As a mother I know my every move is being carefully recorded and dissected by my daughter; my mini-me, my living, breathing shadow. Whereas when she was younger, and more easily distracted by shiny objects; i.e. her attention could be diverted by a candy necklace or a new video, I wasn’t as concerned that my every action would become a finely etched memory in her consciousness.
But as she’s gotten older and more entrenched in my personal life, she’s begun to intensely critique my friendships. I get it; she’s trying to size up her friendships and compare her social interactions with mine. And while I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than have to deal with her tweendom tales of minutiae like; who sat next to who at lunch and what this one said about that oneâ€”I know part of my job as a mother is helping her to navigate one of the most important aspects of her life- her relationships with other women.
So what’s the problem? I’m not really all that good at navigating my own relationships with other women. If I really dig deep, I think it’s because I harbor a deep seated distrust of most women, other than my two sisters. And perhaps because I’ve always leaned on them to be my source of strength and support, doing so, has made me less apt to develop close knit bonds with other women, especially as I’ve gotten older. That is not to say that I don’t have friends- I do; although according to my daughterâ€”I need “more friends”.
I think because my daughter doesn’t have a sister, I’m extra apprehensive about ensuring that I arm her with the tools to develop life-long friendships with other women. I desperately want her to feel that bond of sisterhood among her peers and always have that soft place to fall. But by the same token, I also don’t want to micromanage her relationships either. So as a mother just how do I strike that balance, and … is it really even within my control anyhow?