To Every Mom Who Isn't Their Child's 'Best Friend', Thank You

To Every Mom Who Isn't Their Child's 'Best Friend', Thank You

I would never consider my Mom my best friend, and I'm so thankful for that.
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It's time to give some recognition to all the moms that weren't captioned their child's "best friend" on social media.

No hate to anyone who does consider their relationship with their mom to be more like a friendship, this is just meant to show a little love to all of the mother-daughter relationships that aren't like that, like mine.

So, Mom, if you're reading this, and I know you are, I want you to know that our relationship, as rocky as it may be, has made me who I am today and for that, I could never wish it away. So, thank you for telling me what you think, even when I don't ask, and never apologizing for it.

You may be the one person in my life that will always tell me when (you think) I'm wrong or tell me anything for that matter, that I need to hear. You don't hold back in fear of starting a fight or worry about me getting mad at you because you don't care.

And when I say "you don't care" I mean it in the best of ways, you aren't trying to tiptoe around my feelings because you could care less if I disagree with something you say. Your job as my mother is not to spare my feelings and caudal me for the rest of my life, your job is to raise me to be a strong, independent, successful women who can dish it just as well as she can take it.

Your job is to give me everything that you wished you had in hopes that my story ends differently than yours. Your job is to make sure I am confident enough to speak my mind always because a little confrontation has never scared you away.

Every parent gets to choose how they raise their child and you decided that you were not put on this earth to be my "best friend." You were meant to give me a run for my money every step of the way because this world is not soft on anyone, and I need to be ready.

I have big dreams, as you know, and if I'm going to make it I need to know that nothing comes easy. But that hard work does reap rewards that make all the times of struggle so worth it.

We have grown up in such different worlds so how on earth are you supposed to relate to every single thing that I'm going through. You have your stories and I have mine, but I'm so glad we can agree that you probably don't want to know every little thing that I do, and I don't want to tell you.

We just can't relate the way I relate to my friends, and that's okay because you're not my friend, you're my mom.

Every mother-daughter relationship is different, and maybe in due time each one eventually does mature to friendship, maybe my mom and I just aren't there yet, I don't know.

What I do know is I love my mom for all that she is, and she's a lot of things, but that's okay because so am I.

Here's to mothers doing the hardest job with the least amount of "thank you"s.

We can sit back and criticize them all we want, I know I have, but until the day we take their place, we'll never really know how it feels to be mothers ourselves.

Maybe it will take me stepping into the role where "you can't do anything right" to look at my mom as a friend who's been through it, only time will tell.

Will I raise my kids exactly the way I was raised? Absolutely not. The same way my parents chose not to raise me the way they were raised. Maybe somewhere along the generations, we'll finally get it right, but until then we will continue to learn from one another's mistakes and take notes on their successes.

So here is a final thank you to my not so perfect mom, for putting up with her anything but perfect daughter, and for not trying to force us to be something we're not.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Blocking Toxic Family Members Can Be Just What You Needed

It isn't an easy choice but it can be the most rewarding.

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I haven't written for the Odyssey in quite some time due to this large issue in my life that I feel some people may also need to hear. Watching your parents go through a divorce can be difficult in itself, but what about having to remove one of your parents from your life at the same time? It's something I don't think many people could imagine doing. However, sometimes you are forced into the position between choosing what is best for your mental health or what is expected of you. For me, I realized that I needed to put myself first.

I realized that I am my own person. How I present myself and how I act and what I choose to believe in is how the world perceives me. I was faced with a parent who did not let me be who I am. The way I thought had to be in line with theirs. What I openly spoke about had to be in line with that parent's thoughts. This also, in turn, meant I had to revolve how I was perceived to the world around that parent's family. I had to abide by these societal norms and do what someone else expected of me. I realized that was ludicrous.

This parent was also abusive. They were toxic and manipulative and I could not stand idly by and just take that from them while also trying to become an independent young adult. I was forced to sit and watch one of my parents transform into someone I didn't recognize anymore. I had to watch them ignore any kind of reality checks and continue to feign innocence. I watched one of my parents mentally manipulate people I once called family into believing lies. I kept my head down and shut my mouth and kept taking the abuse. Now I'm at a point where I can confidently say that I am no longer afraid.

I was forced to cut ties with a parent that raised me, cared for me, attended school functions, fixed toys, bought me my first phone. I was forced to chuck out priceless memories for my own sanity. I could not sit idly by and allow myself to endure one more second of lies or abuse. I had to stand up for myself for once in my life and I blocked most of my family. I blocked cousins, aunts, uncles, and godparents. I changed my phone number that I had since 6th grade. I gave no warning and disappeared from my family's lives. Do I have regrets? No. I would do it again if I had to because I am so much stronger than sitting there and taking it.

I will have one less parent at my college graduation, which I am fighting so hard to achieve. I will have one less parent at my wedding. My future children will have one less grandparent. I mope in these thoughts but then I have to remember the other side of things. I will not have an unsupportive parent at my graduation and instead will have those that were there every step of the way. I will lack someone who was toxic at my wedding. My future children will never have to face the same abusive, toxic situations that my parent put me through. It was a difficult decision to make but one that I know in my heart is worthwhile.

Cutting a family member out of your life is difficult enough but cutting a parent is unimaginable. However, no one deserves to go through abusive situations. It shouldn't matter who the person is; if someone is treating you less than you deserve to be treated, they have no use being in your life. You should always be your first priority. You should never have to endure something for the sake of others. I am here to tell you that you are more than that and that cutting out a family member could actually be the best thing for you, even if it's incredibly difficult. I did it and I'm still here. It made me realize who my real family was, and there will never be enough thank you's in the world to show my mother just how much I appreciate her.

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