How To Build A Deeper Connection With Your Mom

African American female teen head to head with mom
African American female teen head to head with mom

With Mother's Day just passing, you may have realized that you'd like to go deeper in your connection with your mother -- or it's a relationship that has felt strained for a while.

If you've lost your mom, never knew her, or just don't speak to her, you can do this with any person in your life.

Most of us admire our mothers in some ways, and dislike them in others.

But there's no such thing as as a perfect mom. I know this because I've worked with hundreds of parent/child situations, and no matter what kind of parent you had, there is always something missing. Even when someone says "I had the best childhood."

So, there is no such thing as a "normal mom."

For me, I believed for so many years that my mom was negative and critical.

I would get on the phone with her in an effort to connect, and throughout the call I wouldn't say much. I'd listen and criticize her (often in my head and sometimes out loud too) for being who she was.

I would say...

"Can't you just be more positive?"

"Why do you have to respond like that?"

"Mom, you're so negative, ugh!"

I began to understand that me wanting my mom to be different was blocking me from actually connecting with her, which I deeply wanted. So in order to have that, I knew I had to let go of trying to be right about who I "thought" she was.

That wasn't an easy thing to admit, but it was necessary because all the anger, frustration and annoyance I was holding onto towards my mom, was only hurting ME.

I'm happy to admit that I was completely wrong in the way I saw my mom. I now see the beauty in ALL of who she is. Anytime I find myself getting frustrated, I now know it has nothing to do with her.

What I realized was my mom's negativity was her ability to see the shadow side of the world, meaning she could see the emotional truths that most people couldn't or didn't want to because they are hard to face.

When I stopped judging my mom for who I thought she was and started to LISTEN, I heard a perspective and saw a viewpoint that I LEARNED a lot from.

Because of the new way I was relating to my mom, I began to feel so connected to her on levels I didn't think were possible. I felt like I belonged to her and that she understood me, and for the first time, I also understood her.

So, how did I get here?

I've helped hundreds of other women take to shift their perspectives of their mothers so they can have more meaningful conversations and connections through these steps:

Step 1: Admit you know very little.
We know very little about someone's life journey. It's important to admit that we don't actually know all the little intricate experiences, feelings, and perceptions that made that person who they are today.

Admitting this allows us to bypass the ego mind that says we know someone even after meeting them for only a couple of minutes. We access our curiosity and ability to listen instead.

Step 2: Be curious.
Have you seen children before they hit their teens and think they know everything (which by the way was you too at one point)? They are pure curiosity.

They want to touch, feel, and see everything. They ask "why?" a million times, and take in information like a sponge. Enter this state of childlike wonderment and curiosity.

Step 3: From this curious state, ask questions.
If you come from this curious place you can get creative and ask your mom about situations or stories to help you release any of your own frustrations.

Here are some questions to help you get going:

"What are some stories of hardship in your life?"

"What are some stories of the most joyful moments in your life?"

"Where did your belief of ____ come from when you were little with your parents?"

"What were some of the biggest challenges in your life?"

"What were some of your greatest achievements?"

"What do you love about yourself?"

"If you could wave a magic wand what would you want for the world, and why?"

"The first time you held me in your arms what did that feel like?"

And when she answers these questions you can keep digging further. Just keep asking "why?"

Step 4: Listen with your heart.
I think you get this one. When she answers the questions, listen with all your heart.

Step 5: Believe and take it in.
Sometimes what you're hearing through this process is different than what you've heard before, and you might want to fixate on how you can't or shouldn't believe what they're saying to you in this moment.

Believe them.

We all have many sides to the same story for ourselves, especially parents who are just trying to do the best for their children. Let in their version and look for ways to see their love, their appreciation, and their humanness.

I hope this inspires you to have a meaningful conversation with someone you love and want to feel more connected to.

With this post, I'm honoring my own mother. Without her continuous love, care, and support for me, I wouldn't be the human being that I am today. Extremely grateful for you Mom!

I also want to honor my Grandmother for creating my mother, and much more!

Your Lovework this week is to tell me in the comments below what you got out of this post.

How do you connect with your mom or those closest to you? Would love to hear your thoughts and feelings!