My 31 year old daughter lives with me. She had an apartment for over 3 years. When my husband and I separated, she moved back home. The other day she came to me and was very serious. She said, "Mom, I want to thank you for being you. You are the perfect blend of mother and friend. You know how to just listen and let me say what I need, but you also know how to slip that mother thing in to make a point. Thank you for letting me stay with you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for not being one of those mothers who are all in your business."
I listened with glee. I felt proud that my daughter recognized that I am not the typical mother by any means. She and my son often praise me on how I don't over step my boundaries and I allow them to grow on their own as adults.
I never wanted to be the type of parent who continuously parents throughout their children's lives. I did all I could to guide them in what I believed to be the right way when I had full charge over them. After they turn 18, it is their turn to show me what they are working with.
I can tell my daughter is really proud of our relationship. So many of her friends complain about their mothers and she has none. I really don't bother her. Even though she lives at home, I go weeks without seeing her, but not without her kisses. Even if I'm sleep, she comes in my room and kisses me while I'm sleep. Sometimes I think I'm dreaming, but it was really her feeling compelled to love on her mommy.
She is a late bloomer and I have always known that. I am glad that I have not held her to the standard I hold for myself, because we would have a lot of issues. Since I do not do that to her, we have a very loving and loyal relationship.
I am truly blessed to have figured out some things early on about parenting and child rearing that has helped me break the cycle of abuse that was so prevalent in my family. Because of my ability to be who I want to be, I have love from those who mean the most to me.