Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oil And Water

There are alot of things about raising 4 girls that scare the crud out of me.  Good old Mother Nature, for one.  We might as well just put a huge sign on our front door one week a month saying, "Enter at your own risk!".  And driving... ugh.  This one makes me feel all panicky if I dwell on it too long.  Princess #1, yeah, I'd trust her behind the wheel... but #2?  #3?  Uh, let's just hope they raise the driving age to, like, THIRTY.  Let's see, what else?  Oh yes.  Boys.  'Nuff said.  Oh and I can't forget just the sheer amount of money it's going to cost me in the end - proms, car insurance, college, weddings, etc. etc. etc.

Feeling panicky with me yet?

But there's one thing in particular that weighs heavily on my mind more than all that above.  The one thing that I worry about, constantly think about, pray about and probably drive the hubs crazy talking about.  And that one thing is my relationship with each of my princesses.

Ever notice how the mom/daughter relationship is rarely ever referred to in warm, fuzzy words?  Sure, maybe once the daughter is a grown woman herself.  But when you're talking children, young girls, and (deep breath) teenagers, the amount of sap is usually reserved for a description between a daddy and his daughter, or a mama and her boy.  Moms and daughters?  Like oil and water.

In fact, I think women love to recount their glory days as a rebellious teenager and regale their audiences with tales of strife between themselves and their mother.  It's like the women who walk around telling pregnant women that their labors were 36 hours long and they pushed for 4 hours and they had a 4th degree tear from here to there....  Do I really need to hear this?  There's something about claiming that no one else had it worse than you.

But all those stories do is terrify me.  Because I so do not want that.  What mother does really?  We give birth to these precious, innocent, dependent little souls.  And we spend the next 18 years teaching them how to fly, so that ultimately they leave the nest (and us).  And I don't think any mother, looking down at their precious newborn (boy or girl) anticipates or looks forward to living in angst and constant turmoil.

So how do you get there?  Or better yet, how do you avoid getting there?  What is it that causes strife to exist at all?  What needs to be happening in a home to foster a safe, close and intimate relationship between a mother and her daughter?  These are the questions I'm dwelling on these days.

My friends, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  Is this something you think about?  Are you hoping to improve upon the relationship you had with your own mother?  Do you have ideas in mind for how to keep your home relatively turmoil-free during the traditionally tumultuous teen years?


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9 comments:

  1. Can I first tell you - and I may have told you this like 3 times already - but I get your blog in my email everyday & I really am reading it! I'm just having a hard time finding the time to comment right now. I'm so scared that my blog friends will forget about me as I'm slacking off!

    Anyway...this post really hit home with me & then the one your posted after it about relationship & rebellion & recklessness. I do not have a great relationship with my mom for a lot of reasons & I really do get scared that I will do something to screw up my relationship with Isis. I really envy the relationship my best friend has with her mom & it's taken me a long time (and some counseling) to come to a point where I've accepted that my mom & I will probably never have that relationship. But I can have it with my daughter(s?), but it's going to take a lot of prayer & patience & honestly a lot of focus on not becoming my mom.

    This probably isn't encouraging to you as a mom of daughters as I'm a daughter talking about a bad relationship with my mom, but honestly it will be moms like you who will encourage me as I grow in this journey and I appreciate you posting this & the next post.

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  2. A Little R & RJanuary 4, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Casey - I felt like I was reading my own biography here. :) We have a lot in common, I'll bet.

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  3. It worries me sometimes, but then I just try the best I can to get to know who they are as individuals. I try to find a common interest with each of them and make time to participate in that activity with them when I can. Their brother has taught me that closeness with a teen comes in the quiet times in the middle of other things. Does that make sense?

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  4. I think that all girls are different. With four you are bound to have at least one that will be...WILLFUL. It's really inevitable. Don't obsess over it though. All you can do is the best you can. Enjoy them while they are little and they want to be with you. Don't worry about what you can't control. If you sit and obsess about what might be, while what is, is going on you'll miss out on the great times that will bring the WILLFUL back to their sense that much faster.

    We had a rough go of it with my daughter who is 19. However, she is quickly coming around and I wouldn't trade any of it.

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  5. Wise words. Thank you!

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  6. So being a mom of two princesses of my own, this scares me too!

    The one thing my husband and I were just discussing how to stay involved with our daughter's lives yesterday. We came up with this- truly making time to talk, validating feelings, praying together, and being available. Of course, there are so many other important things, but these were among our top.

    The mom and daughter relationship can be soooo hard because our almost eight year old never stops talking! Sometimes it is hard to sift through all the jabber and find the important stuff.

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  7. I have to say that it made me sad to think that so many mothers do not get along with their daughters. My mom and I get along so well! Honestly, I'd say she is my best friend.

    I guess there are a few things that I'd say contributed to that: 1. she wasn't my friend growing up. She was my mom. She knew her role and stuck to it. 2. When I got past those teen and early twenty-years she gave me space to be me. To make my decisions without butting in a lot. That must have taken a lot of guts to sit back and not comment all the time. 3. we'd go to coffee once a week and just chat. 4. my mom has always taken great care not to give unsolicited advise. That has to be very hard at times - I am sure I do things that she wouldn't do and in ways she wouldn't do them.

    All I can say is that I hope to be half the woman she is as I get older and my children are grown. I admire her so much!

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  8. My mom did about as good of a job as I can imagine with 4. Most importantly she raised us all consistently to have a strong relationship with the Lord. She taught us what God's word says about right and wrong and it was very ingrained in our hearts when we entered those tough teen years. We rebelled....very mildly compared to the average teen...watching a PG-13 movie at a friends that we weren't supposed to, talking to a boy too late on the phone...and then some other things...I was probably my mom's worst child as far as some of the mistakes I made but, in my heart I always knew when I was straying from the Lord and was convicted completely on my own to steer clear of stuff. All I can do is raise my daughter to love Jesus with her whole heart and teach her about morality and then let God handle the rest while I worry like crazy because I can't help it! haha

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Let me know what you think!

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