We recently returned from a family vacation. There were eight of us crammed into one car to see Mount Rushmore. It was on that trip when I realized that my kids were cool and fun to hangout with. They’re at a great age where we can sit and enjoy their company. It made me ask myself, “Why can’t my kids be my friends?”

Balancing Parenthood & Friendship

Many parents, myself included, are concerned about being their child’s friend. But my mom is my best friend. However, she wasn’t my best friend until I became an adult. She was a parent first.

With my preteen son, he’s at the age where he needs me to be a parent first, too. I want him to feel comfortable talking to me, but I know if I were to put our friendship first, establishing myself as an authority figure would be difficult. I don’t want him questioning my rules and boundaries. That’s why, for now, I’m his friendly parent. Besides, I know he has friends his own age to listen to him if he’s not comfortable talking with me.

Setting Boundaries for Healthy Parent-Child Relationships

That isn’t to say that we can’t have fun together. We love playing board games and mini golf. I’ve just always believed that the goal of parenting is to create independent adults. If I do this well, I think I’ll also create the kind of adults I enjoy spending time with and would select to be my friends.

I will always be friendly and enjoy hanging out with my son regardless of his age. I’ll show him love, guidance and leadership. I simply want to behave as a parent and lay a solid foundation for a healthy friendship with him when he is an adult.

Though I may live in denial about it, the day will come when my children move out and make their own homes, growing into lives of their own. I know as he gets older that his parenting needs will change, likely requiring less rule-setting. That’s when I can start acting more like a friend.

Embracing My Role as the Uncool Mom

I’m no expert, just a mom lucky enough to have children she likes and wants to be around. For the moment, they want to be around me as well. I can’t imagine a closer bond and a greater gift! So, I will assume my role as strictly a mom throughout their teen years. As that role often involves, I’ll set limits my children probably aren’t going to like. But that’s okay because I’ve never wanted to be a cool parent. I just want my kids to grow into good, responsible people.

Mallory Connelly

Mallory Connelly

Babies & Toddlers

In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!

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