About the Author

Sarah Mae has a past that would be her present if it weren’t for Jesus. A blogger, author, and co-author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, she’s currently writing The Complicated Heart, a book for broken-hearted lovers of Jesus. Learn more at @thecomplicatedheart on Instagram or...

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  1. I love this post. I want to be my daughter’s best friend also but, it’s hard sometimes to find the balance between friend and parent. I’m her parent first and then her friend second. Ideally, I hope to be both and I hope that she and I are close someday like my mom and I are. Thank you for sharing!

    • It’s an interesting tension, for sure, being the parent “first.” We do need to train and discipline, but hopefully if we extend grace and trust is established, friendship will be a very close second.

  2. Our daughter is 22 years old and I just turned 42 and we are blessed to have a beautiful relationship. We consider to be each other’s best friend and she knows she can come to me about anything. I love that we can do lunch and go shopping together but even more than that I love that when she needs a little correction I can give it and she knows that it comes with a lot of love. She knows when she needs someone to lean on or get advice from I am there. The most important part of our relationship though is that not only are we mother/daughter but we are sisters in Christ. That relationship is eternal and I am ever grateful to a God who has called us to be His children.

  3. I agree completely, although when it comes to disciplining my boys when they become teens, I’m concerned that they won’t take me seriously.

    I think you’re children can be your friends. Unfortunately, the media paints that statement in the form of teenage girls going out “clubbing” with their mother.

    People need to just chill.

    • Yes, I agree! I’m not talking about engaging in stupidity or trying to look like a teenager in order to feel cool and be her friend. I’m talking about a genuine relationship.

      Also, just love and respect your boys, give them lot’s of hugs and time and they’ll take you seriously…that’s my guess. 🙂

      • Oh, yes! There are hugs-a-plenty! Just this morning I left for work (I work back to back 16 hour shifts each weekend and sleep at work, 60 miles away) and my 2 year old gave me the hardest hug ever! It helps get me through the 2 days w/o them, that’s for sure!

  4. I enjoyed every post! I’d like to copy out some of the wise words of wisdom I read.

    I love my sons but feel there’s usually a stronger bond with a daughter. Once married, boys tend to lean towards their wife’s family. I wish the wife’s side of the family (the mother of the wife) would encourage a fair time with the son’s family; it can be very hurtful and heart wrenching. Eg: I never get to spend Christmas day with my son and my 2 grandsons; they go to her family.
    Somehow God fills that gap. I’ve had the priviledge of bonding with 2 young women and their families who have mothers over sees; I’m their adopted Canadian Mom! They adore me and we love the time we spend together.
    God is good!

    • WHAT a blessing that is to those young women. Since getting married 26 years ago, I have never gotten to live close to my mom. How wonderful it would have been to have some one “stand-in” for her!

    • That’s sad about your sons, I’m so sorry! But I love that yo have two “adopted” daughters – that is beautiful and wonderful and so hopeful!

  5. When I was a child, my mom was definitely in the “parent, not friend” camp and told us so often. While I would definitely consider us friends now (even best friends, as you said) and she would too, the fact that she did not see me as a friend when I was young has spoiled something about our adult friendship

  6. Love this, and your heart! For some reason there’s a mindset in our society that friendship and motherhood are mutually exclusive, when really, isn’t friendship just one of the many beautiful (and necessary) components of the mother-daughter relationship? Your daughter is a very blessed little girl!

  7. I have two daughters ages 17 and 13 and I say yes, you CAN and SHOULD be their friends. Not so you can be their equals, but so you can have their hearts. My mom was my best friend too, so much so that I wanted her to be my maid of honor in my wedding because I couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate than my mom. 🙂

  8. Oh wow! I was just planning to write some of these exact words. Yes, yes, yes.:) I have a 7 year old little girl and am coming to realize how important establishing our friendship is now prior to the teen years. Thanks for sharing!:)

  9. I can’t tell you how many little ways you have influenced my parenting. I grew up with my dad’s motto: I’ll be your friend when you grow up, but for now, I’m your parent. I never knew the two should coenside. And I have to confess, I’m a daughter-in-law who doesn’t like to go to my mom-in-law’s. Not long after we were married, we were planning a cross-country move, so to save some extra money we moved into their house. The big move never happened, but because I had to fight tooth and nail to find some semblance of “leaving and cleaving” in that situation (and I was the only one fighting for it), I have a bad taste in my mouth for even being around my husband and mom-in-law together. There have been other bruises between us that have put me at greater distences from a friendship with her even when my husband isn’t around. I know this area the Lord is growing me up in, but there is definitely tention on that side of the family.

