Mum, Mother, Maami, Deda, Ahm, Mutter, Madre, Mater….. Whatever language you speak and however it is spelt, the person (Woman) who bears this name and holds this position in your life is a blessing indeed!
Being a mother of three amazing children, I can tell you without mincing words that motherhood is divine! It is usually said that the womb in a woman makes her different from her male counterpart. Carrying life in that womb and birthing that life into the world is a privilege that only God gives. Being a mother is the dream of every girl ( My 5-year old daughter still asked me some days ago how many more years she has before she becomes a Mummy and she’s hoping she won’t forget some things she’s learning now to be able to teach her own children!!) Apart from all that being pregnant comes with, the birth of a child is one blessing most women won’t trade for anything.
I know there are exceptions – a girl/lady/woman gets pregnant, tries aborting to no avail, births the child, packages the child in a carton and places in a gutter or by a dump site…., A mother decides to walk away from her husband and children and never look back…..- but thankfully, there are only exceptions not the rule! The woman you call Mother (biological/adopted) laboured over you physically, spiritually, mentally, psychologically and indeed in every way right from the time she discovers your first heartbeats though her stomach was still flat. You came into her world and her whole life, Spirit, soul and body changed significantly. There is a bond between a mother and her child (each child uniquely bonded) that ONLY God has details of.
All these said, I personally feel that it is a part of the package for there to be a deep, intimate relationship between a mother and her children especially her daughters. In the past, I think daughters were close to their mothers, learning from them(by choice or by force) and gleaning from their wisdom and experiences to be great mothers too. But over the years, with so many factors especially technological advancements that keep widening the communication gap, female children have found solace in other things and people and have chosen to sacrifice the friendship that should have been shared with their mums.
I imagine that a significant percentage of ladies reading this post are not exactly friends with their mums and I can totally relate because I was not while growing up. But I have learnt my lessons, still working on being my mom’s friend and being very intentional about being my daughter’s friend, actually best friend after Jesus, if her dad does not supercede me😃.
So let me share with you, some of the things I believe would help a greatdeal.
This is so crucial in every form of human relationship and particularly in a mother-daughter lifetime friendship. What should you seek to understand?
A. Understand that she has a past! My dear, the woman you call Mom has a unique journey and story that she might not have told you before. Your Mom has had her own fair share of struggles, highs, lows, pain, joys and everything that comes with being human and female. She also has/had a mom and it is very likely that she is ‘mothering’ you the way she was ‘mothered’. While some of us have fantastic grandmothers, some of us have not-so-awesome grandmothers or we never even knew our grandmothers. While some of our Moms have had life-changing encounters with God that have totally transformed them from the inside out, others are at different stages of the process while a few are yet to come to terms with their need for a change. The next time you look at or think about your mom, remember she is human, she is female, she loves you, she is doing her best to be her best and if there is anything she is not doing, she’s either working at it or she is ignorant of it.
B. Understand she has love languages! Because your Mom is different from you, she very likely understands love differently. I believe everyone speaks the five love languages but to varying degrees and priorities. For there to be some level of intimacy with your Mom, you need to carefully discover what makes her tick. Which love language is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th for her? The five love languages, in no particular order, are Quality Time, Giving/Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service. Once you discover this about your Mom, you are able to connect with her more intimately. We all know love when we see it and especially when it is spoken in our language and specific dialect! Love breaks walls and NO ONE resists love!!!
C. Understand she loves you! I have heard, but it is really hard to imagine why, that there are mothers who hate their children. It is very likely that in the beginning it was not so. It is possible that there were bad experiences or memories that the birth of such children bring to their mothers and they are yet to heal. Well, like I’m learning – it’s not good to make conclusions until you hear the full story from the horse’s (mother’s) mouth. So there are exceptional cases. But more often than not, there is a mother’s love for a child that is very unique, so much that if not contained, can cause serious friction between couples. The mother’s love is sacrificial, deeply sacrificial! Mothers go to any length to make sure their children are very fine and have a better future than their own past.
Please dear, understand that your Mom loves you! She wants the very best for you, she doesn’t want you to make any mistake she made and you might be shocked to discover that she doesn’t want you to be like her because she might feel she’s not been her best for you.
There is an amazing power, that is better experienced than explained, that comes when we pray for those we are not in good terms with. Talking to God about our displeasure or dissatisfaction in our relationship with our Moms, is one sure way to heal fast (Matthew 11:28). One reason I find this effective is that the decision about whose womb would bear you and birth you was 100% a God-decision. It was entirely God’s idea that your Mom would be your Mom so if you have issues with that idea, your best bet is to talk to the owner of the idea. The more you pray for her, the more likely she would be open to friendship with you because God, who sees and knows it all, would work on her, in her and sort things for her, making her a lot more vulnerable with you.
A lot of us assume very often. We unknowingly (so I think) expect people to be able to read our minds or know what we are thinking or how we are feeling without telling them. So we get angry at them for not being able to decipher what we are thinking or feeling and we judge them wicked or unfair. We are quick to forget that our Moms are as human and lomites as we are. Though Mothers are intuitive, their human limitations make them fall short once in a while and sometimes, those once-in-a-while times are the times we need them most.
So you need to talk with Mummy and stop assuming she knows. Sometimes, she also reacts because she assumes wrongly about you and I know how painful this usually is. The solution is for you to talk with her. I imagine someone saying how will I sit with my mom and start a conversation? You can start by writing a letter to show your love and ask for her audience, then send it with a gift of something you know she would really appreciate (possibly meet an immediate need). Letters have an emotional way of touching hearts. She would most likely read the letter more than once. How about taking her out on a date (eating/ shopping/ spa or movie date)?
One major thing that I have found with our generation is that we ‘feel’ more spiritual than our parents so there is a subtle feeling of pride that causes outright defiance. Let me inform you that she might not have your revelation of God but she is fully convinced of her own revelation. If there is anything you think she should know but she doesn’t know or she’s not seeing your view on a matter, instead of shouting or being disrespectful in any way, pray that God explains to her and talk with her respectfully and softly. It is not in your power to change anyone, you know!
Communication is key! You and Mummy need to be on the same page most of the time and whenever (the few times) you are not, trust God for the wisdom to reach a reasonable compromise.
The summary for me is this: to build a lifetime friendship with your Mom, you need to understand her, pray for her, effectively communicate with her. You will be surprised at how much more she desires this friendship than you do. Please know that it’s never too late to start being friends with your Mom, the rest of her years are just enough for you to value her and make her motherhood journey sweet. Please be warned that this might take time, effort and there might be some twists and turns, so prepare yourself to give this whatever it will take. Do your very best knowing God will do that part you cannot do and you can be sure He will do His perfectly and beautifully!!!!
With Love from a Mom and Daughter,
Meet the Author:
Titilope Adigun is a Pharmacist by profession. She is a wife, mother and partner-in-ministry by calling. She currently works in Mine Teenage Ministry where she mentors and counsels teenagers, especially teen girls.