Adult Mother-Daughter Relationships: How to Stay Close to Your Mom

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mother-daughter relationships
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A good relationship between mother and daughter is a special and precious gift to cherish. There are bound to be ups and downs over the years, as there are in any relationship, and the teenage years can put extra strain on you two. As you grow older, the nature of your connection with your mom will likely change and it can become more like a friendship over the years. Unfortunately, there may also be arguments, years of not speaking, and unresolved tension in adult mother-daughter relationships. If you’re lucky enough to have your mom around as she becomes a senior citizen, it’s essential to make the most of the time you still have together.

The Nature of Mother-Daughter Relationships

The age gap between you and your mom obviously can be more or less than your friends and their moms. You could be 50 and have a 90-year-old mom, or she may only be in her 70s. When there’s less of an age gap, women often find their relationship more readily changes into a special kind of friendship.

But the exact nature of your relationship will depend more on how you were brought up and your personalities. Some moms and daughters find it harder to bond or have such different personalities that it’s hard to enjoy the same pastimes or have interest in each other’s conversations.

Others are so close they are like best friends. Indeed many adult females describe their mom as their best friend. Only you know how you feel about your mom, and how close the two of you are. But however you think of her, now is an excellent time to review your feelings.

Rebuilding Damaged Relationships

Even the closest of families can have a falling out. Sometimes these disagreements develop into a rift that causes people to lose touch for months or even years. If you’ve become estranged from your mom, or you feel you could be closer to her, ask yourself:

  1. How did this situation come about?
  2. Is there is anything you can do to fix it?

Sometimes, there isn’t anything to be done to repair mother-daughter relationships. For example, for some women who have been neglected or abused by their moms, there’s little hope or desire for reconciliation. If reconnecting or forming closer adult mother-daughter relationships is something that you do want, don’t leave it too long before taking action.

This sentiment is often one expressed after loved ones have passed away. That they wish they could have talk to their relatives or made up with them, and now it’s too late. If you want to avoid having regrets later about such a significant relationship, and if there’s a way to improve the situation, now’s the time to take action.

Spending Time with Mom

When you’re making your way in the world, working, building a career, studying, raising a family and so on, it’s startling how quickly time flies by. Parents often say they wish they could see their children and grandchildren more often, and it’s vital for them and for you and your kids to maintain close family relationships.

Regular visits, sleepovers at grandma’s house, and taking trips or days out together are all great ways to spend quality time and keep close to mom. Simple activities to keep mother-daughter relationships close can include:

  • Going shopping
  • Visiting a hair salon
  • Taking a walk

These activities are ones you can do together, especially if you have little free time. Suggest your mom joins you in some of your regular activities. It’s also nice to relax and chill out in the familiar and protective surroundings of your parents’ home, so pop around for a coffee and a chat now and then. It’ll probably be good for both of you.

Facing Frailty in Mom

As your mom enters old age, she’ll naturally become less active and able. The degree to which frailty affects her will depend on her genes, overall health, lifestyle, and more. Some women are fit and well and able to look after themselves at home into their eighties and nineties. But others need more care and support if they have health issues or become very frail.

If you’re able to, help your mom out with odd jobs around the house. That’ll help her considerately. If you can’t offer your assistance because of time or distance limitations, then you could use a professional home care service to help her with the tasks she can no longer manage alone. You can click here to find out more about how home care services work and why they are a good option.

The longer someone can stay in their home, the better for them and their families and the health care system. But if the time comes when mom is no longer able to live at home, it’s essential to talk with them openly and honestly about their choices, if they are able to do so.

About Role Reversal

As your mom becomes frailer and less able to do things for herself, mother-daughter relationships can often experience role reversal. If this happens, the daughter begins to act as the responsible adult, taking care of a child-like mom.

It’s true that cognitive function declines with age. But it’s important not to start treating your mom as if she is incapable. That’s not good for your relationship; it can even drive a wedge between you two at a time when you want closeness with her. Retaining respect for someone as they age is vital for their mental well-being. And you need to continue to communicate with your mom as a rational adult. In this case, avoid falling into the role reversal trap. Unless that is they have dementia or another serious mental or physical limitation.

The time you spend with your mom in later life can be highly rewarding for you both. She can enjoy time with children and even grandchildren. Talk about anything and everything as your mom passes down family stories and legends. Make sure you celebrate every day you get to be with your mom as time passes by.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The role reversal is the most rewarding, and scary part. Happy to help my mom with money and other things, I realize one day I will be my mom, in a sense.

  2. My mom lives six hours away, so I don’t get to see her nearly often enough. We try to stay in touch by phone and email, and visit when we can. Luckily, I have a sister who lives close to our mom who can check in on her frequently, and give me updates.

  3. I miss my mom, Christy, as she passed away 6 years ago, and Dad passed a year ago. They’re together again, which is good. But my daughter and I have a real close relationship, which is why when she moved to Nashville 2 weeks ago, there were lots of tears. 🙂 I’m in CA, so it’s more than a drive. But, she and her b.f. are doing great and he proposed at the Grand Canyon, during their road trip on the way. Exciting times for them both and my husband and I are proud and happy for them. Long answer, sorry, but I felt like sharing since you’ve known me for awhile. I’m thankful for our relationship, and now we talk on the phone or text or Facetime. Technology is good for that. Hugs, my friend!

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