In My Humble Opinion...

PSA for Celebrity Moms: Your Daughters Aren’t Your Besties

6/12/2018

Hey, celebrity moms who will go unnamed (but if you’re in any way related to Kanye West you might want to pay careful attention): I see your social media posts from time to time, and I have some (unsolicited) advice for you: Stop referring to young daughters as your “besties.” They’re not your BFFs, they’re your children.

There’s a very big difference.

I know firsthand how easy it is to get all caught up in all the snuggly deliciousness of having a sweet little girl, but you have to keep clear on the nature of your relationship. Your daughter is not your own personal Mini Me. She is a unique individual, a human being in her own right.

To help get my point across, I’ve conjured up the spirit of a typical thirteen year-old daughter to co-write this blogpost with me. Her contributions appear in brackets, below.

While it’s perfectly cool to have a close relationship with your daughter, it’s super important for you to not lose sight of the fact that your relationship is that of parent and child, not girlfriend to girlfriend. If you don’t keep clear on that, it’s going to be really hard for you to be the kind of mom your daughter needs and deserves.

[Eye roll.]

Best friends are people you turn to when you need some perspective or shoring up. Say, for example, your significant other happens to mention to a reporter while cameras are rolling that “slavery is a choice.” That’s something that would understandably outrage you and you might need to sound off about this to one of your closest friends. Obviously, that friend cannot also be your young daughter.

Your daughter should never be your confidant. Because once you put her in that role, you both rob her of her right to be the child, and you forfeit your authority as a parent.

[Exaggerated sigh.]

Think of it this way: Have you ever had to ground your best friend? Or take away her cell phone? Or scroll through her text messages to make sure she’s not wrapped up in anything shady?

[Wait—You read my text messages???]

I hope not, because that’s not what healthy friendships involve. But mother-daughter relationships sometimes require actions like this once daughters reach a certain age.

[They also require actions like my not talking to you for the rest of my life.]

Look, I get where the sentiment comes from. The bond you share with your little girl is so strong, so “next level,” that it exceeds the connections you have with any of your friends. That’s really special. But if all of those warm fuzzies lead you to conclude your daughter is your BFF you’ve made a wrong turn.

[Your entire life is one long wrong turn.]

So, go ahead and enjoy the heck out of this closeness while it lasts. Because trust me, it won’t be this way forever. There’s going to come a time, probably right around when your daughter hits, say, 13 years old, when you’ll notice that you’re not quite as close as you are now.

[Actually, we’ve never been close.]

You’ll know you’ve arrived at that new phase when, rather than lavishing you with her loving gaze, she’ll burn a hole straight through you with a searing look of contempt.

[That look translates to “I hate you.”]

Some new mothers—especially young ones—think having a daughter provides an emotional insurance policy of sorts. They believe that, unlike a baby daddy, their baby girl will be theirs forever, no matter what.

[Dad hates you, too.]

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While it’s almost impossible to fathom now, your precious little daughter will leave you—and that’s actually a good thing, because that means you did your job well.

[Or it just means I hate you.]


And if they don’t, then you’ve got even bigger problems. Just ask that mom and dad in New York who recently had to sue to evict their thirty-something year old son from their home.

[OMG—Please evict me.]


And as crazy as it sounds, before your sweet little daughter actually leaves you, there might even come a time when you wish you could leave her.

[OMG—Even better.]

You might wish that because it’s really challenging to deal with your teenager’s erratic mood swings. And even worse than that is when your daughter’s mood refuses to swing at all, but rather just parks itself on the darkest end of the dial, not budging at all for a solid two years.

But you won’t leave, of course; you’ll stay and finish the job, because you’re a good mom.

[Riiiiight.]


And because you love her that much.

[I hate you so much.]


And let’s be honest, if your small children are your besties, then you have really shitty friends.

[Not so much shitty, but lame for sure.]


Because the relationship between you and your small children is, like, really, really lopsided. You do all the work. You pay for everything. They rarely offer to help, and they barely ever say thank you.

[Thank you for making my life a living hell.]


If your daughter is your bestie, then you really need new friends.

[Or keep your friends and get a new kid.]


And as you daughter gets older, the inverse relationship between her expectations and demands on the one hand, and her gratitude on the other only gets more pronounced. I hope for your sake that does not describe your friends.

[Hey—Can you, like, wrap this up? I need you to run me to the mall so I can get some new swimsuits.]

So, cherish these years with your sweet daughter. But don’t confuse her for your best friend. And speaking of your friends, make sure you stay in touch with them. You’re going to need a lot of support from them in the years to come.

[OMG. You’re still talking?]


You’ll survive your daughter’s adolescence and teen years, but it won’t be easy.
Keep your daughters close and your friends closer, and know that I’m rooting for you.

[Door slam.]

(And praying, too.)