Friday, October 27, 2006

Hanging with your Mom...

and your Mom is your girlfriend.

A week or so ago, on 'Good Morning America' there was a spot about mothers and daughters hanging out together, going to clubs, drinking, all the things a young woman would do with girlfriends her own age.

Many mothers may have always wanted their daughters to be their best friends, and they raised them to be. When that happens, it is easy for boundaries to become blurred; inappropriate behavior gets overlooked. The mother abdicates her role for the sake of having a friend.

I have relatives who are mother and daughter and go on trips together, hang out together, shop together, do everything together - they are best friends; night-clubbing buddies.

Often, but not always, the mother is divorced and the daughter is single. They shop together, dress similarly, and party together. It's creepy. Imagine being with your mom when two guys hit on you both. Or just out night clubbing, and you both drink too much, and you are both loud mouthed, and obnoxious. It's weird.

What has happened to some mothers that they relinquish their position as role model, guide, mentor, and safe refuge and counsel? It's not always a divorced mother who acts thus. What is the root of it? Is the mother living vicariously through her daughter? Or does she want to retain her youth by becoming her daughter's girlfriend?

Maybe it is another indication of the breakdown of the family and the corruption of morals, so prevalent in our culture. Call me old fashioned, but it seems to me, good mother and daughter friendships should retain a semblance of propriety and hierarchy. A daughter isn't a sister after all.

It's a curious phenomenon, happening with greater frequency. Of course, maybe it's just me, my parents were the last people on earth I wanted to hang out with.


  1. Therese4:48 AM

    The being a best friend with a mom is usually a lot of hooey anyhow. The mom's will say "I know everything about my daughter" and it isn't true. They are usually the last to know. I think most daughters instinctively hide stuff no matter how many drinks they would have together anyhow...Mother/daughter relationships are very complex. There is always a sense of competion that is just natural in the relationship. It is just how it is. Just try and take over a holiday dinner and see how far you get without the first suggestion from mom...I am sorry-- COMMANDMENT! The daughter could get angry and bitter or just realize that is how it is. Women have a hierarchy in their relationships with other women and the normal woman just knows this and giggles a little--knowing she will do the same with her daughter...
    Mixing sexuality of any kind into this is just gross to me. I would rather die...Not that I don't seek advice in the arena about concrete problems etc. I want and need that advice when it comes to women's health issue's, pregnancy, birth...I remember when my mom was pregnant with my little brother--I was 15 and she was thirty five. We were in the grocery store and this man was obviously bizarrely attracted to my mom following her around the store staring and I think he even made a comment about her beauty. I wanted to commit a murder there and then. What a pervert. I felt protective of her. If we were "buddies" I probably would have felt jealous and angry. To be a family there have to be lines and boundaries we do not cross.
    My daughter has said, "I can't tell you things because you will get mad"...I hate that. How dishonest I think. I say "if you know I will get mad and you hate that so much, DON'T DO THE BAD THING in the first place!!" Don't punish me because you do a wrong and I don't react like your friend. I care a little bit more about my daughter than any of her so called friends do! I have never been her friend. There was a stage when she was a couple of sizes larger than I was--that awkward teenage stage. I didn't put on clothes and act like her friend then either--I always felt sensitive about that--knowing I was to fade and she was to surpass me--the tables later turned anyhow as they usually do!!
    Mom is always going to be somewhat of a pain. That is ok since she can't see my eyes over the phone when I roll them to the back of my head. I will never do things they way she would--which of course is perfectly! I try and remember to flatter her because she does do things perfectly. She has talents I totally lack and I know her advice is out of love and committment--not just competition and I am waiting for my daughter to find that out about me someday--probably in 9 years when she is 30. I am not going to change what our relationship should be just to get there in a hurry and then arrive at a truly false place anyhow...I hear my mom's voice in the back of my head all the this, don't do that--thank GOD!

  2. It doesn't seem that kids tell their parents everything no matter how close they are. Do parents tell their kids everything? Probably not...

    It's not unusual that kids don't want to hang out with their parents. But that is not an indication that they're not close.

  3. Terry; I see this in a few of my relatives and friends too. These are Moms that never disciplined their kids. I know 3 of them. They did not want to be the bad "guy". Plus, they felt (wrongly) that they had been disciplined too much as children and did not want to do that to their child.


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