The mom zone
Dear Funny Problems,
I am entering into a new phase of parenting. My daughter who used to rely on me for everything is now 18 years old and no longer wants to be seen in public with me if her peers are around. We were recently touring a potential college and the two of us went to a bar on campus where a band was playing. I thought we were having fun but she kept badgering me and telling me that I was embarrassing her. How do I let go when I know that she still needs me?
It sounds to me like your daughter is taking you out of the “friend zone” and placing you squarely in the “mom zone.” Please try not to take this personally. I’m sure you are loads of fun and I bet that band on campus was a hoot. But the fact remains that she is 18 and she’s ready for some independence. It’s kind of a miracle that you lasted as long as you did in the friend zone. Don’t most daughters punt their moms around age 14?
But just because she doesn’t want to hang out with you at a college bar, does not mean she needs you any less. She just needs you to be there for her in a different way.
I take comfort in the belief that some things need to end in order to make room for new things to begin. But these new wonderful things cannot begin until we are able to let go of whatever it was that it was time to say goodbye to. When you are ready (and this will be hard) to let go of treating her like a little girl, only then will you be able to experience a new and wonderful relationship with the young adult you are sending off to college.
Hang in there mama