Maggie, a mother of two daughters, recently wrote to me in response to my rules for Mothers of Daughters. She said that, as a mother, everyone makes mistakes- herself included. None of us are perfect -- we know that. Then, she said something that struck my heart,
"Can you imagine the healing that could happen if the same unconditional love of a mom was given back by grownup daughters?"
Wow, I thought. As daughters, we grow up loving our mothers, but we also feel resentment for anything and everything we think we lack. We blame our mother's for our shortcomings or for not giving us enough. We love our mothers, no question. We certainly admire them and --hopefully-- respect them. But, the resentment is still present. Then, we become mothers and we understand unconditional love. Suddenly, we begin to grasp how much our own mother's love us, but still, we cannot relinquish the blame. Someone is always to blame.
But, imagine if we could level the playing field-
and let go of who is to blame,
of who made what mistake.
I want my daughter to love me back. I want her to respect me and see me as a role model. I want her to forgive me for every mistake I make along the way. But more than that, I want to someday walk across the boundaries of our mother-daughter relationship into a friendship. I want to share a mutual respect... and love.
Thank you Maggie.
Here are 25 Rules for Daughters -- of Mothers. Delaney, you better be listening girlfriend.
1. Call your Mom. If only once in awhile just to say, "I love you." You carry a piece of her heart with you at all times, sometimes she needs to hear it to know that it's still beating.
2. Your mother is human. Never forget that your mom feels. She knows pain and joy. She knows heartache and guilt. She has experienced every high and every low- and most of those feelings have been because of your presence in her life. She feels once for her, and double for you. Understand that. Appreciate that.3. Remind her. Of the good memories and the happy times. When you danced in the living room, and laughed in the car -- when you went shopping and shared secrets. She needs to know that you remember the good, not just the hard. She needs to know that you remember the moments that made her dreams come true.
4. Never, ever, ever forget her birthday. She will never forget yours, she was there for the first one.
6. Consider her a friend. You are her very best.
8. Tell her she is beautiful. Every women is more beautiful in the eyes of her children. Tell her so.
9. Share your clothes. Sure, she's old, but she's not dead. Let her pretend to fit into your skinny jeans.
10. Stand up for her. You stand up for your family. Period.
11. Respect her. Maybe she has made too many mistakes, but if nothing else, respect her. She put you on this Earth. She gave you life. Respect that to it's core.
12. Keep her on trend. With age comes loss of style. Help the lady out. If her house smells like moth balls, tell her. If she needs some makeup, show her how to do it. If she needs a change in wardrobe, take her shopping. She did the same for you before you developed your own sense of sass.
13. Never take life for granted. As your mother ages, know that tomorrow is not guaranteed. End every conversation with "I love you," and every day knowing that you said what you needed to say. Life is not promised, tomorrow is not for certain. Lay it all out on the table.
14. Come home. You will always be welcome. No matter where you go in life, don't forget to return home...to your roots, to your core, to the only person who will ever love you more than you love yourself.
15. Hold on to the knowledge that someday you will get it. Someday, not long from now, you will become a mother. You will know unconditional love. You will grasp what it means to put someone before yourself. You will suddenly understand that your mother had nothing but the best intentions. You will know that you are her world.
to my mama & mama-in-law.