. Sometime in my late teens, I'd guess, Mum stopped being simply My Parent and became my friend. That might sound kind of corny, but it's important to me, and something I'm so grateful for. There are a lot of people out there who don't have great relationships with their parents, and I'm just so glad that I do.

Mum is my mother, and I am her daughter, but we have the kind of personalities that just work well together. Mum had me a month before her 19th birthday, so there isn't a huge age gap, and although in some ways we're pretty different, in others we are pretty similar. We both make the effort to find time for each other, and will have days out, whether it's going to the cinema, going shopping, or going out for a meal. Other times, we'll plan nights in. We'll get a take away, buy some goodies, and watch a movie. It's not just so we can have some mother/daughter time, but because we genuinely enjoy each others company.

There's the added bonus that because we're mother and daughter we can trust each other to be honest when asking the other for advice or their opinion, when it comes to something small like outfit choices, or for help making a tough decision (though, to be honest, that is more me asking than Mum). I love how I can talk to my mum about anything, not just as my mother, but also as my friend. Depending on the subject, sometimes she'll be in full-on mother mode if she's worrying about me - after all, I am her baby - but she will also talk to me as a fellow woman. We'll have deep discussions about topics we feel are important, and sometimes we'll disagree, and sometimes we'll educate each other. Sometimes Mum will give me the perspective of someone with more experience, and sometimes I'll give that of someone a little younger, for a generation where things are changing when, for example, it comes to society's attitudes about women.

As you can tell, I've always been pretty close to my mum, but I have appreciated our relationship more since my nan died. Mum was close to Nan, and Nan's death, though expected, broke her heart. She no longer has her mum, which makes me even more grateful that I have mine and that our relationship is so wonderful, yet so sad that she no longer has that mother-friend in her life. It's made me think about the inevitable moment when I will lose my mum, and how absolutely devastating it will be. But then I remember I still have her, and fully revel in the time we spend together.

I don't think there's anything quite like a mother-daughter relationship, but that relationship becomes even more special when you can call your mother your friend.

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No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.