When I was growing up, I never had a close relationship with my mother. I could not approach her for every question/issue I had in mind, but between my mother and father, I always loved my mother more!

As I grew older, I noticed most of my friends had a very close relationship with their mothers, and it always made me want to have the same with my mother. Unfortunately, it was not until after I got married my mother became ‘informal’ with me, but, by then it was ‘too late’ (for the lack of a better term)!

Now that I look back at my life, I do appreciate her ‘strictness’ some what, not only because it kept me in-check but I was also ‘forced’ to obey her, if you know what I mean. So there are not too many memories of me disobeying my mother even behind her back, not out of respect but out of fear! However, I wish I had a friendly relationship with my mother, more informal then what I had because it did turn me rebellious at times.  

And now that I am raising my own children, I don’t want to create a distance between them and me. I wanted to keep a very close relationship, like a ‘friend’. However, as my daughter, 9, grows up I can see that although she is fairly close to me (at least closer then what I was to my mom), she doesn’t have the same level of respect for me that I had for my mother. It is not that I don’t get upset with her or punish her, but still she is far more ‘outspoken’ then I ever was with my mother. And it is very hard for me to figure out where to draw a line, or can I draw a line if I want her to be close to me?!

I want her to be able to approach me for any and every question/concern of hers, and it is for this reason that whatever she has asked me I have always answered her, even some of the ‘difficult’ questions. But, I also noticed that now she even questions me about everything that *I* do/say, curious to know everything and pretty much interferes in everything that I do! I want to be her ‘friend’ but at the same time I want her to learn to respect me (for the very fact that if she doesn’t learn to respect her mother, she will not be able to respect anyone else). And to be honest, I am not really very sure how exactly to do this.

I know what my parents did for me was best in their minds, especially knowing that they grew up overseas, it is norm to keep a distance between parents and children. But raising children here is like a ‘mission’, but of course not a ‘mission impossible’!!

I don’t have a role model to follow here in West (or perhaps I just haven’t found one yet). How I wish there were written guidelines for raising children to follow step by step, it would have made life so much easy. I know I make mistakes, but I try to learn as I go along, however, I do hope and pray that my mistakes don’t damage my children’s personalities.

How true is what someone once said, “It is easy to give birth, what is hard is to raise them!”