Is your mum your best friend?

(21 Posts)
caso Fri 12-Apr-13 16:55:53

Thanks for the advice exotic fruits.

exoticfruits Thu 11-Apr-13 21:22:30

If you want a good relationship in the long term firstly you need a sense of humour, to relax, not take yourself too seriously and not try to be the 'perfect' mother. ( the perfect mother doesn't exist and would be hell to live with if she did!)
The main thing is give them roots and give them wings. The aim is to let go gradually and hopefully they come back because they want to and not through duty.
You respond to the child you have and not the one you wanted! You don't expect them to think the same as you about everything. You aim to get them to self control- something you won't get if you over control. There are 2 ways to treat over controlling mothers, the first is outright rebellion and the second is more usual- just play lip service and keep the rest secret. This is very sad because the DC is not anything like the mother imagines.
You are not hypocritical - if you want a DC to do something you have to do it yourself e.g if you drink coke and your DC only ever gets water then the message is that coke is better and you can stop drinking water as you get older.
You give unconditional love, security and plenty of time.
You don't try to be best friend, they can have plenty of those but you only get one mother. You do have to be able to say 'no ' when necessary. You need to be able to listen.
I am very close to my mother and my parenting is very similar to hers- we enjoy each others company but we are not best friends.

caso Thu 11-Apr-13 20:58:53

Thanks for your contributions everyone smile. This is my first post and I guess I've learnt that I need to be more selective about the terminology i use. I don't think that the term 'best friends' accurately conveys the sort of relationship I'm thinking of. As some of you have suggested I'm thinking more of a close relationship than of a 'best friend' relationship to the exclusion of my kids having friends their own age. I'm not looking to shirk parenting responsibilities or shy away from disciplining my children when necessary and i'm sure there will be times during the teenage years that i'll be happy with merely being on speaking terms with them, lol. (Sirboobalot I like your sense of humour here grin). I'd like my children to have a circle of friends or 'best friend' their own age as they grow up. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in addition to all that I want them to know that they can always come to me with any problem they might have and be open with me.

On reflection, the question I want to ask is: " what qualities in a mum facilitate a great mother- child relationship in the long term?"
I thought that asking people who consider their mum to be their best friend would be a good place to start since they would obviously have a close relationship with their mother.

Wouldbeharrietvane - I think you've made an important point about parents accepting their children for who they are. It's pretty difficult to be close to someone who doesn't accept you for who you are.

Doodledumdums- lucky you, you sound like you have a great relationship with your mum smile I think you've made an insightful point re: fear of judgement and disappointment. I definately think that fear of being judged or of causing disappointment can build barriers to your children wanting to confide in you.

Emmyloo2- why do you think you are incredibly close to your mum? What is it about her that makes it easier for you to be close to her?

Ballroom blitz and scarred pierced- I think you've both made a very interesting point about your mum not being a friend but a parent growing up, and only now that you're an adult yourself do you see her as a friend as well as a parent. I guess that I too want my children to see me more as a parent whilst they are still young, but I'm hoping that if I do a good enough job of parenting they'll come to think of me as a friend (i.e someone they choose to be around just for the pleasure of my company) as well as a parent (someone to turn to for support and guidance) as they mature and have families of their own.

In my opinion a good parent possesses many of the same qualities you'd look for in a good friend; I.e. trustworthiness, supportive, understanding, someone who has your best interests at heart and cares about you. I guess the major distinction is that parents have a responsibility to their child that friends don't. I suppose to a certain extent I've answered my own question here..... but I'd still like to hear your views about how a parent can foster a great relationship with their kids over the longer term. Balancingfigure- you're right; when all is said and done you can't force your kids to be close to you, but I do believe that with mindful parenting you can avoid putting up barriers to them being close to you.

matana Thu 11-Apr-13 14:51:59

My mum isn't my best friend.

My best friend encourages me to do crazy things and get drunk with her. My mum tells me that if i'm going to get drunk and go out in the cold then i ought to line my stomach with a sandwich and wear a scarf and coat. Yes, she still does this and I am 34! I also always text her to let her know i've arrived safely after a long car journey even though i haven't lived with my parents for many, many years!

I love my mum and have a very close relationship with her. We laugh a lot, she offers advice and support, we hug each other frequently, we disagree occasionally. We respect each other and will fight anyone who speaks ill of the other. But she is not my best friend, she's my mum. And i think that's the way it should be.

scarredpierced Thu 11-Apr-13 10:39:46

My mum is definitely my best friend. We talk every day, shop, have dinner, go to the cinema etc. We share problems and try to work through them together. This side of our relationship only came about in recent years though when I moved out to live with my DP.

