I know you love your daughter more than she could possibly imagine. You are her biggest fan. Yet some days it seems she thinks you’re against her – days when the morning seems to inevitably start off with another battle. Eye rolls, exclamations of “you just don’t get it” or maybe the shoulder shrug as she indifferently turns and heads for her room.
You wonder if you’re somehow failing at this whole mom thing. Sometimes you feel that you’ve said too little. Other times you wonder if you’ve said too much and have pushed her away. You want to have a good relationship with her, but determining how to be her parent first and her friend second is rarely black and white.
Truthfully I’m not a mom and we both know there is no cookie cutter answer for your situation. As the one who often talks to your daughter after your most recent fight or squabble though, there are three things I want you to know – and they might surprise you.
3 Encouragements for the Ignored Mom
1. She hears you & cares about your opinion.
She may try her best to pretend she doesn’t care. It may seem like everything you say is bouncing off the wall or going in one ear and out the other. If that’s true though, she has an uncanny ability to repeat the conversation “that was never heard” back to me only days later. Don’t worry – I know it’s a slanted version and one that gives her the benefit of the doubt (aren’t we all good at this?!), but no matter how frustrated she is – over and over I see a girl who cares deeply about the opinion of her mom.
So fight fiercely for truth yet gently share it with her. Let her wrestle with questions on her own at times. Pause to hear her side and encourage her as she walks this new journey of figuring out what she believes for herself. Be patient with her and stay consistent in your love and discipline. She does hear you and cares about what you have to say.
2. It’s okay if you handled ______________ poorly.
So you blew it…and you don’t need anyone to point it out. Frustration and hurt got the best of you. The words you spoke to her were harsh. You lost your temper and a conversation escalated into a yelling match. Was it wrong? Yes. Will those actions hurt her? Yes…but what if that doesn’t have to be the end of the story?
The reality is that you are both a mom and a sinner. You will hurt your daughter. But what if the way you lived resulted in your daughter telling her friends “Yeah, my mom __________, but she came back and apologized later”? What if your sin became an opportunity for your daughter to see the power of confession through an apology? What if she learned from you to be the first to say the powerful three word phrases – “I was wrong,” “I am sorry” and “I love you”?
3. God hears your prayers for her.
God’s heart for women is profound. To Hagar – the used and discarded one – He promised a future. To Leah – the unloved one – He blessed with male heirs. To Hannah – the grieved one – He satisfied. No matter the place – whether abundance or grief – God is present. He does not turn a blind eye and He delights to answer prayers.
So please don’t underestimate the power of a praying mom. You know all those areas that weigh on your heart – from friends to purity to maybe even her salvation? Set a five minute timer on your phone and spend time asking God specifically for those things. Pray Scripture over her. Make evil shudder when they think about messing with your daughter.
I hope you can hear me loud and clear – you are making a difference in your daughter’s life. So as one who also loves and invests in her – thank you. Thank you for not abdicating your role as a mom. Thank you for loving her and caring enough to gently correct her. Thank you for cloaking her in prayer.
And mom…thank you for setting an example of faith for both her and I.