I had a pull to write a blog about the relationship between mothers and daughters for a long time but always pushed it aside because I honestly only know half the relationship personally. I am a daughter to a great mother who has done everything should could to brighten my future and help me to have a fulfilling life. Through that relationship I have learned so much. I want to share things I craved from my mother as a teenage but typically acted or said differently. I remember so clearly how my actions and my desires were merely opposites.

I think the biggest thing I can recall is how I loved when my mom would listen, not judge, not give advice; just listen. Typically I let her know I wanted her to listen by hiding in my room and not talking to her. Her actions had to be very intentional, gracious, and persistent. I think that is a very important message for moms. Try to be available to hear without giving feedback even when you completely disagree with what she is saying. I know my teenage mind had to discover things for myself and the more I was able to process it without judgment the easier it was for me to come to healthy choices on my own. If I ever wanted advice I would always ask but normally I just desired a listening ear from someone who loved me.   

I cherished the time I had with my mother when it was just the two of us. During my teenage years it was rare for my mom and I to spend any time at all together let alone quality time. I kept my schedule very full and never prioritized family time. I think I knew deep down I loved it but never made time for it. I am learning now how important that time is and how it is not always abundant in the future. Mothers lead by example and show your daughters the value of time together, be flexible with her ever-changing schedule but don’t let it fall away.

I was always watching my mother. I don’t think I had the insight to admit how much I looked up to my mom until many years into adulthood. However, I look back now and clearly can recall when my mother was feeling positive about herself or when she wasn’t. I remember her prioritizing her health and my health. I can recall her taking time for herself because she is important. All those examples have helped me and continue to help me shape my self-worth. There are many things about my beliefs and my mother’s beliefs that are very different. However, my mother and I can talk about our differences and during those conversation I have learned so much about her and about myself. We still have very different beliefs but there is respect and love and with that we have been able to connect in so many ways.

Mothers,

Listen, don’t always correct, lead with actions, and be persistent.

Love, daughters.

Whitney Miller

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