Chloe my 3 year old whispered to me the other day… “you’re my best friend.” Not only did my heart swell with happiness, but there were tears in my eyes.
Huge crocodile tears.
You see… I don’t talk to my mother, my mother doesn’t talk to her mother and my grandmother didn’t talk with her mother. These negative mother-daughter relationships have carried on for years and my biggest fear is that I’ll fuck up my relationship with Chloe, but also with Finlee.
I have to remember that I am not my mother and therefore, my relationship with Finlee and Chloe does not and will not end up like the relationship I had with my mother. However, I work every… single… day… on being the mother I wish I had.
Be the Mother You Wished You’d Had
When I started unpacking what I would have liked my mother to have been it’s quite simple; I wish she would have created a closer connection with me.
Where there is connection, there is love.
Where there is love, there is trust.
Where there is trust, there is respect.
Where there is respect, there is a relationship.
A connection is what I wanted from my mother and what I want to give to both Chloe and Finlee.
Creating a Closer Connection
The question is how do I create a closer connection with my kids? What I’ve found since becoming a mother is that in order to have a closer connection with Finlee and Chloe I must be present in their life.
With lunches needing to be made, laundry needing to be washed, homework needing to be completed, I find it can be super challenging to be present with Finlee and Chloe. In the book, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with your Child it’s discussed about starting out with small activities that will allow you to be fully present. The author suggests to start by putting 10 minutes, per day a side where you put your phone down, shut the T.V. off and be present with your child. Let your child choose an activity that they want to do. Let your child lead the activity. Listen with intend. Make eye contact. Be in the moment.
I try every day to have some 1 on 1 time with Finlee and Chloe. By being present with them, I’m making space for them to know I value them, that they’re important and that they’re being heard. I’ve created a positive moment which allows my relationship to continue growing. The foundation is being built every day for trust, love and respect.
The reality is there are days that I can’t always do an activity, but I’m still available for them to have a connection with me. Sometimes, it’s as simple as driving in the car and they start talking with me. I turn down the music, listen to their thoughts and explore with them their feelings etc. It’s not the perfect scenario, but it’s better then saying “not now, listen to the song.”
Start Building Your Relationship Today
I can’t change the relationship between my mother, but what I can do is work hard to ensure I can be the mother I wished I had by developing the best loving and healthy relationship I can for Finlee and Chloe. By being present and forming connections.
What’s one thing you wish your Mother would have done with you, that you can start doing with your own children today?
Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her three books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and her website Finlee and Me.