I Am Your Mom, NOT Your Friend

Dear Daughter,

In the few years that you have been a part of our family, we have loved you more than we ever knew we could. You are perfect in our eyes, and we wouldn’t change a thing about you.

You are changing from a toddler to a child. Your adventurous spirit is taking over and your personality is flourishing. We are doing our best to harness and direct your hardheaded, strong-willed little self in the right direction. Some days are easier than others in channeling that energy for good.

So now that you are a little older, let’s lay some ground rules. We are not friends. We are not BFF. I am not worried about being the cool mom. And, I will embarrass you from time to time.

It is what it is, and I want to put this out there so that you know where we stand. You will not always like me but know that I am making decisions the best I can as your mom. You will have many friends to be your friends, but only one mom to mother you. Being your parent is my number one job. And, I take my job seriously.

You don’t understand this right now, but not being your friend and being your parent is a very hard road to take. I would rather you be with happy with me all the time and appease you, but that is not a good recipe for either of us. Boundaries and rules are important in parenting and life. Learning to live within those perimeters will help mold you into a successful and happy adult.

The decisions I make on your behalf are to keep you safe, happy and healthy. They are not intended to win your approval or friendship.

There will be days when you “hate” me, and you will storm up the stairs wishing you had a different mom. I will do my best to remember what it was like when I was your age and felt the exact same way. I will also try not to let your words hurt my own heart. But please know that in that moment and in every moment, I love you and am doing what I feel is best.

One day when it is your turn to be a mom, you will understand, just as I do now. It will be your turn to make the hard decisions and enforce the rules while loving your children so hard that it hurts. But until you understand where I am coming from as your mom, all I need you to know is that I love you every second of every day, and I am I doing my very best.




  1. I showed this to my son this morning after what was a bit of a rough patch yesterday. He said “Congratulations, you succeeded.”. Thanks for reminding me it’s OK for them to not like us all the time

  2. This article is built on the premise that friends are only there to “appease” and “win approval”. That is categorically false – or at least should be. Friendship should include people who build each other up, who challenge each other, and who make each other better. If this is not the case, then you need better friends.

    Being a mother and a friend are not mutually exclusive. That’s an oversimplification of relationships and doesn’t actually describe how people form bonds. For example, one should hope that their partner is family, lover, friend, and likely much more.

    Your sentiment that there will be hard decisions and that it’s not all fun and games is good, but that should be the case in any healthy, positive relationship.


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