  10. Go for it, Sarah! I started nurturing a friendship with my daughter 22 years ago, and now she is my best girlfriend. (she is 22) Tuning in to her, listening to her, being available, affirming her, building her up, serving her, and directing her ( like a mom should) for 22 years was a full time job, but so worth it!!
    Bless you!

  11. Sarah, a lovely post you have written, and takes me back a few years. My daughter is now 22 and a new college graduate. We are sweet friends. I also have a son, who is 18 and in college. He and I share a special bond of friendship too.

    There were many times through those growing up years that I was not a friend first. Maybe that is the difference. When we understand the roles of parenting we see the magnitude that goes with it.

    We were friends when my sweet girl was 6 and not so much at 14. At 22 we are friends again.
    I think the important thing is for these sweet ones to know that we are forever friends in their lives. The word friend through teen years comes with pain and loss many times. We offer more. A bond that is unconditional and protective and also honest.
    Enjoy each stage of this life. We can learn so much from our kids if we let them teach us.

  12. My daughter (mid-20s) & I have been Best Girl Friends for years! We treasure our relationship. Almost 5 years ago, our family was blessed with another daughter, thru marriage to my son. Such a joy to have 2 beautiful daughters with whom to share life and forever friendships. The blessings continue as we nurture 2 granddaughters, training up children in the way they should go.

  13. Sarah, I’ve been coming around on this one, too! The more I learn about psychology, the more I feel that I should come along next to my children, not just boss over them at all times! I’d argue that even God sets this example! John 15:15
    @macfife

  14. Yes, yes, yes. I love time with my girls just being, chatting about life and the future. Looking at my 4 yo I was just thinking about how quickly my 12 yo has grown and I miss her little girl years. Even though I still consider her my little girl I love how we’re able to connect on a different level… “older talk” and an upper level humor that she gets now. We love to laugh (at all ages and stages)!

  15. It can definitely be a gift to be friends with your mom, and as I was growing up, I loved that bond and was proud that we were “best friends”. As an adult, it’s been somewhat difficult. My mom still considers me her best friend……in fact, I’m her only friend. It’s honestly become very overwhelming at times. My mom shares way too much personal information, (eg. stuff about her relationship with my dad, overly personal health issues, and etc.) As a 34yr old woman on the daughter end of the relationship, it’s given me a different perspective. I am the mother of 3, 2 of them being daughters. I LOVE my girls to death (ages 11 and 3), and I definitely want to be here to be their friend……even their best friend. That being said, I think it’s important to remember that we will still always be their mom……in fact, we were mom before we were friend, and they DO need that from us. There are some boundaries that do need to be kept, even into adulthood. As much as I love my mom and have cherished our friendship, it was a relief to me when I moved 2000+ miles away last year. I needed some distance away from her……I was feeling smothered. One important gift I want to give my girls is the example of godly friendships with other women. I have wonderful women in my life that I enjoy fellowship with. My mom has become totally dependent upon me for fellowship, and that is way off balance. I realize many people will never experience this issue, but I felt I needed to share. There are some that need to remember that there is freedom and love in friendship……never bondage. Give your girls wings, and they will fly! What’s more, they will take you along for the ride!

    • Amen to this one. It is good to ‘come alongside’ our daughters, as one commenter put it. But it is not good to smother or to offer too much information of a very personal nature. I’ve been there. I thought my mom was my best friend – and frequently said so – for most of my growing up years. And I loved and love her very much. But she told me too much too young and she expected too much too soon. Your little one is your little one – there is a big age difference and that really needs to be respected by the mom, I think. I never doubted my mom’s love for me but it got a little sticky and weird sometimes, too. I have two daughters and we are very close and I adore my daughter-in-law. But I am not their ‘best friend,’ my husband is actually my best friend. We all take vacations together (16 of us), we thoroughly enjoy one another’s company so we gather as a family a couple of times a month (we live about two hours apart), my husband and I regularly take care of grandkids – and I love it all. But they each have many, many friends, including their spouses and their siblings. But they have only ONE mom and MIL. And I love, love, LOVE being their mom.