Yes I would describe her as a very close friend. My relationship with her when I was a teenager was tumultuous to say the least and she never tried to be my friend as a child. She was my parent then, and very strict, but something changed when I became an adult. I can tell her almost anything, she backs me up to the hilt with my decisions and supports me when I need it.

I honestly see her most days and usually have a natter on the phone if I haven't seen her.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 11-Apr-13 10:09:07

God no.

Your mum isn't supposed to be your best friend. She's supposed to be your mum!

That means that sometimes, you're going to hate her grin but when you're an adult, you'll (hopefully) appreciate her. (assuming she wasn't a totally rubbish or toxic parent!)

You can't be a parent and a 'best bud'. It doesn't work like that and you shouldn't want it to.

Kids have lots of pals. They need a mother from their, erm, mother.

melonribena Thu 11-Apr-13 10:04:42

I love my mum very much and we are very close, especially since ds was born 8 mths ago. I see her pretty much every day.
She's not my best friend though, my best friends are dp and my twin sister.

wigglesrock Thu 11-Apr-13 10:00:56

O Christ no, I pick my friends. I have 3 daughters and have no desire to be their best friend. Im their Mum I will always love them more than they will know and more than I can express but they need to find their own support system outside the family imo.

emmyloo2 Thu 11-Apr-13 07:46:27

My Mum is my mum and I am incredibly close to her. My sister is my best friend. We are a very close family and I hope I have the same relationship with my children. However, she was never my "friend" as such. She was my Mum.

BackforGood Thu 11-Apr-13 01:00:04

Of course not. Your Mum is your Mum, and your friends are your riends. Something odd about a parent wanting their dc to be their 'best friends' rather than a parent / child relationship, IMVHO.

SirBoobAlot Thu 11-Apr-13 00:44:41

No. We get on a lot better now than we did a few years ago, but we're certainly not 'best' friends. There are other people I would call before her, and I confide more in my friends than I do in her, but we are friends. We go out (when money is okay) for lunch or a drink, can have a giggle together, and have a similar sense of humor. So we are friends.

DS regularly tells me that I'm his best friend, which I think is absolutely precious.

Do think you can be friends as well as a parent. Maybe not between the ages of 10 and 16 though wink

thornrose Thu 11-Apr-13 00:43:49

Your mum is your mum, your best friends are your best friends. The two can't be the same in my opinion.
You can have a great relationship with your mum though.

deleted203 Thu 11-Apr-13 00:40:07

I don't personally think mothers should be aspiring to be their child's 'best friend'...

piprabbit Thu 11-Apr-13 00:36:54

My mum is fantastic, but she isn't really a friend. I don't need another friend, but I do need my mum even though I am 43.

Doodledumdums Thu 11-Apr-13 00:22:06

My mum is definitely my best friend. I don't think that parents have to just be parents, my mum is the best friend and best mum I could possibly ask for. She knows me inside out and I know I can speak to her about anything without fear of judgement or disappointment. We did go through a bit of a rocky patch when I was about 13-15 as I was a horrid teenager, but she handled it brilliantly. I am pretty sure that my little brother feels the same way that I do, and they are exceptionally close. He is 22 now, and still cuddles her and puts his feet/head on her lap if they are sitting together on the sofa! If I am even half the mum that my mum is, then my DS will be a very lucky boy! smile

My mum isn't my best friend & we're not that close but she hasn't treated me badly - we just don't see things the same way. We were close when I was kid though.

So I guess I'm saying do your best with your kids (obviously grin) but you can't guarantee you will retain that closeness.

DeafLeopard Wed 10-Apr-13 23:12:14

Parents should be parents not friends IMO.

awkwardsis Wed 10-Apr-13 23:09:12

Journo

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 10-Apr-13 23:08:53

My mother and father both are mine.

My mother was always there for me. She always tried to understand me. She was patient and caring. She lets me be myself.

caso Wed 10-Apr-13 23:07:10

Hi everyone, I'm a mum of two lovely children aged 2 and a half and 3 months. I absolutely adore them and enjoy a good relationship with them. I want this to always be the case as I have a difficult relationship with my own mother and don't see her as a good role model to follow in my own parenting.

So, all of you out there who have a great relationship with your mum, or see your mum as your role model, I want to know: what is it about your mum that makes her your best friend? Inspire me!

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