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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Mom And Dad, Your Differences Made Me Who I Am

They are two halves of the person I aspire to be — a thoughtful person, committed to excellence in each of her areas of passion, who is hungry to build upon the extensive base of experiences that she has acquired to date.

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My parents, the most important factors in shaping who I am, are a mosaic of juxtaposed perspectives, a tribute to the notion that "opposites attract." Dad once tried to explain their differences in the language of the Myers-Briggs personality inventory; his introversion versus Mom's extraversion, his thinking to her feeling, etc. Labels aside, the consequence of living with their differences was balance and an ability to place equal value on both breadth and depth in any aspect of life.

Nothing underscored competing for parental influences in our household better than the typical dinner conversation around the events of the school day. I'd usually lead with news of some test result. Mom would be quick to congratulate my good work while deflecting the conversation toward upcoming social events or some drama involving my friends. Dad preferred to discuss the specific problems I missed, even if 97% were correct.

Over time, I came to realize that Mom's seemingly dismissive attitude toward academic achievement was not meant to minimize its importance. To her, what went on in the world of human relationships beyond the classroom, was equally important. Similarly, Dad's insistence on reviewing every incorrect problem was not indicative of some ridiculously high standard of achievement. Instead, it was his way of communicating the value of always striving to be better and the importance of treating every mistake as an opportunity to learn.

Extracurriculars, like sports, were also illustrative of this household dichotomy. Mom would encourage me to join as many different activities as possible, just to give them a try. In the heart of the club spring soccer season, she'd sign me up for golf lessons, a charity 5K run, or volunteer my time to tutor a neighbor's friend. Dad cared more about mastery of specific sports. Quick to point out areas for improvement, he pushed me to excel through relentless practice and total commitment.

It was often difficult to reconcile Mom's push for diversification and Dad's push for focus, but I eventually realized that each was acting in what they perceived to be in my best interests. Mom wasn't tired of sitting on wet, soggy sidelines, she wanted me to have a broad range of experiences so I could find my true passions. Her mantra was that you couldn't know unless you try. Dad didn't push me to constantly practice because he expected me to get a soccer scholarship. Rather he wanted me to understand the work that it takes to achieve excellence.

Much to Dad's vexation, Mom often scheduled activities that interfered with practice times. We'd routinely go on vacation a few days early or to take a night off to see a play. Summer vacations were sacred and trumped any other commitments. The day school was out we would leave for the east coast and not return until just before school began. Lengthy absences meant leaving all commitments behind, including summer training seasons.

Dad never overtly opposed Mom's summer plans, but I knew he was troubled by them. Excellence required a commitment that was not compatible with being absent for several months each year. Mom was not against sports or the commitment they required, but she placed supreme value on the exposures and experiences that a summer of travel could offer.

Over time, I learned to live fully in each of my parents' worlds. When it was time to study or practice, I gave everything I had. Equally, I joined Mom's adventures, with eager eyes and a full heart. I learned that there is not just one way to be raised or a single way to approach a situation. I was never made to choose between competing views in my household, I was challenged to fully embrace each. My parents' perspectives are less conflicting and more complimentary.

They are two halves of the person I aspire to be — a thoughtful person, committed to excellence in each of her areas of passion, who is hungry to build upon the extensive base of experiences that she has acquired to date. I hope to be as deep as I am broad, to be extremely flexible, and to be comfortable in the gray areas between the black and the white. Like my Mom, I engage the world around me and am fed by its energy, and like my Dad, I am introspective and fully at home in the world of ideas.

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