      • Thanks for sharing, Diana! It IS nice to know that I’m “not the only one”, and that I had a safe place to share. Blessings! 🙂

        • You’re definitely not the only one. I consider my Mom to be my best friend & it can get a little overwhelming at times b/c a lot of her old friends have husbands & families of their own and she doesn’t get to spend much time with them (since she’s single). Which means I’m the only one she has to go out & do things with. She doesn’t share a lot of information that’s too personal (thank God), but I think she gets a little offended when I don’t want to go out with her all the time. Praying that God will send our Moms some Godly friends so that they won’t be so dependent on us!

  16. I always wanted to have a little girl of my own. But God gave me 2 boys instead. I love my boys they are a blessing. So I knew that one day I will have daughter in laws. Right now I just have one. I would love to be her friend but she is damaged goods. She was miss treated by her mom. So it’s very hard to get close to her. She has a trust issue.
    I don’t know why I felt I could write this here. Maybe because this is a safe place. May I ask that the Moms here that read this blog could pray for my relationship for my daughter in law. That she will trust me and people that are close to her. Thank you for this blog. God bless you.

    • Barbara,

      I just prayed for a closer relationship with your daughter-in-law and that she would be willing to trust you as well as others.

    • I prayed for you and your daughter-in-law, that God will redeem and your restore her and allow you to have a beautiful relationship with her.

    • Praying for you, your daughter-in-law & family. May you gently set an example for her to follow, may her heart open to you, and may you have sweet patience while you wait on the Lord.

  17. I LOVE YOUR WORDS HERE. My daughter and I do have maybe two relationships, each with its own dynamic. Parent/daughter and friend/friend. And oh when go off into the joys of friendship together……it is a wonderful glorious place. I cherish my friendship with my daughter as I see you do too. Enjoy your daughter this day and everyday. Mine is 16 and yes it does and did go quickly. wishing His grace for you this weekend.

  18. Sarah, you are so right on! We are blessed with 6 children, ages 18-36; 3 boys and 3 girls. My daughters consider me to be their best friend. They have wonderful friends, but I am so blessed that they consider me their best friend. We talk, laugh, have fun together, talk about serious life issues, etc. My husband’s and my early years of loving, gentle nurturing and correction when needed have paid off now with wonderful relationship with all 6 children. You are on the right track… Blessings!!

  19. Maybe it’s just semantics…I’ll share anywho.
    I’ve discovered that true friendships have reciprocity between equals. There’s a healthy give and take. I’m not sure this is possible between me and my 7, 5, and 2 year old. I do agree with you that showing my kids care, grace, direction, and being a good listener are important to winning their hearts and trust. I also see this no so much as friendship, but great leadership. Showing them how to be empathetic, caring towards others, etc. One real way I learned whether or not I could trust my own mother (once I was a teen-adult) was how I saw her treat her adult friends. If I saw that she was kind and forgiving, then I believed she would be towards me as well. If I saw that she was judging and manipulative, I assumed she was the same with me. I won’t divulge which it was, but just share that my heart was won/lost by the example she was setting. I believe we are setting examples for our daughters…but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am my daughter and I are friends. Again, maybe it’s just semantics….

    • I think it all in how you define friendship. For me a friend is someone that you can let your guard down around and truly be yourself without petty condemnation or having to toe the social line. Now my friend may kindly point out a harmful or just annoying short-coming but my faults do not make me less worthy is their eyes. That is the kind of friendship I want with my children. I don’t want them to fear being open, honest and truthful around me because if it is not me then it will be someone else. I don’t trust anyone else but God with my children’s hearts.

