While the cheat sheet for sons is fairly straight-forward, as expected, the list for daughters is a bit more complex & slightly more nuanced. For all of us daughters out there…enjoy.
Tone of Voice: Daughter – your tone of voice can 95% determine the outcome of any conversation with your mother (or anyone for that matter). I kid you not. If you choose to go into a conversation angry, mopey, defiant or glum, chances are the conversation won’t pan out the way you may have hoped or expected. Your mother has feelings, and will react and respond according to these feelings. My advice is to try asking your mother how she’s doing before you reveal that you crashed the car, announce that you bedazzled your body, ask if you can go to a concert with kids she’s never met or tell her that you have a new boyfriend that you met at the gas station while filling up the crashed car.
Mornings: We know. Really, we do. Mornings are hard. We know that you think no one else understands this, but believe it or not, we too were once daughters who struggled with mornings, bad hair, acne or not knowing what to wear. What we mothers have learned over the years is that pretending that mornings aren’t all that bad can actually help make them go a bit more smoothly. Instead of moaning and complaining, try this instead: come downstairs with a smile on your face and see what unfolds.
Clothing: Even if your mother’s clothes fit, it doesn’t mean that they are yours to take without asking. Mothers…same thing back atcha.
Shoes: My daughter’s feet have just about reached my size, which means that I have two choices: share my shoes or not share my shoes. I have decided to be a sharer. Interestingly, my feet also happen to fit into her shoes. My daughter, however, is not too keen on reciprocating the ‘sharer’ thing. Here’s my advice: if you want to borrow your mother’s shoes, remember that sharing goes two ways.
Accessories: Daughters…never EVER attempt to borrow ANY accessories without first asking & signing a contract guaranteeing that said accessories will be returned in mint condition. Please note: my guess is that I might be more laid back about my shoes than most other mothers. Do not be surprised or irritated if your mother categorizes her shoe collection under ‘accessories’. Handbags, sunglasses, wallets, wraps, make-up and jewelry in general are all like children to most mothers…hurt it, lose it, or damage it in any way, and watch out for that mama bear to pull a nutty on you.
Attitude: While daughters tend to be annoyed by their mother, it is very important for all daughters to at least attempt to conceal this irritation if at all possible. Having a conciliatory relationship with your mother is SO MUCH BETTER than being at odds with her. Before you start clenching your fists and muttering internally, I suggest that all daughters ask themselves this question: Is it really worth it? While sometimes the answer you arrive at will be ‘yes’, if there’s any wavering, do everyone in your family a favor, and back down. Please see ‘tone of voice’ above for reinforcement.
Patience: Daughters, dig deep and find it within you to be patient with your mother. She was patient with you for so many years…never ever forget that.
One final note for all daughters…As difficult as this may seem at times, one inherent truth about mothers is that all they want is friendship & peace. Mothers want their daughters to be happy and to thrive in the world. Daughters…your chances of success are so much greater if you let your mother participate in your life…if you learn from her experiences and if you actually listen to some of her advice. The life of a daughter is so much easier if the mama bear is happy.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Marge, a very special thank you to you for being the best Marge ever. I love you.