Debate This: Should Mothers And Daughters Be Best Friends?
We all agree that it’s lovely when mothers and daughters can maintain a close relationship, but we disagree when it comes to how close it should be — both as girls and adult women. There are some mothers and daughters who proudly call themselves “best friends,” others who always stay within their “parent” and “child” roles, and some mother/daughter relationships are so complicated they can’t even be labeled. Hey, whatever works for you! After the jump, we asked some women to share their thoughts about being best friends with mom: is it a heartwarming bond or just a major lack of boundaries? Weigh in with your opinion in the comments!
“I often find myself cringing when a mother and daughter pair refer to themselves as best friends. Is it because I’m jealous that my mom and I can’t even get along half the time? Actually, no. I don’t think mothers and daughters are supposed to be best friends. That’s just not the nature of the relationship. You should be able to rely on your mother for things you shouldn’t rely on your best friend for — unconditional love (hopefully), guidance (God willing) and constructive feedback on your life (when asked for). When I hear a mother/daughter say they are best friends (and mean it) I’m immediately like, “Enmeshment issues!” These two need to cut the umbilical cord, learn to exist as separate entities and find a best friend their own age.”
“I think it’s creepy. I think kids need boundaries, and it’s impossible to be a child’s ‘best friend’ and also create safe boundaries for them. Perhaps when you’re out of the house and on your own, you can approach your child/parent relationship as more of a friendship, but while int he house, I think kids need the structure of a parent, not a friend.”
“I totally used to be one of those people that called my mom my best friend, and acted accordingly (talking about our relationships, spending a TON of time together, etc.), and I think it ended up being really unhealthy for us and detrimental to my other friendships. It’s really awesome for moms and daughters to be close, but boundaries are important.”
“My mom and I are very close and are definitely FRIENDS, but she is my mom before anything else. I definitely feel like I can talk to her about almost anything, but I also know that if I do, I will be getting a mom’s response, advice and criticism. There have been times where I’ve maybe pushed the boundaries of that mom/friend balance — mentioning things to her that a girlfriend would laugh off or pass judgment on — and had my mom very quickly remind me which side she’s on first. It’s also worth noting that my mom has had to be both parents to my brother and I for the last 15 years, since my dad was mostly useless in that regard. She didn’t have the luxury of trying to be my bestie.”
“It’s appealing to me in the sense that I feel a real age/culture gap with me own mother. She’s really into old movies and going to museums and gardening. As such, she doesn’t know or care about the kind of stuff that I’m interested in, like Tumblr or Netflix. Sometimes it feels like we have little in common pasttime-wise other than our few shared interests, like shopping. A mom who is my ‘best friend’ would probably be more ‘with it’ and we’d be able to share those interests together like I do with my best friend. That being said, I tend to think that mother/daughter ‘best friends’ are a pathetic statement on both daughter and mom. A mom is supposed to raise you into a an independent person, as a opposed to nurturing a friendship, which is mutually supportive. That’s not what the parent/child relationship is supposed to be, especially in teenager-hood and young adult years. (In late 20s and beyond, I think it’s normal and healthy for daughter/mother friendships to be more like actual friendships because she’s not raising you anymore.) It suggests to me that the mom hasn’t been able to become a fully formed adult in some way. For example, I’ve always thought Vicki Gunvalson on ‘RHOOC’ seemed kinda pathetic in part because she dates crappy guys yet calls her daughter her best friend and her daughter’s baby ‘her’ baby.”
“My mom and I are best friends. I’m not going to say that it isn’t really great in some ways, and I would rather have this extreme than the other for sure, but I do think it’s really unhealthy. Actually, I KNOW it is really unhealthy. We’re very co-dependent and it’s been detrimental insofar as I’ve never really felt like I needed to make friends and I was never “pushed” to form other friendships so to speak. I think it’s grown out of my mom’s unhappiness and her projected inability to rely on most people. I love my mom but we got issues, man.”
“My mother is generally not 100 percent on my side, and I think that’s a good thing. She can spot the bullshit, and she’s also tough, which is helpful. I would not call her my best friend, and our relationship is often contentious, so I would never WANT to call her my best friend, but as a mom, she does all right. I think the role of a mother should be more to be one to spot the bullshit, not necessarily to support you blindly regardless of what you do, you know? The best friend also serves this same function, but in a much lesser degree. I feel like it’s easier to be called on your shit by your mom than it is by your best friend.”
[Mother/daughter photo from Shutterstock]