I have a very special visitor coming Sunday night… I am a total basket case. I have spent too much time going over everything… my OCD has kicked into overdrive. That person is my mother. She will be here for a week… I am almost frightened by this, and my struggle for perfection, if you knew the situation is not without merit.
I am not going to bore you with the history of our relationship. There are things that I do not want to share with the world. Now that I am older, I want to have a relationship with my mom that is not involved with anger. To prepare myself, I did some research. Ok, yes, I am one of these people who thrive on logic. I have to load myself up for bear on everything I do not understand, emotions other than anger being one of these things.
I am trying very hard to make a good, healthy relationship with this woman. I have realized I want that and her in my life. In my search of trying to find out how to accomplish that goal, I found a great article, 15 Insights On Improving Mother Daughter Relationships By MARGARITA TARTAKOVSKY, M.S. Lots of crucial points in that article on how to fix a mother-daughter relationship. I am going to do my best to follow her thoughts.
Mother Daughter Relationships, how I am going to improve mine.
I am hopeful I can follow this and keep my “hot head in check.” These are my goals for this upcoming visit, based off of Ms. Tartakovsky’s article. Taking these steps is also my way of preparing for this visit.
- She made the first move. I am going to keep that going and continue making the next moves to better our relationship.
- I have realized that there is nothing wrong with me; I do not have to change something about myself to make her happy or accept me. We need to let go of a lot of things.
- Expectations. I know what I would like, but in all sad honesty, I expect that I will be criticized for everything. That is me not letting go of the past in reality.
- Communicate – We have been. It’s been good, but we have 3K miles and a phone between us. I am hoping that in person, the line of communication continues to evolve and not revert to how much the other sucks.
- Active listening – we have done a lot of that in the past. Mostly the bad things we had to say about and to each other. I will be focusing on the good.
- Repairing damage quickly. We have a lifetime of that. None of it will be repaired quickly or overnight. Maybe we should do as Ms. Tartakovsky’s said and pick our battles wisely. Fix any new conflict while pushing the old aside?
- I do not know that either of us would like to put ourselves in each other shoes. I know I don’t. Maybe that is the wrong attitude to have, but in reality, there are things I don’t want to know about.
- Learning to forgive, I think that is the hardest thing for any human to do. It’s not in our nature to readily and easily forgive 100 percent. In the back of our minds, there is always the memory of the wrong that was done to us. No matter how well intended saying “I forgive you” is, it’s never an honest sentiment. With that being said, I will do my best to shove the past behind us and dwell on the future.
- Balance individuality and closeness – Not sure about this one yet. I think that will be a future goal as we start to build on our relationship.
- Agree to disagree – we have disagreed for years, will be nice if we can agree to it.
- Stick to the present – I am willing to work on this. I have said repeatedly that I am working on putting the past behind us. I hope we BOTH can do this.
- “Use ‘I’ statements, rather than being accusatory,” Cohen-Sandler said. “Avoid “sarcasm and facetiousness.” Ok. I am going to admit right now that this is going to be difficult for me. I am sarcastic MOST of the time as it is. I will give it the old-fashioned Gipper try, though when dealing with my mother.
- Talk about how you want to communicate – We did this one already, and the schedule is working pretty well. She typically calls me around my DJ schedule, and I call her around her work schedule. I think this is a big step for both of us in building a mutual respect that to me is essential in any relationship.
- Boundaries – We are still working on that. The start of limitations has been being respectful about calling during work. I think that is a crucial starting point.
- Don’t bring in third parties – This has been difficult as we have been working to fix our relationship. It’s often that my dad’s name is dropped or pulled into it. We need to get past this issue.
I feel blessed that I have a great relationship with my daughters, even so, like any relationship, mother-daughter relationships also take work to build on them and keep them going. I think I am mentally prepared for this visit. *Shoves her OCD back into the closet where it belongs*