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One of the most devastating things that can happen to any family is substance abuse in any form. Anything in excess is never good for anyone. That could be anything from too much food, exercise, alcohol or even shopping. Addictive behaviors can turn relationships upside down for those who…

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As a mom of two girls, I often wonder what drama their teenage years will bring. What will our relationships be like and how do I avoid the pitfalls that my own mother and I have experienced? The recent visit from my own mother made me stop, reflect and realize what an evolving and ever changing relationship mothers and daughters go through.

My oldest daughter is only three years old but during the last few months, I’ve noticed that she is becoming more self sufficient or shall I say self reliant – and therefore I see my role with her changing. Now my youngest is just 10 months old so I still play the primary caregiver and overall sole nurturer to her.

It’s with my mother’s recent visit that I started to wonder what kind of relationships am I going to have with my own two daughters. And how can I nurture those relationships and help them grow? My own mother and I have very different personalities and in the past have often found ourselves both misunderstanding each other and sadly often feeling slighted by the other’s words. It’s taken me years and becoming a mother myself to realize that my relationship with my mother is like any relationship, be it with my husband or a friend – it takes effort to make it work.

Work meaning that I’ve finally stopped trying to second guess what my mother’s words “may” mean and instead gently confronting her and trying to talk out the situation. Because let’s face it, it’s only taken me 37 years to realize, the majority of the time my mother has the very best intentions and her heart is in the right place. That’s not to say that we don’t have our share of, and will continue to have arguments every now and then. But instead of either instantly thinking the worse or backing into my corner and retreating within myself, talking it out with my mom has brought me closure and created a better relationship between the two of us.

Instinctively, I think women are more prone to talk things out in order to resolve conflict. Now as a mother raising two girls of my own, I hope that this open door policy, that my own mother and I have created, is one that I can organically incorporate and nurture with them.

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