In the last few years since I moved out, I feel like my relationship with my mother has become strained. We don’t talk like we used to, and it feels like I’m always the one reaching out to her. I miss how close we used to be. How can we rekindle our relationship? – Louise in Calgary, Alberta
Our lives are filled with transitions, and our relationships reflect these changes. We can grow apart due to distance, priorities, or circumstances. Sometimes we need a break to refocus our attention and energy. Women will often unnecessarily personalize situations and thus exacerbate their own feelings. There may be nothing “wrong”; rather, you are projecting your concerns into something more.
Take action and reach out to schedule coffee, a meal, or activity. Do it right now. Make a call, text, or even write an email. Offer three dates and times to meet and catch up. Reserve these in your calendar or whatever you use. Be flexible and consider locations and times that are convenient for your mom. Choose activities you know will appeal to her. Make it easy and fun.
If you don’t hear back within a day or two, reach out again. Don’t whine or be petulant. Maintain an open and caring perspective. Be positive and excited see one another. It can take a day or two for a response, especially if she is slammed with work or life. Stay the course until you have a date set. Be patient yet persistent, without turning into a stalker.
When you meet, be curious about her life and current projects. Ask about her favorite activities. Share your feelings and desire to strengthen your special relationship. Express how much you value your time together. Be mindful that you’re not creating an atmosphere of negativity or pushing her into a posture of defensiveness. Speak to your shared values and seek opportunities to spend more time together.
By recognizing your own feelings, and pivoting to respect her perspective, you will forge a path forward. Look for the good. Respect your mom’s transition from being a full-time mom to redefining herself in whatever vision she embraces. You’ll be amazed at how easily you can rekindle your relationship.
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Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.