In celebration of MDF’s first anniversary, we will be featuring our top posts over the next four weeks. Not surprisingly, a favorite was our very first post, “Keeping the Spark Long-Distance.” Mothers and their adult daughters often live in different places which adds a special challenge to maintaining a close relationship. How do you keep in touch when you are away from your mother or daughter?
Jenna and I speak to each other once or twice a week, but our phone calls are brief – just a way to share how our week is going or what we did over the weekend. We’re not the type to curl up on the couch on both ends for an hour-long chat.
For that, we rely on regular face time and I don’t mean the Skype type (although we have started using it more this year.) Jenna lives in DC and I live in NJ, and we’ve committed to seeing each other every two months. For the most part, we’ve kept to our plan.
There’s nothing like spending a few days together in a relaxed environment to open up the heart. It’s during these get-togethers that we transform from mother-daughter into friends. We go out to dinner, shop, spend time with each other’s friends, and take afternoon naps together! And we really talk —about relationships, issues we’re dealing with, things we’re excited about.
Another way we’ve strengthened our relationship is taking trips together. This year, we traveled to Costa Rica to celebrate our birthdays (special ones this year, 55 and 25) and last year, we journeyed vertically in our first hot air balloon ride on Mother’s Day. The wonderful thing about mother-daughter trips, besides the actual time together, is the afterglow – all the memories and cuddly mother-daughter photos that remind us of the fun we had.
Both my mom and I admit we are not very good at staying in touch long distance. We cherish our time when we are together but always struggle to recreate that bond when we’re apart. Between work, yoga classes, errands, and dinner dates with friends, I won’t lie – the last thing I normally feel like doing after an exhausting day is call my mom. I have friends who talk to their moms every day without fail and always have something to share. I admire that, but I think both my mom and I know that’s just not our style.
While phone calls, e-mails, and occasional texts are common ways we stay in touch, my favorite are the notes my mom sends. About once a month, I recognize my mom’s handwriting on an envelope among my junk mail and I immediately perk up, curious to see what she has sent. Most people send cards only for special occasions, but my mom sends me cards with hand-written notes just to let me know she’s thinking of me. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:
I’m smiling thinking about our phone call last night…as you’ll find out, a big part of a mother’s happiness is derived from her children’s happiness.
I love and admire you so much and getting back that love and admiration from you is such a wonderful feeling. We’re so lucky to have each other.
These little love notes mean the world to me – I feel so special that she thought to take time out of her busy day to surprise me with a card. Each one is lined up on my bookshelf so I can be reminded of our special relationship. Sometimes when I have a rough day and need a little TLC, I reread them and almost feel the love seeping through the paper. While I’m good at writing heartfelt notes to my mom for her birthday or Mother’s Day, I want to make an effort to let her know more often how much I love and appreciate her.
How do you keep in touch when you’re away from your mother or daughter?