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3 Unique Ideas for How to Get to Know Your Mother Better

Practical suggestions that could link a generational gap

Photo by Dương Hữu on Unsplash

One of the blessings of getting older is we may develop an identity in which we find our voice, perhaps new perspectives, and a heart that is ripe for healing.

This is not necessarily true of all of us, but whether aging has softened you, lit a fire of self-awareness, or a burning for connection- we get to a point where we are responsible for our own lives.

Growing up, we relied on our parents. Some of them did dashing jobs, whereas others may have got by doing the best they could for what they knew or could handle.

It’s very rare that relationships are smooth sailing from a child, through the adolescent phase, and ultimately the young adult phase. This is not necessarily a train smash, though if your relationship with your parents wasn’t like a television commercial.

I’ve heard it said, in an adoption screening meeting, that you know you’re a good parent when you’ve irritated your children to the point where they want to leave, and they’ve irritated you to the point where you can’t wait for your own space- obviously within healthy boundaries.

But, back to the point, disputes occur within every relationship…

Regardless of who was right, or wrong, there may come a time where you as the child of your mother, want to reach out and get to know her for who she is as an individual.

She’s always been, “Mom”, to you, however, she could also be an untold story rich in memories that connect your lives in ways that you could have never imagined.

This article is going to share some fun ideas of how to get to know your mother better.

I’ve found by taking initiative with the following three ideas, that it shows a mother that you’re stepping into your own. It gives the impression that you’re interested, and, most interestingly, that you’re instigating a fun time.

So feel free to tweak these three tips so that they work best for you and your mother. Then, open your diary, circle the date, and plan when you want to set the time to proactively show her you care.

1. Take her on a date

With the divorce rate being so high, it’s not a guarantee that all our mothers still have a partner.

Some of our mothers could be waiting for Prince Charming, and we’re on the side of feeling that you don’t need a man to serve a purpose in life. Or, perhaps some of our mothers have experienced the loss of a partner and they’re in a season of heartache.

Whether our mothers are in a great marriage, or one that is dead on the inside, it is truly a fun idea to initiate a date with your parent.

There are two ways I have done this:

  • Ask her to meet you at a restaurant under the reservation, “Best Mother in the world.”

Take a second to imagine this- it’s so fun for a parent. They feel empowered walking into a restaurant saying, “I’m meeting my son/daughter here under the reservation…” They get all embarrassed and stuff- it’s cute.

  • Pick her up and give her flowers, pay for the meal and drop her home after.

There’s a reason this looks so good in movies. You can get creative and even make a playlist with all her favorite songs in the car ride too.

As with a date, you would likely prepare questions that you would like to ask a prospective partner. So my encouragement would be to pre-plan some fun questions that stay away from lazy conversation and gossip.

Put it on yourself to bring the vibe.

2. Ask her to write a book about her life

Some of our parents are open books, while others have had terribly hard upbringing that they may have never opened up about.

Use your discretion here.

I only suggest this if you can handle it emotionally because like with all of us, there is a lot more to a person than meets the eye. It’s helpful to let go of what the world tells us a mother should be and get to know our mother for her mistakes, her dreams, and her authentic self. But again, only if you are in the emotional space where you can handle this.

Suggesting that your mom starts to write a book, and you read the chapters, it could bring you both a lot closer.

My mother hasn’t finished her book yet, but the chapters she has written have given me so much context on who she is, and perhaps, like all of us, who she wanted to be as a child and where and why life turned out the way it did.

Some things that were expected from women in generations before ours, may have been really wrong by our standards. Or, women of a different time may not have had the same opportunities we have access to. These are interesting conversation topics and may warm your heart with gratitude for what women before us have had to endure so that we have the voices that we do today.

This was a liberating and truly heartwarming activity that I did with my mother.

Way more interesting than any movie or series.

3. Do a month or year in review

I came across this activity pretty randomly.

I’m a Marie Forleo fan and I was spending some time with my mother and a Marie’s was suggested to me on YouTube which had this fantastic activity.

This activity is more light-hearted than asking your mother to share the story of her life with you. Here, you are both following prompts and working your way through a month or year together.

The questions that Marie guides you through are:

  1. What did I do, create, or experience this year that I am really proud of?
  2. What mistakes did I make that taught me something? What lessons did I learn that I can leverage?
  3. What am I willing to let go of?

I suggest pouring a glass of bubbly, sparkling wine, and pairing it with a slice of cheesecake while you do this. Alternatively, a good cup of coffee or tea is a fantastic alternative.

This activity promoted the idea for me to ask my mother to write her story for me to read because this was the first time I genuinely took interest in her life in such an intentional way.

So, this may be a fun one to try out first.

Final Thoughts

As we get older, we aren’t necessarily dependant on our mothers anymore.

Even if you live with your parent, and you do not have the money to take her out, the other options are free and simple enough to action.

Someone once told me to be more interested than you are interesting, and generally speaking, mothers are so interested in their children’s lives that we can forget to show interest in theirs.

So, these are some practical ways to have a good time with your mom. Enjoy it!

Wishing you many moments rich in meaningful memories.

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