child smiling at her mother

Guest Blog: Mother Versus Daughter, Parent or Friend?


Blogger Biography: Cheryle is a 10-year military spouse who has lived away from her husband longer than they’ve been under the same roof. Now that they are transitioning into the retirement stage, a whole new adventure has begun. There will soon be more time to spend at the lake, with their three children and their first grandchild. Retirement doesn’t mean you leave the military family behind because once you are a part of the military family, you are always family. Her husband’s military civilian job will keep them close to the family long after retirement.

I think it’s fair to say that most young girls daydream of the perfect fairytale wedding, marrying their Prince Charming and living in Cinderella’s castle. In the midst of their fantasy, I find it hard to believe they envision living apart from their family while their Prince Charming is gone for months on end. Yet, it is this exact scenario that changed my childhood dreams into a far richer reality.

Shortly after my daughter was born, we were living miles away from family and my Prince Charming was off providing for our castle. Isolated in an unfamiliar community, my days were spent with the only individual I knew, my 1-year-old daughter. Needless to say, the majority of my adult conversations came from a big yellow bird, a purple…(okay I’m not really sure what to call him) and an adventurous couple named Shaggy and Scooby. Thankfully, during her naptime, I welcomed a little more thought-provoking conversation from Oprah or the local weatherman.

Apparently, spending seven days a week with a 1-year-old glued to your hip at the grocery store, the shopping mall and the hair salon can lead to her believing she is an adult by the mature age of three!!! Well, except when she found a spider. She was not very brave under those circumstances (and let’s be honest, neither was mom, but I could never let her see me sweat)! I found being a protector can be the best cure for certain, shall we say, irrational moments of perception. After all, they do look a lot bigger in the heat of the moment.

Cheryle and her mother

We eventually moved back to the state of Michigan where the majority of residents form a strong allegiance to either “the green and white” or “the maize and blue” college sports team. Even though I do not hold an exclusive allegiance to either team, my daughter’s heart belongs to the green and white. The age of 18 is when most young adults cringe at the thought of being seen with their parents, let alone in a crowded sports arena. On this particular day, both teams came together for the anticipated rival match. Picture the entire arena, including me, dressed in the bright colors of maize and blue, and your eye catches a lonely arena seat filled with the rival colors of green and white. My daughter sat there proudly, enduring the jabs and sneers of surrounding fans, all for the pleasure of spending the day with her mom. A priceless moment.

After spending over two decades being her protector, her counselor, the dictator, the healer-of-wounds, her shopping buddy and her biggest fan, I could see my daughter liked me. She really likes me. How does a mother create a special relationship with her daughter? Does she act like a parent or a friend? First and foremost, you should be a parent. Your child will need guidance, structure, discipline and a mentor. By being a parent first and spending quality time together while guiding your child into adulthood, you can gain a friendship that reaches far beyond any childhood dreams.

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