For years, I was always told that a daughter’s first best friend is her mother. Ha! I would have to disagree. Though this post will shed some light on the importance of communication with your children, I believe that it will also enhance relationships for the young and seasoned…
My mother and I did NOT have the best relationship growing up. I longed to have a mother that I could talk to about the boy that I had a crush on at school, and in all honestly, just someone that would listen. As I grew older, and I began to watch my mother with my own grandmother, I began to understand why our relationship was so strained. My grandmother and my mother were somewhat estranged. My mother was raised by her grandmother, whom she called “Davis” instead of her mother, whom she sometimes called, “Easter.” I never understood that concept, but whenever I went to call my mother “Joan” she would correct me.
I was a very troubled child growing up. I did everything my mother told me NOT to do. I would hang out with the wrong crowds, had a horrible smart mouth that could reduce you to nothing, and an all around bad attitude. No one wanted to have anything to do with me. When my parents split during the summer of my freshman year, I continued to be disrespectful to my mother. Although I had no real reason to be, I just felt like I couldn’t talk to her. All she would tell me was, “One day, you will become a mother, and you will see, that payback is a mother.” I would always go back and forth with her. I lied to her so much, that I myself, was unable to keep up with the lies I had begun to tell her. I can’t explain the reason why, but I wanted to hurt my mother. She never talked to me, she would just tell me no, when I felt like a yes was deserved. She was super hard on me, and I honestly felt like my brother was her golden child.
Now my mother was an amazing woman. She held down a full-time job with the government, and a part-time job at Macy’s (Then Foleys), she went to school and was a Pastor in the AME Church. Yet, it wasn’t enough for me.
When I decided to return home from college, things only got worse. At this time, my mother and grandmother were on NON-SPEAKING TERMS. Of course, I thought that I was grown, and I didn’t want to answer to her. I thought I should come and go as I pleased, and do whatever I wanted to do. I needed a reality check, and by the time I got one, our relationship was ruined.
As I grew older, I learned about generational curses and believed that there was one over my family. I realized this could happen to me and my own child; so right then and there, I HAD to change it. I did just that. I begin inviting my mother to lunch when I would go, and I would pay for her food. I would call and talk to her throughout the day, I would have her back no matter what. I would even pray that the relationship she had with her mother would change. Slowly, I could see it working in my favor.
There were times when I saw that we wanted it to change, but it just wouldn’t. After my marriage fell apart, my mother, along with my support system, began to step in and be my strength. She knew what it was like to be where I was. She prayed for me, and with me.
Today, I am proud to say, that my mother and I are in a GREAT place. I can even see the change in the relationship with her mother. The two have recently begun to hang out and go shopping together. This Sunday, they attended dinner at my house together. It means the world to me, to see my mother and I, along with her mother, taking steps to rebuild what was stolen from us for so long. I know that I have taken the correct steps to have a great relationship with my own children; and even though I can’t take back all the disrespectful things and thoughts I have committed against my mother, I will spend the rest of my days making them up.
If your relationship with your children or child is on the fritz, I encourage you to repair what you can now. It is never too late to tell your child or your parent that you love them.
To my mom,
I don’t know if you will read this, but I want you to know that I love you. Thank you. You mean everything to me and then some. I will always honor you.