Mother and daughter – a relationship that is as complicated as it is crazy. One moment our moms will be texting us heart-eye emojis and the next they will be nagging us to get our taxes done.
Yet, we have to acknowledge that we love them unconditionally. We may fight, but we always know that they will always be there for us. After all, who else will remind us to file our taxes?
When I went to college, the five hour distance could not have felt bigger when I was missing my mom. She was only a phone call away, yet I found myself missing all the little things she did for me back home that let me know she loved me.
I especially miss the food. My mom liked to show that she cared by making me food that she knew I loved. We had a ritual my senior year of high school where I would get home early on Friday afternoons and then we would make grilled cheese and tomato soup to eat together. The unconditional way our moms love us and we love them is crazy, but it still makes sense. Here are three ways to show someone you love them, whether it is your mom, sister, friend, boyfriend or all of the above!
1. Use your words to let them know you care.
There is nothing like hearing someone say, “I love you.” It’s warm, reassuring, and supportive, and there is nothing better to hear at the end of a long day.
There are also other things you can say to let them know you care, like asking how someone’s day was and really listening to their answer, or asking what they want for dinner, or making sure they have done their taxes (yes mom, I did them, you can stop worrying now).
2. To show someone you love them, be there for them.
A text is nice, but seeing a person’s face in person is so much better. Being there physically for someone is important for a supportive relationship. Hugs, kisses, pats on the head and smiles are all great ways to shout, “I love you” without actually having to say it. However, if hugs are not your thing, you can also show someone you care by bringing positive energy with your presence, and being respectful and attentive with your body language. It is also important to make the time you spend with them count! Gestures like putting your phone down while you are with someone let them know they are your number one priority.
In any relationship, being present speaks volumes, and you can show this by spending time together day-to-day or by going on grand adventures together. My mom and I did this over spring break when we took an impromptu day-trip to San Francisco. We drove all over the city – Coit Tower to the Japanese Tea Garden to Golden Gate Park – ate lots of yummy food and got to spend quality time together, just the two of us.
3.Let them know that they are in your thoughts.
If you cannot spend time with someone every day, letting them know that you miss and care about them is a good alternative.
A phone call or even a quick, “I love you!” text as you run out the door in the morning can brighten someone’s day.
Slipping a little note into someone’s lunch or buying them a simple gift once in a while is a good way to stay connected and make sure they know that you are on their mind, even when your day is busy.
My mom and I made a pact that when I went to college that we would text each other goodnight every night. It’s a nice way to stay connected when we live such busy, separate lives now. The people in our lives mean a lot to us, so make sure you let them know how much you love them! I love you, mom!