|Nothing like spending time together (with the grandkitten)|
Mother and daughter bonding time is how my daughter and I refer to those hours (or days if I'm lucky) when we get to spend time together just hanging out and enjoying each other's company. We spent last weekend catching up on news and just sharing a laugh or a memory or two and that is really special to me - and to her too.
sharing fake tattoos for Christmas with
Erin and my niece
Then there is a transition period when your daughter goes from being a relatively carefree teen to being a young woman and that is a time when she needs a mum to balance out all the stuff that is happening in her world. I remember Erin saying to me that she "was going to die alone with her cat" as she watched all her friends hooking up with boys while she had broken up with her boyfriend and didn't see anyone remotely hopeful on the horizon. That's where being the sane voice of reason is so much more valuable than being the best friend who suggests going out and partying to drown her sorrows. I know some mums would disagree, but this is my blog so I stand on the opinion that you can have fun and enjoy each other's company but you don't have to be her best friend to accomplish that.
Fast forward to now and Erin is 26, happily married to the young man who she thought would never come along (surprisingly her sane mother's advice to "hang in there and not give up hope" proved to be reliable.) There was never a moment when she felt guilty leaving me behind when she met and fell in love with Luke. There was no hand wringing on my part and no questioning how I was going to cope without her constant attention. Instead, she could focus on what was important - getting a good job, getting married, setting up a home, maintaining old friendships and starting new ones. We didn't need to reinvent our relationship because I was still her mother and she was still my daughter..... although I will admit to a little heartache as we adjusted the boundaries and I needed to step back a little and keep my advice to myself!
Now we have less frequent mother and daughter bonding times, but when they happen they are fun and relaxed and we "get each other" without having to try hard. Her world is so much larger than it used to be and it's nice to know that I am a part of it but not the most important part. We can shop together, go to a movie together, eat takeaway out of the box together and then go back to our own worlds knowing that we are secure in the relationship we have - no trying to stay young for me and no trying to include me in everything for her - just a happy medium - which is the way it should be (in my humble opinion!) And, maybe when I'm old she will still take me shopping but it might look a little different - perhaps like the mother and daughter in the picture below....