Saturday, January 7, 2012

Can We Be Friends?

"I'm your mother, not your friend."

This is something I've heard many mothers say.
And it has always made we wonder, does that have to be true?

I know that she is still very little, and most of our communication is still in the 'play' phase.
And I also know that once she hits her teens, or tweens even, that things are likely to change, dramatically!
But when my Miss 4 and I were playing in her room this afternoon and I said,
"You're my best friend," her eyes lit up and she said, "Really? Am I really your best friend?"
She has been calling me Best Friend ever since.

We've been through the constantly saying, "I love you," stage. Although she still says it pretty often, which I love!
We're at the constantly asking, "Do you still love me?" stage. Mostly when she's in trouble for something.
And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if sometime in the future we hit the, "I hate you," stage. I remember saying that many times to my mother.

Yes, I know, there is a significant difference between the role of a parent, and the role of a friend.
But I think it would be lovely if there was always an element of friendship in the relationships I have with both of my children.

They know I can be Cranky Mum, Fun Mum, Silly Mum, Serious Mum, Helpful Mum and Comforting Mum.
Why can't I be Friend Mum as well.
Can't we wear each role like a different hat or set of glasses?

I have a dream for the future that my grown up kids will want to do things with their dear old Mum & Dad.
I'd love to do coffee and go shopping with my daughter.
I'd love to go to a movie or a show with my son.
I've never had that kind of friendship with my parents.
Have you?
Please tell me you can.


  1. Glad to see you here :o)
    I really hope that we can be best friends with our kids, but the realist in me knows that it will be an off/on relationship and at times I will be the worst Mum ever until they are about 25 when hopefully we can be BFF from then!

  2. It's a fine line we tread isn't it?
    Nothing gets better than their spontaneous displays of affection, though.
    Here's to many, many years of beautiful parenthood/friendship.
    (Even when they're heard muttering "you're not my friend anymore").

  3. Before I had kids, I always believed that parents shouldn't be friends with their children - they need to be parents. Then I had kids and found that not to be true. In fact, parents should be friends with their children BUT (and this is a BIG BUT) they have to remember that they are parents FIRST and that being a parent takes priority over being a friend every time!

    When my kids were growing up we shared a lot of interests, and as they got older (teens) we also started sharing activities (music and baseball). I believe that it established the very close relationship that we have to this day with them in their 30's.

    HOWEVER (there is that "but") when it came to having to let them know when they crossed the line (aka reprimands, punishment, etc.) I could no longer be their friend for that moment ... I WAS DAD!!!

    Yes, often the punishment (usually grounding) bothered me as much as them and I found ways that they could "buy back" some of the time, but being a parent ALWAYS took priority over being their friend.

    And I believe that is why I am such good friends with them today.

  4. Read this last night, but was too tired to make sense.

    I actually am not sure of my stance on this one. I am their mother, I adore them but I do not see us as "friends" I guess.

    Do we love to be together, laugh, play, joke, cry, support, fight and do all the things friends do? Yes. BUT I am their mother, and I see all of this as being a part of doing that role well. I porbably have the only teen and pre-teen boys who insist on walking arm in arm along busy streets with me. They do not care if their mates see, and enjoy being with me as much as I enjoy being with them.

    Again, my role as Mum.

    And sadly, I see too much of the "be their friend" parenting go so horribly wrong, including with someone very close to my heart.

    So I guess I think no, not a friend, a parent. But I do think a lot of the benefits that come with friendship are inherent in a good parent/child relationship anyway.


Just one little comment will make my day.