  20. Sarah Mae…I so agree with you…as a mom and a friend to our 32 year-old daughter, and our 20 year-old son…friendship speaks to the life-long nature of our relationships…I love this friendship quote by C.S. Lewis…“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” As our children grow, and as we are transparent enough to share our struggles and God’s amazing grace with them, true friendship develops…

  21. I had always thought (before motherhood) while they are young…you are to be parent only then when they are older you can be best friends…But I am with you…I am seeing that it is so important to have her/their hearts. I guess finding a balance is the key. 🙂

  22. This is thought provoking. When I was growing up, all my friends moms just wanted to be their friends. They really were terrible mothers, allowing us to do fun things that we never should have done and ‘bonding’ with their daughters by sharing details of their life that should have been reserved for adult friends (or themselves). So when my friends always said “I want to be best friends with my kids when I have them, and not be like a regular mom”, there was something that seemed wrong in that to me and I couldn’t articulate what it was then.

    Now I know. Children need parents first. And I have found in the last few years, if you are an excellent parent, and give of yourself sacrificially to your children (giving up a career you love, giving up those few five minutes here and there that you covet for yourself to listen and spend with them) they will inevitably grow into your best friends as you give them your heart and they give you theirs through the quality times together.

    I always think of the commands we are given in the Bible– women are to love their husbands and their children and the actual meaning of the word is DELIGHT. Whenever I feel like I’m getting off track, I reflect on whether I am delighting in my family. I feel that close friendship will come as a natural result of being a parent who delights in her children every day.

    • Hi Marie. I felt like this was thought provoking, as well. I can’t say that I agree with Sarah Mae (although I love her blog), but I think that may have more to do with the choice of words than the sentiment.

      I have three children – two daughters, ages 14 and 9, and a son, age 5. I want to soak up every opportunity with them possible. I accept them as they are and try to nurture them as they grow into the people God wants them to be. However, this involves discipline…and I don’t discipline my friends. Furthermore, my friends don’t lie to me about cleaning their room, pitch fits, or try to sneak cookies. Just sayin’.

      What Sarah Mae describes is really just enjoying every moment…or like you said, “delighting” in her family. I understand what she’s saying, but at the same time, I feel as though the choice of words may be unfortunate. Most of the women I’ve known who have tried to be “friends” with their children were simply overly permissive, seeking approval in the eyes of their children. It normally doesn’t end well.

      ” Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” – Proverbs 19:18

  23. I posted this on my facebook page because so often in our rush to ‘get the day done’ we miss so many opportunities to share life and thoughts and ‘feelings’.
    Praying that all mom’s will read this with a changed heart.

  24. I am a mother-to-be, so while I don’t have any experience with being a mom yet… I can only say what my mother did with me.
    My mother was always willing to listen and know everything happening in my life and was very involved. There were times where we were NOT friends, namely from when I was sixteen until right before I got married.
    It wasn’t until I got married that I could wholeheartedly say that my mother and I were friends, but now she is easily my best friend. I can look back and say that my mother never coddled me because she was afraid we would not be friends, she always did what was best for me regardless if I liked it or not. To me, that’s the definition of a real friend, one who does what’s best for you regardless if you like it or not. Now, my mom and I talk almost every day and are best friends.
    I hope I can be like my mother and look to the long term, not just the short term hurt feelings when a kid doesn’t get their way! 😀

  25. Ron Luce from Teen Mania put it well when he spoke at my church once: “They’re going to be adults a lot longer than they’re going to be children – we gotta do the hard stuff while they’re kids so we can have a healthy relationship when they’re adults” and then “They’ve got friends – you’re they’re only parent.” What he meant was, it’s possible to be your kids’ friend, but you’re still the only parent they’ve got, and it’s important to keep that in perspective. That’s the approach I try to take. 🙂 It’s definitely a balance, one we’ll work on our entire lives as we go through different phases and chapters. And there are probably going to be times when my kids don’t like me, and I’m going to have to live with that. But my goal isn’t necessarily to be liked – my goal is that they know how incredibly much I love them, even if they don’t like me sometimes.

    My mom used to say “It’s not my goal to be liked – it’s my goal to be your mom!” while we were pain-in-the-patootie teenagers, and we hated it when she said it, but I can honestly say as an adult that my mom is absolutely one of my best friends.

