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Thread: How to handle relationship with daughter...

  1. #11
    Silver Member BecxyRex's Avatar
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    I'm the daughter of a single mom as well and those relationships tend to get extremely close. I'm also an only child. It must have been hard to not share some of the tougher parenting decisions with dad. You were the one to set all the boundaries when she was growing up, and you were also the one to provide all the emotional support. I tip my hat to you, lady, you did a fantastic job. Just like my mom did with me.

    Just remember, she doesn't have dad to confide in or siblings to laugh with about one horrible Thanksgiving in 2010. It's a lot of responsibility for one parent to shoulder alone, and it can also be a burden for a child like that to cut the chord and not have mom be "everything". I think she's just enjoying her independence for now, kinda spreading her wings. I certainly needed it around her age as well and it's only natural and good. I think the relationship between an only child and a single mom is bound to experience some push and pull, near and far, because the balance that others might have had wasn't always there. Let her fly, be happy she's getting on so well. And I can guarantee she won't just forget about you. She loves you and there will be times again where you'll hear more from her.

    I think the biggest gift you can give her is a fullfilled happy life of your own. I love when my mom sends me updates from a trip she takes or a funny story from a night out. I want her to be happy without me around, because I can't shoulder the responsibility of having to feel like I need to take care of her. Just send her some fun updates sometimes, maybe a picture of you doing a wine tasting or whatnot. Even if she doesn't have the time to respond, she'll be happy to know you're doing well. Oh, and also, I started to bombard my mom with calls and messages again when I had my own daughter. I think my mom and this point rolls her eyes when she hears from me yet again haha. Trust me, this won't be forever.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    it can also be a burden for a child like that to cut the chord and not have mom be "everything".

    I want her to be happy without me around, because I can't shoulder the responsibility of having to feel like I need to take care of her.
    Oh man this really hit me in the feels! You are so on point with this and everything else you said. Thank you for that perspective.

  3. #13
    Silver Member BecxyRex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by maew
    Oh man this really hit me in the feels! You are so on point with this and everything else you said. Thank you for that perspective.
    Of course! I'm glad it could help.

  4. #14
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    I think that instead of pouring your heart out in a letter, or calling hoping for "deep heart to hearts", I would take a different tactic. If you find some article or cartoon she would find hilarious, just email it to her or however you reach out. With no expectation of answer - because it doesn't need one. I played a game online with a relative who was difficult to talk to - it bothers me that i could never pour my heart out, but staying connected in light ways keeps my presence around, or keeps some form of communication open.

    I know for a period of time i didn't want to talk to my parents much because mom would always pepper in some "you need to get with reality" or some criticism of something and she would have "saved up" all the things she wanted to say because i didn't call much for maybe a period of a couple years. we are close now, but i dreaded calling home. i didn't want 2 weeks to 2 months of what she had saved up to pour out on me.

    I think you are learning to have an adult relationship with her, too

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    If you find some article or cartoon she would find hilarious, just email it to her or however you reach out. With no expectation of answer - because it doesn't need one.
    Great advice, as she is hilarious and we love cracking jokes and one liners when we are together... connect based on something fun vs. all the feels.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I would write a heartfelt letter to her either via postal mail or email. Keep it sincere and brief. I'd tell her that you're always there for her while honoring the space and time she desires. This way, she knows she has you to lean on when she needs you and at the same time you'll respect her independence and very busy life.

    Little birds grow up and fly away from the nest. It sounds like you have empty nest syndrome. You have to learn to let go.

    I was the same when I was your daughter's age. I was close to my mother as a child and not so close when I was 17 years old and beyond. However, as I grew older, I became closer to my mother because I could relate better. I became even closer to her once I became a mother.

    Let your daughter live her life. She'll come around, come to you for advice and moral support. You have to remain patient in the meantime. Also, get busy with this new stage in your life. Have healthy distractions.

  8. #17
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    I would write a heartfelt letter to her either via postal mail or email. Keep it sincere and brief. I'd tell her that you're always there for her while honoring the space and time she desires. This way, she knows she has you to lean on when she needs you and at the same time you'll respect her independence and very busy life.


    If the daughter is just busy with her own life and feels no ill for her mom, this will make her run for the hills. Like a dumpee on ENA asking for advice to write a letter "so that the other person realizes..."something. It may come across as guilting and its really for the letter writer. It might be good for you to write a letter and toss it away. The daughter is not being broken up with.

    Don't push. let her come to you. And when she does, don't set a "trap" - small talk, then release all the emotional stuff you have saved up for her when she does reach out. Be proud that she is independent. maybe invite her out to lunch and shopping or dinner or something she likes to do every quarter if she doesn't initiate.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken




    If the daughter is just busy with her own life and feels no ill for her mom, this will make her run for the hills. Like a dumpee on ENA asking for advice to write a letter "so that the other person realizes..."something. It may come across as guilting and its really for the letter writer. It might be good for you to write a letter and toss it away. The daughter is not being broken up with.

    Don't push. let her come to you. And when she does, don't set a "trap" - small talk, then release all the emotional stuff you have saved up for her when she does reach out. Be proud that she is independent. maybe invite her out to lunch and shopping or dinner or something she likes to do every quarter if she doesn't initiate.
    I agree. The daughter is trying to create some space. Moving in on it physically or emotionally isn't a good idea. Give her the room to grow and trust that you've laid the foundation for her to return.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    And when she does, don't set a "trap" - small talk, then release all the emotional stuff you have saved up for her when she does reach out.
    Thanks all... I agree with this completely, I save the heavy emotional talk for my friends etc. and keep the conversation with my kid light and fun... we will generally talk about what she wants to talk about... the reality is that all I have to actually do is listen, because she will spend the whole time talking about everything going on in her life and every little thought in her head, I mean this kid loves to talk holy cow... I just nod and and affirm that I am listening lol

  11. #20
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by maew
    Great advice, as she is hilarious and we love cracking jokes and one liners when we are together... connect based on something fun vs. all the feels.
    Yep! Occasional messages like, "I heard [name of song] today and thought of you. Remember [xyz] and how we laughed? Just thinking of you and felt like reminding you of how proud I am of you." ...Boom! Drop it, then done. No formal closure as with a letter, and no asking for contact or implying that she should respond in any way.

    Keep a light touch, don't pull any guilt cards, and you'll see this stage evolve over time into more appreciation for you.

    You've done fabulous work of raising your daughter. Dr. Joy Browne has said, "Our job as a parent is to give our kids both roots and wings. The roots are not the hard part."

    Let her fly, and when she wants to land and catch up on occasion, she will let you know.

    Head high, Mama Maew, and great job!

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