I see it all the time on social media. “Have a daughter and you’ll have a best friend for life.” “I asked God for a best friend, he sent a daughter.” I’m sorry (not sorry) but I wholeheartedly disagree. My daughter is my daughter. It’s a special bond that you can’t compare to anything else in the world and it’s one of the most amazing relationships to be involved in, but we are certainly NOT best friends.
We probably won’t ever be.
Why? (What a cold, mean mom! I’m glad she’s not my mom! I feel bad for her kid!).
Because first and foremost, I am her mother. I’m her protector, safe place, disciplinarian, cheerleader, confidant, mentor, teacher, role model, and much more. To my friends, I’m their friend. I might be able to spread a few seeds of influence here and there, but overall, I’m not (or I hope I’m not) mothering them. They should be able to talk to me, trust me to give them the best advice I can, but it’s not the same. I’m not going to ever punish my friends for misbehaviour. It’s not my place. I am not going to make them write lines to practice their handwriting when it gets sloppy. I’m not going to make them eat their vegetables. At the end of the day, I don’t snuggle in with them, dreading the day when they’re too old for that. They can take my advice or leave it.
I think it might be a big mistake to aim for friendship with my daughter. Friendship is on equal ground. With my daughter, I should be in a position of leadership. I should guide her to live her best life. I aim to model good and healthy behaviour for her every day, in the best way that I can. When I’m with my friends, sure I’m not going to start breaking the law but I can let loose a little more. I want my daughter to respect me as an adult and her parent, its not the same as being her friend.
I try to consistently discipline my daughter. I’m sure my friends wouldn’t be overly appreciative of my discipline.
See where I’m coming from?
We wonder why our kids don’t respect adults or their parents, this is part of the reason. We’re not friends.
Maybe one day, when she’s grown and I have no more control in her life, we’ll be a sort of friend, but I hope she has her own best friends, of her own age. I’ll hope I taught her how to live her life in a way that her friends are cherished.
Until then, I’ll keep on mothering.
I mean, I’m no parenting expert, so I guess we’ll see how this all pans out!