Tried and True Ideas for Mother-Daughter Bonding Time
I consider my mom one of my best friends. She is fantastic and beautiful, and I always have a blast with her especially when we are doing one of our Mother-Daughter bonding trips. I’ve said it before, but I think these trips add to our relationship. Sure, they can be trying at times, but ultimately the trips are always filled with love and laughter more so than anything else. We have done a lot of bonding experiences and make it a point to do one big one at least once a year. We have tried a bunch of different things and even repeated a few, but the biggest key to our trips is we take the time to communicate and talk. It is worthless if you don’t make an effort to be present. Plus these trips aren't just about bonding and getting to know your mom; it is also about understanding yourself. Did you mom just really make you laugh? Why? Is she bugging the shit out of you or are you bugging the shit out of her? Sometimes moms can seem extra harsh, but sometimes they're just telling you the shit you don’t want to hear, and the others around you know. I definitely don't think my mom is right about everything (I WILL GO BRALESS IF I WANT TO MOM) but she always offers an insight and perspective that helps me see from other sides. But ultimately the point of each bonding experience is to have FUN and boy have we had a lot of fun over the years with these different trips and ideas.
Hosting Thanksgiving Together
This was a fun and emotional experience because it was my first time hosting Thanksgiving which happens to be mine and my favorite moms holiday. It was fun and exhausting and sometimes a battle because she wanted tradition, and I wanted some new, but somehow we blended it together and had an amazing day (or at least I thought it was amazing). Also, that was the day where my favorite photo of me of all time was taken, and I love it because I think it captured the day and experience we were sharing together. For the first time, it was my kitchen and my recipes and my mom helping me in the kitchen. It was bizarre and beautiful, and the power may have gone to my head a little but she was quick to call me on it, and I think (hope) I was quick to apologize. I loved doing this with my mom and after we shared another experience...boycotting the dishes and leaving them for someone else.
Going to Disneyland
I wrote an in-depth post about this so you can see how I feel about mother-daughter trips to Disneyland, but this is such a riot. If Disneyland isn't yours or your mom's thing, then you can replace any amusement park with it (or big event really, like a carnival). Going to a place where the focus is family and fun is an excellent place to experience that one on one bond with your mom.
This one is probably by far our favorite bonding time to do together. My mom always makes it a point to get massages or pedicures together, but we have even had trips where we took the whole spa experience to the next level with some facials too. It is something we both enjoy. My mom and I are both easily anxious so any chance to de-stress, and do so together, always brings us closer.
Some of my favorite stories to tell about mom happened while we were on a road trip together. I know being stuck in a car for a certain amount of time with anyone doesn't exactly sound fun, but there are ways to make it unique to your mom. Don't rush the drive for starters. Pull over and check out the sights and skip the fast food so that you can sit down together and take a rest. Don't drive to get there, drive to have fun with your mom.
If your mom is a fan of live music, then a concert bonding experience might be right up her alley (and hopefully yours). Whether it is a huge pop star you both love or just a local bar with a fantastic acoustic guitarist, going and experience their artistry is a great way to get closer to your dear ol’ mama. Maybe she comes along to see a band you are interested in or vice versa. Either way, if you can enjoy music and one another then going to a live show together will help bring you two together.
Bougie Dinner Night
Some people call it a date night, but I think every once and while its good up the ante and go all out. Find a lovely steakhouse that has live music and order something extra delicious that you typically wouldn't get. Get dressed up, wear your craziest shoes and put the cell phones away. Enjoy your food and your time with your mom and if you really want to blow her out of the water, foot the bill.
Weekly Alone Time Rituals
Whenever I am at my mom’s, we have a recurring weekly ritual. Every Sunday we get up at 6, make a pot of coffee, lock the pugs up so they can’t pester us, and we watch the CBS Sunday Morning news show. Even though it is watching the news together, it is more about learning something new since they always cover cool facts (my mom says it is how she discovered Bruno Mars, Megan Trainor and most recently...Harry Styles.) Make it a point to tune the rest of the world out and hang out with one another. It is our joint habit and she will absolutely wake me up at 6AM so that I watch this show with her. Are there sometimes I would prefer to sleep in? Most definitely but I really enjoy the enjoyment my mom gets from us doing this together making it one of my favorite bonding experiences we share together.
If you asked my mom if she liked video games, she would swear up and down that she didn't. However, this is a bold face lie. She is ADDICTED to mobile word games. She refuses to believe they are video games (THEY ARE!) She obsesses enjoys playing these games so much that I ended up downloading the same game and started playing with her. So many times we would swap phones with one another so that we could work on the others board if we were stuck. While driving, I would list off letters, and we would brainstorm together trying to figure out the missing combination. It was a fun way to use our brains together and be impressed by one another when we would point out a word we couldn't see when it was right in front of us all along.
Binge Watching a Show Together
My mom and I have one huge difference: our attitudes towards television. She is a constant watcher and has multiple TV’s in her house. She is even willing to pay for cable. I, on the other hand, usually hate TV unless it is a show I am seriously wrapped up in. I also have never paid for cable, and I think most of the programs on TV are just plain negative energy. If I end up watching something with her before bed, I usually have to go and decompress somehow before I fall asleep because, seriously, why are TV shows so dark these days?! Given our starkly contrasting views on TV, if we can both find something to agree to watch AND become obsessed, binge-watching takes on a whole new level. My last trip it was The Crown. Yes, I had already seen (binged) all of the episodes but without having anyone I knew who enjoyed it enough to talk about it, I gladly re-binged the show with my mom. We were finished by the second day I was at her house. Before then we have binged Grace and Frankie and a whole lot of Downton Abbey. We just veg out and get snacks and lounge with the dogs and have a blast because who doesn't have a ton of fun binge watching with their moms? And that's what is most important to any mother-daughter bonding experience: fun.
If you feel like I forgot a great way to get some quality bonding time in with your dear ol' mom, please let me know in the comments section below!