50 Ways to Love Your Mother

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Liane and mom painterly

 

I’ve been a daughter for 60 years so far.

You’d think I’d be expert at it by now.

Nope.

I’m still learning. Still exploring. Still discovering what it means to me.

The past 10 years have changed the way I think about daughterhood.

I asked friends and followers to share what it means to them to be a “good daughter.” The diversity of their responses reminded my how individual our paths and relationships are.

Inspired by their thoughts and Paul Simon’s tune 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, I created a list of 50 Ways to Love Your Mother.

There is no one right way, just as there is no one right way to be a good daughter. Only we can be the judge of our relationships.

50 Ways to Love Your Mother

  1. be caring, sensitive, and aware
  2. do well in school, don’t get into trouble with the law, stay clean and sober, don’t “sleep around” or have children out of wedlock
  3. know your daughterly duties and responsibilities
  4. question everything and be a rebel; question nothing and be a conformist
  5. keep in contact when you’re away
  6. do all you reasonably can lovingly
  7. take care of her when she’s sick
  8. understand her humanity and your own
  9. respect her wishes
  10. respect yourself
  11. advocate for her if she can’t advocate for herself
  12. do little things for her
  13. ensure she has good food, good shelter and good clothing
  14. care for her out of love, even when it’s not easy
  15. take what she taught you and build on it to become an extension of her with your own dreams, aspirations, and desires
  16. become a beautiful friend as well as a daughter
  17. stay close by her side to help her as much as you can
  18. travel far and wide to seek and find your own fortune
  19. be a good person
  20. understand neither of you is perfect
  21. forgive her and yourself
  22. grow into the person God meant you to be
  23. follow your heart’s desire and your dreams, and never forget who birthed you
  24. make her proud
  25. stick up for yourself and defend your rights
  26. stick up for her and defend her rights
  27. follow in her footsteps, replicate her life
  28. avoid making the same mistakes she did, lead a life unlike any she would have dreamed possible
  29. do stuff with her that brings her joy and pleasure
  30. protect yourself, even from her if need be
  31. know when to walk to away and know when to stay
  32. practice patience; practice more patience
  33. give her love and support when she needs it
  34. visit her regularly and spend quality time with her
  35. conquer your  fears
  36. share your joys and sorrows, laugh and cry with her
  37. speak your mind
  38. heal your wounds
  39. listen, listen, listen to her
  40. think, think, think for yourself
  41. see and appreciate her for who she is
  42. love yourself because of yourself and despite yourself
  43. be loyal and compassionate
  44. eat sensibly, call home and drive carefully
  45. be your own person; have your own life
  46. be a good girl; be a bad girl
  47. live purposefully and do your best
  48. get up and keep going after you fall or fail
  49. hold her hand when you cross the road
  50. tell great, funny and touching stories at her funeral

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

What would your mother’s list for you look like?

What would your list for your daughter(s) look like?

Thanks to these daughters who collectively have about 1,000 years’ experience as such for sharing their thoughts with me:

Sally M, Belinda B., Joan L., Tami Beth L., Alice J.D.Y., Mona N. Rosario V.B. Wyld H., Kathleen M., Sheila S., Helen J. M., Mary M., Joan L., Kathy B., Glenna C., Suzette S., Edith R., British D.S., Alice J. D. Y., Jan R., Kim A. S., Denise A., Siempre M., Stephanie R. J., Alison R., Rebecca B., Beverly D., Suzette S., Sally M., Kathy B., Debie O., Carolyn T., Molly C-K.

Thanks to Tami Beth L. for this particularly touching story.

And oh yeah, thanks also to Paul Simon for helping us in our struggle to be free 🙂

 

2 Comments

  1. Fabulous list. I’ll have to think about what would be different, if anything, for what I would say to my daughter to be a good daughter versus my soon to be a good son. And what my mother would put on her list, of she were able to make a list as a daughter or as a mother…..

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