  26. I have a 6-month old daughter, and I cannot WAIT to chat with her about faith and life. But I am not wishing away these precious years either. Every moment is so amazing, even the tough ones. I hope someday she will say that we are best friends, and that I have been a good mother and role model for her.

  27. I think that there is a distinction that can be made between being your child’s friend and behaving like your child’s peer. I do enjoy my children’s friendship and I hope to always do so; I do not think that is a bad thing. I think in doing this, there is opportunity to model what mature friendship is suppose to look like; always speak the truth that is hard to hear (even if it causes us discomfort) and likewise, always extend grace.

    Good discussion.

  28. Hmm… I think I come across more mothers who use the “excuse” of trying to be their child’s friend to avoid teaching and training them. And it makes me sad.

    I understand that isn’t the take that you’re advocating but I do think I cringe a little when I hear moms talk about being “best friends” with their children.

    I AM best friend’s with my mother. And as a teenager I thought she was the most fun and wanted her along when I did anything. But I think that was only possible as I grew older because my mother was determined to teach and train when I was small.

    So. I don’t disagree. I would just add: make sure you are training your children when they are little so you CAN be best friends with them as they grow older.

  29. Great post, Sarah! I love the picture you paint of you and your daughter bonding in bed. My oldest (a son) graduated this year, and although my husband decided (by default, I think) that I should be the disciplinarian in the house, I still have a super relationship with my boy/man (and all my children, to God be the glory). I did discipline and hold him accountable, but although I made many mistakes, I tried to always couch discipline in relationship. I actively sought out and nurtured time together to just have fun, to discuss life issues in a nonthreatening way, to cultivate our “friendship.” Parenting and friendship need not be exclusive. It’s all in the balance. Blessings.

  30. I’m having some conflicting feelings about this post. I’m not a mother, but I am a daughter (and an ONLY child).  My mom and I are best friends NOW, but I think the type of friendship we have at this point in my life (at 27 years old) would not have been appropriate for me growing up. There’s nothing wrong with “accepting her, showing her grace, teaching her, loving her well, listening to her, taking her seriously, being honest with her, and respecting her”. But as a child, your daughter should also see you as an authority figure— which is not the same as being a “best friend”. In my opinion, parents and children shouldn’t be on the same “level” in that way. 

    I’ve seen kids that had parents that wanted to be “friends” with them and they completely disrespected their parents’ authority & direction (because they saw them as a PEER and not a PARENT). Believe it or not, but the level of disrespect was significantly worse in cases of mothers and daughters. And the daughters ended up resenting their mothers for trying to be a “friend” instead of the parent. As you can probably guess, they’re not friends with their mothers now as adults. On the flip side, the boys ended up being “mama’s boys”. Nothing against them, but when it’s time for a man to grow up and/or be a husband and father—and they can’t/won’t let go of their mom’s apron strings—it’s a problem.

    I think it’s awesome that you have a relationship with your daughter that she feels she can share her thoughts freely with you! But there can be a thin line between a mother and daughter—and once that line gets crossed, it can be hard for the child to go back to respecting the parent’s position of authority in their life. I thank God my mom didn’t treat me like a “best friend” during my little girl & teenage years. The level of respect that was cultivated for her as a parent growing up made me see how much she loves me & has my best interest at heart. Now THAT’S “best friend” material! 🙂

    I hope I explained my thoughts as a daughter well enough. I’m not trying to be a “Debbie Downer”, but the best friend part sent off warning bells in my mind.  Blessings to you & your baby girl! 

    • I agree with you. I don’t think mother’s and daughters should be friends. I do think that mothers and daughters need to work very hard on having a respectful relationship. One in which the daughter can be open and honest to their mom. For some reason, mothers and daughters don’t get along very well during the teen years. When daughters reach adulthood they get better. I wish that I could be open with my mom about certain things. The problem I think that some parents have is that if you allow your children to be open with you, you might not like what you hear them say or do. It’s very hard to draw the line between accepting and just listening.

  31. When my daughter was 8 (2 yrs. ago), she told me, “you’re not my friend, you’re my mom.” They really don’t want a friend. I’m glad my daughter was articulate, intelligent, and brave enough to set her boundaries with me!

