Yet from high school on, her biggest struggle was that her mom was so involved in her life it was suffocating.
Let her know you’re there for her when she needs someone to talk to, and then listen well when she takes you up on the offer.
Invite her to meet you at a coffee shop, and don’t take it personally if she’s not able to fit that into her schedule.
We can share thoughts and appropriate feelings, of course, but it’s not a daughter’s job to be the repository of intimate details of your life. When you shape her into that role, it brings turmoil during a formative stage of her life and can mess up her own sense of identity and sexuality.
It’s vital to avoid confiding to her toxic feelings about her father (or another family member) that will negatively affect her relationship with that person. She’s still your daughter, and you are her little girl.
She gave up a lot of her own perfectly normal desires and interests in order to go home when her mom needed companionship or to call her more often than she had time for.
Julie’s mom didn’t realize she was manipulating situations and thereby preventing her daughter from being a stable, healthy adult.
Take some time to get to know yourself better and identify your hopes and dreams, your “bucket list” of things you want to do while you’re still on this side of the grass.
Get comfortable with just being with , journaling your thoughts and feelings, and being fine with solitude. That’s one of the best things we moms can do for our daughters, especially during the college and twenty-something years when our daughter’s developmental task is to separate from us.
Then they are free to return on their own timetable.
Just as Julie and her mom experienced from establishing boundaries, our relationships with our own daughters will actually be much healthier and the time we do spend together more enjoyable if we do the same.
She got involved in a Bible study and community projects, participating in life on her own for a change. As Julie and her mom created some space from each other, their mother-daughter relationship became more open, and what her mother had longed for happened: Julie drew close and began to enjoy her mom more than ever—quite a contrast to spending time with her because she felt obligated to.