December is a good time to stop, reflect on the past year, and think about ways we can improve. In this post, we look in the rear view mirror at our mother-daughter relationship to celebrate how far we have come and brainstorm ways to strengthen our bond in 2015. We encourage you to take inventory with your mother or daughter and do the same!
From my view, this was a landmark year for Jenna and me because writing this blog encouraged us to reflect on how we interact. As we mentioned in our 1st anniversary post, we were able to share some feelings in writing that we might not have in person; in fact, we might not have even paid attention to them! So, we thank you for that, and hope that our blog is spurring you to think more deeply about your mother-daughter relationship too.
The greatest gift this year has been our commitment to care for our relationship – to recognize its importance in our lives and to keep improving it.
There were many times when something Jenna wrote in a blog post was surprising to me. Almost always, it was something complimentary that she hadn’t outwardly expressed before. So, I end this year feeling really loved and appreciated by my daughter, and it feels wonderful!
This year, Jen has also let me know the ways she’d wish I change. I’m not sure I can or want to change my unbridled laughter in crowds, but I do want to work on empathizing with Jenna when she has a problem rather than jumping to solutions. I understand the need to vent and I certainly trust her ability to make sound decisions; I just need to block my motherly instinct to fix the boo-boo, calm the fears and chase the monsters, and just be a listening ear. That will take some work in 2015 and as I struggle to find the right words to comfort – I hope you’ll offer up some suggestions!
I also learned the importance of having face time with Jenna and want to make sure that we schedule more down time and fun get-togethers, maybe even a trip or two in 2015. We hope you’ll join us on more mother-daughter events next year.
I think it would be safe to say that 2014 has been the most transformative year in my life to-date. I have such fond memories of New Year’s Eve as I rang in 2014: dancing under the stars with two of my best friends in Ecuador, I felt like I had finally accomplished everything I wanted. I was accepted into my dream business school and about to embark on the trip of a lifetime to Bali, Thailand, and Israel. And while I didn’t know exactly what 2014 had in store, I was thrilled and excited by the adventures that lay ahead.
Looking back, 2014 was filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows for me. In many ways, I felt like I “found myself” on my travels and became very clear on what I wanted out of life. At the same time, these exciting changes meant leaving the comforts of my life in DC and acclimating to the craziness of business school while trying to maintain the spiritual, mindful habits I learned during my travels. Let me tell you, it has been difficult! Many amazing opportunities have come with business school – new friends, travels, and thought-provoking discussions in the classroom; but at the same time, I have struggled to find my way, remain true to my values, and stay inspired in microeconomics and statistics (yuck!).
While I feel like my life has been a roller coaster, my mom has watched from the sidelines the whole time: cheering me on, supporting my dreams, and reminding me of what’s important in life. I know this year must have been hard for her. First, she had to let go and give me space during my travels. Then, she had to adjust to my new ways of thinking and culture shock when I returned home. And then for the past six months, she watched me go through several highs and lows as I try to find my way in Philadelphia and build a new life for myself.
I think 2014 has strengthened our relationship tremendously: not only because we better understand each other, but because we learned to open up to one another and really rely on each other through good times and bad. I used to think of myself as very independent; however, the older I get, the more I don’t know how I could survive without my mom’s unending support and love!
In 2015, I want to improve our relationship by being more patient and kind. Friends often comment that our blog paints such a pretty picture of our relationship, but I want people to know that we still have our typical mother-daughter tiffs and troubles! I still get frustrated with my mom at times, make snarky comments or avoid talking if I’m just not in a good mood. I want to focus on demonstrating my love for my mom through my actions, not just my words.
So, looking back on 2014, how are you feeling about your mother-daughter relationship? We hope that you spend some time not only thinking about it, but also talking about it with your other half. And please continue to follow us in 2015 as we dedicate our blog to self-development, relationship development and continuous improvement. Thank you for reading our blog – we are grateful for your attention, and best wishes for a magical new year filled with love!
Ellen and Jenna