  32. Sarah I feel you so much. Almost same incident as you described in this  post just happened now between my lovely 9yrs old and I. She always wants to sleep right next to me,  hug and kiss me like a thousand times a day. These children are just such a blessing.  I also desire so strongly to be my children ‘s best friend not just a friend. It’s a real prayer for me and I trust my God to grant me grace to accomplish this.  I pray for all of our children[mine,yours and that of every other  woman] that they’d turn out right in Jesus name. Amen.

  33. I love this so much. It’s been my dream to be a mother since I can remember and I cannot wait until the right time comes for me! My mom and I are going through a rough patch after being friends for so long, it is becoming a big challenge. I’m praying to have Him show me what I need to do to repair the relationship and what I can do to make it strong. It’s a challenge when she doesn’t trust in Him or believe what I do, but I’m trying to be strong in Him.

  34. This is a hard one. Life sure can throw punches sometimes. If I can be frank, I don’t know what to do these days. My son just moved out, he’s 24 and lived at home for some time due to paying for college without debt or student loans. My daughter is almost 21 and now she is planning on moving 100 miles away to go to college, er, be closer to her boyfriend. I like him well enough, but I think I may be in the boat someone was talking about earlier. I have made my daughter my best friend, and now I am grieving so heavily to even think about not seeing her every day. Maybe I am smothering her? It is so hard to let go! I cry every time I think about it.

    My own mother was pretty consumed with her own life while I was growing up, and I always wanted to spend more time with her. She and my father divorced when I was 11 and she had to work nights, so we stayed with a lady down the street. I would always think, there will be a time when I can be with my mom all the time…but it didn’t really happen that way. My mom and dad got back together when I was 15, then divorced again when I was 23. They fought a lot during those years, and my baby girl was 6 months old when Mom left dad then 2nd time. Then it was bad boyfriend after bad boyfriend. I always did think that I would have that time with my mother…later. So I have been a good mom, raised my children, life goes on…until it doesn’t. I thought about the empty nest syndrome a lot, what will I do when the kids move out? Spend time with my own mom…surely she won’t be so busy then. Then…we’ll really be able to spend time talking and laughing…she may even have to move in with me in her old age…

    Literally the day my daughter started college her freshman year, August of 2009, my mom called me and said she had a horrible pain in her hip and couldn’t hardly walk. I called my brother and we took her to the ER. I just thought she’d need a hip replacement, happens all the time. It was lung cancer that had spread to her hip, brain, everywhere. She died within 6 weeks, September 29, 2009. I miss her so much, I can’t even describe it. It’s a constant longing. I grieve for things that will never take place. I have probably put too much on my daughter. She has grieved as well, but I am just not the same person. I keep thinking it will get better. My mom was my best friend. It’s very hard. Will you pray for me, anyone reading this? I am married, my husband is very loving (and also misses my mother). However, I have this constant feeling that something is missing. When something special happens, the first thing I want to do is call my mother. I lost my mom at 41, and it’s very difficult. Thanks for reading this. If your mother is still here, cherish her, her advice, her wisdom, her voice speaking your name, her love.

    • Melissa, praying for God to ease and comfort your heart… and bring healing for your grief, not only for the physical loss of your mom but the loss of things you never had, long ago.. May God use you to love those around you, right where you are, and may he fill your heart with HIS love.. so many blessings, Agnes.

    • I will pray for you. I will also pray that God heals the wound in your heart. Your daughter is moving away but maybe you can bless someone else’s life. You can mentor for big brother big sister. I always wanted a mentor and I think my life would have been so much richer with one

  35. I loved this post! My mom is my best friend, and has been for just about as long as I can remember. She always did an excellent job of balancing the parent/friend line, and I hope and pray that I do as good a job as she did with our first daughter (almost 2 1/2) and our due any day now second daughter.

