As we get older, we drift naturally from our families in many ways. It's just the gravitational pull of adulthood. We settle into our own homes, we attain responsibilities and social lives and schedules that become less and less compatible with our families. Our lives no longer revolve around each other's. In particular, it might be strange to go from seeing your mother all the time to having to put in an effort, scheduling time and maybe even traveling to see her. It might even make you feel like you took for granted all of the years you were living under her roof and only had to walk down the hall to see her. She goes from being the woman who was always attainable to the woman you periodically check in with. It's a big change for both of you.
Alas, part of adult-ing is making changes to facilitate the act of keeping things the same. It can be hard to stay in touch with your mother, especially when your life starts to pick up speed, but if that relationship is meaningful to you, it's important to find a way to stay close. Even if you live far away from each other, there are ways to stay connected that will help to bridge the gap and only strengthen your relationship, in a time when it's vulnerable to challenges. Here's what you can do if you're feeling a little bit disconnected to your mom:
Find Something In Common
This might seem obvious, and maybe you already have tons in common. But try to pick something specific that you can use as a tool to stay in touch. Try picking a TV show to watch separately, but together. Or maybe find a musician you both like so you can plan to see their show together one day. A kind of food, a flavor of coffee. It might seem little, but having a known commonality with your mom will help you to have something to talk about. It will give you an excuse to text and send pictures, too.
Remember The Dates
Your mom probably spent your whole childhood celebrating your special dates. Your birthdays, your half-birthdays, and all of your milestones. In your adult life, show your mom some support by celebrating her important dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, and her favorite holidays. This is your opportunity to shower your mom with love, and give her a break. Celebrating her will make the two of you feel closer.
It's so easy to get used to calling home only to ask questions. For advice, for money, for help. And it's even easier to hang up after we get what we want. Make sure you don't let all of your phone calls revolve around you and your life. Ask your mom questions. Ask how how her day is. How her life is. How her health is. Ask her what she's been up to. Being curious about her life shows her that you care.
Keep Her Informed
Some moms like to know every detail, and others wish their kids weren't so open about their sex lives. Try to talk to your mom in a way that she's comfortable with, and keep her in the loop. Let know her that you value her advice, and keep her close by telling her about the people you're spending time with and the way you feel on a regular basis.
Instead of just calling your mom to tell her about something that happened to you, ask her if it's ever happened to her. She was young once, too, y'know? You might realize that you and your mother have more in common than you thought and that will make you feel even more connected.
Find The Time
While talking on the phone, texting, and emailing is a great way to stay in touch when you have a busy life or live far away from your mother, finding the time to go and see her is an even more powerful way to strengthen your connection. Plan a trip home and make sure that while you're there, you're actually hanging out with your mom. It's so easy to go home and slip into your teenage tendencies, hiding in your room, hanging out in town. Force yourself to be present and actually have a good time with your mom, even if you're just sitting on the couch and talking.
Try to let go of the things that you've held onto that get in the way of becoming close to her. Don't hold on to grudges that obscure the bigger picture of your relationship. If she disappointed you when you were a teenager, stop holding it against her. Holding onto little arguments and tifs will keep you from getting closer.
Don't just nod your head or say yes over the phone; show your mom you respect her and value her by actually listening. If you ask her for advice and she gives it to you, take it. Eat your greens, go to the doctor when your sick, use hand sanitizer in the city, show your mom she didn't spend 18 years talking to a wall.
Not just on Mother's Day. Tell your mom that you love her and appreciate all that she's done for you. Tell her every possible time you can. Don't tell her you love her before you ask her for money. Don't tell her you love her before you tell her something terrible you did. Just call her every so often to just say, "Hi, I appreciate you." It will go a long way.
Images: Open Road Films, Giphy