  36. That was a lovely post, Sarah Mae, but I don’t agree that you can be your daughter’s friend…at least at this stage in life. I have raised four great kids, all adults at this point…and NOW they are becoming friends. However, during their youth I had to be the parent setting boundaries and saying “no” a LOT. There were points when our kids didn’t like my husband and me much of the time, but now they say “You were right, Mom.” It’s a real blessing that they call and ask for advice and just to talk — it’s wonderful that they are now friends. Just wait…you’ll see…

  37. I have to disagree a little. I think it is deceptive in that it can feel like friendship, when really it is a strong mother/daughter relationship. I think it is possible to be friends with your daughter, and even best friends when they are an adult, but being Mom always needs to come first…and that’s hard when as mom you have to not only say no to your daughter but also your best friend. I definitely would say that my 4 year old daughter would say that I am her best friend…and I would say she is one of my favorite people on the planet and I love that she counts me in her friends, but I would not say she is MY best friend…and I think that is the difference. I would say I aim to be a confidant, strong mentor, encourager, supporter, and someone who gives grace, direction, and instruction…which are all qualities friends possess as well. However, there are things that mother’s should not take in the other direction with their daughters (especially non-adult daughters.) For example…while a daughter can use her mother as a confidant, a mother should not use her non-adult (include teenage) daughter as one…in my opinion. There are issues that underage girls not only do not need to be exposed to, but also don’t need to have stress over. I also think that you risk losing your authority when it really matters (not that this always happens, just that it can if you are not careful.)

    So, sorry that I’ve written a book, but suffice to say that I ADORE your heart in this message and your love for your daughter, but I think friend is maybe not quite the right word, and more that you just want to cultivate a strong, healthy, mother-daughter relationship. 🙂

  38. Having 4 boys and all growing up in the same home it has been a journey in it self. All boys have been raised in the same home but are all so different. I have one son that very different. The same values have been enforced with all yet he forgets his boundry line. Oh the joys of being a mom vs. being a friend.

  39. Thanks for this post today. I can say that my parents are also my friends, and I’m really grateful for that. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  40. I love this post, because until I became a parent myself, I didn’t realize what a balancing act being a parent and a friend is, and yet somehow, the only person I consider my absolute best friend in life, is my mother. It sounds like you are well on your way to having the same relationship, because reading this, i was instantly transported to her bed at 10 or 1030 giggling in bed and hanging out talking way too late! 🙂

  41. The Lord has blessed me with a very loving-compassionate and caring 8 year-old granddaughter who lives within 20 miles of me. We have bonded since day one and we’ve had so many wonderful talks like the ones you’ve posted, while snuggling, sharing life and praying about her concerns and needs. I’ve prayed for her salvation since knowing of her “being” and the Lord allowed me the privilege of leading her in faith to Him at the age of four. These times are treasured and I thank my Lord that He has allowed me this special time in her life and will continue as long as I live.

  42. I am a mother to 3 daughters, 18 years old, 14 years old and 5 years old. My mom is my best friend. That being said, my mom became my best friend when I became an adult, especially after having children of my own. While growing up, I would not have called her my best friend. I always was able to confide in her, even more so than my girlfriends, but I just didn’t see her as my best friend. She was my disciplinarian, went to bat for me, took care of many things but not my best friend. I am still not my children’s best friend. I am their mother, their educator, their caregiver and they do confide in me and ask my opinions and help but I think being their best friend is reserved for adulthood. You can cultivate their hearts to safely trust in you by being their mother, their sweet gentle mother and not being their bff. I have found that MY mother (their grandmother) makes a good friend and confidante to them as well. My girls and I have those cuddle in bed times too when we talk and talk but I am still momma and I can’t be their besty right now. One day, we will.

  43. I am the blessed mother of two beautiful daughters, 16 and 10. When my oldest was 13 she told me I was her best friend and that was to that point the highlight of my raising her. We have only grown closer over the past three years and my younger daughter and I share the same relationship. Why wait for adulthood for something you can experience now? Will the relationship deepen and become more adult as my girls grow? Absolutely but that does not mean that I cannot serve them in this role now on the maturity level they are in. It is the brass ring–the prize–our children are to be everything to us. Too many mothers neglect the teaching found in Deuteronomy chapter six–if it doesn’t ring a bell then go back and read it. While you are reading it ask yourself if you spend enough time with your children to accomplish what is commanded in these verses. Don’t buy into the world’s view that they need those their own age more than they need time with you (read the story of how the kingdom of Israel became divided, he listened to those his own age). Let those chldren crawl in your bed, treasure every moment so that they will believe that they are the treasure Christ gave up everything for (NT parable)! God designed you to be their best friend–hang on to Jesus’ coat tails and enjoy the journey!

  44. I feel sad for the ladies who commented here and on facebook who feel that friendship cannot be a part of a healthy Christian mother-daughter relationship.

    1) If you do not have your child’s heart someone else will. Being a good authority with good obedience does not mean you have thier heart. It simply means they obey well.

    2) If your child senses that you are more concerned with proper behavior than with accepting them for who they are(as Jesus does us) then they will take that as a rejection of them and run into the arms of the first accepting “friend” they come across. Again you lose their heart.

    Being friends isn’t some passive “Do whatever you want honey just don’t ever dislike me.” kind of thing. Being friends is trusting each other enough to be open, honest and sometime raw around each other. This definition is why I only have 1 real friend that I can be perfectly open around. I don’t want my children to fear disclosing what is going on inside their head/hearts to me out of fear of petty condemnation or rejection.

  45. I think I’m a little conflicted with the ‘mom as best friend’ idea, maybe because me and my mom were/are not close. It depends on the emotional health of the mom, I think. Is ‘that’ mom wanting that relationship to meet her own friendship needs? Does she have plenty of supportive adult friends as well? That would be my litmus test on whether I’d think it was healthy or not (at least when the children are young, as adults it’s a different story). Having said that, I wish my dad in particular would feel free to admit to me when he doesn’t know something that I know, that we would relate more equally now I’m an adult. But he still feels the need to be my ‘dad’ and help me, even though I could also help him! It’s about balance, I guess 🙂

  46. I know this sentiment was alluded to earlier, but I also want to add a word of caution. I also thought my mom and I were best friends as I was growing up. And, I know she would agree. And, my teenage years were a beautiful time of friendship and harmony. However, as I have gone to college, lived on my own, and now gotten married those early sentiments are tainted with guilt. I know she looks back on my teenage years with longing, and this has at times made me feel guilty for growing up. I guess my caution is this: your daughter is going to grow up. She most likely will live away from you and get married. She will (and should) shift from telling you her innermost secrets to telling them to her husband. Moms, pour yourself into this special relationship now. But, continue to cultivate your friendship with your husband and women your own age. They will be able to fill a vital role in your life when your daughter leaves your home–as you should want her too.

  47. Keep this dream and this desire ! I have two daughters — 21 and 25 — and our “friendship” started very early in life ! I’ve chosen not to follow the , “you’re the parent, not their friend” advice as well and I can tell you — it’s worked out beautifully ! My daughters and I are best friends — and they’ve walked with me as my closest friends through some wild and uncertain times in my life. Their words to me are God-given — I learn from them as much as they may learn from me. The grace in all of that is amazing ! Glad you wrote this ! Thanks !

  48. I agree with this post. I believe that Deut 11:19 says it well;
    ” You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” I can honestly say my mother is my best friend. As I grew up we had many nights spent on the couch talking before I went to bed. Car rides to various places were all spent talking about everything theology, boys, friends, school, etc… As an adult now we have a very close relationship and as she grieves the loss of her mother to Alzheimers I can be along side her for comfort and encouragement. I wouldn’t say I lost respect for her, as some may worry that would be the case. I have an awe and reverence for her humanity and humility.

  49. I love this! I want the same thing for me and my daughter-and like a previous poster said, a genuine best friendship-not and I’m pretending to be younger than I am one. I spent many a precious days snuggling with my mom in her bed and talking.

  50. As a parent, your goal is to win your child’s heart. That is done with lots of love and tenderness, but sometimes you are going to have to be the bad guy…and you won’t feel like the friend. BUT, in the end, the true friend does what is best for the child. Sometimes it is the hard thing that feels wrong.
    My mother is my best friend, but it wasn’t always this way because as kids we sometimes buck authority in our lives.
    I would concentrate more on being a good role model than worrying about being a friend. That will come if you are Christlike in your relationships, Sarah Mae.
    Friendship is conditional although love is unconditional. Jesus said, “You are my friends, IF…”