My daughter and I don’t always communicate well with each other. We had a great example of it the other day. She wanted to make a cheesecake and I wanted a family game night. I told her she could either make the cheesecake or we could have a family game night. She stormed off, but not before telling me that I had been mean since the moment I woke up.
The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, lies in it’s loyalty to each other. -Mario Puzo
I know I shouldn’t take this personally, but it hit hard. I’ve been having a really rough time with my emotions lately and working hard to not be nasty. I began to doubt myself and honestly got angry.
I went off on her, which was stupid, and then proceeded to be a real grouch. I was even intolerant when my husband came home from work and he started to complain because he had no place to put the pizza he had brought home.
In a matter of a few minutes, with a few words, I went from being ok to being truly nasty. I decided that it would be best to lock myself away in my room. I went out once to grab some pizza.
I wasn’t going to poison the rest of my family with my nasty mood, so in hiding, I took my laptop, some blog work, pizza, and a drink.
It was during the time I went out to grab some things that apparently my daughter snuck into my room. I know this because when I came back I found our mother- daughter journal on my bed.
What is a Mother Daughter Journal?
It is a place where mothers and daughters can communicate with each other without dealing with all the things that high emotions bring. It is safe to place where miss spelled words aren’t corrected, sloppy handwriting is overlooked, and emotions can be raw without an immediate response.
By stepping away and allowing the other person to get their feelings out in the open without interruption, you will find that the person who was hot under the collar is really just having trouble expressing what they feel. They just can’t seem to find the words, so in frustration with themselves, they end up taking it out on someone they love.
Why I did it
I was talking with my oldest son recent when he was really upset about something. He told me that he and Audrey don’t always tell me what they are feeling or thinking because he knows they will be torn down.
This was a real eye-opener. It was not how I wanted our family to be. I had worked so hard to build up my family to love and support each other, making our home a safe place, and here I was told I had left a hole, an opening for Satan. NO! I had to fix it immediately.
That night I was meeting some girlfriends for dinner. I told them what Jackson said and they immediately told me about the Mother-Daughter journal. I was given examples of how it had saved things countless times for them. So the next day I went out and bought some journals. I was going to fill the gap.
How it works
I went to TJ Maxx and picked up several of my favorite journals, Amazon sells them for $18. These are beautiful and many are covered with scripture. It is a personal thing, but I find it easier to write in something I like looking at.
When I brought it home I wrote a letter to her on the front page. I explained what it was and how it would work.
I told her that in here is a safe place to talk. If she has something to say that she doesn’t feel like she can say to my face, she can write it here. When she is done she could either leave it next to my laptop at the dining room table or on my bed.
I promised her that I would read it and respond to it as soon as possible.
How it is saving my relationship with my daughter
So I found the journal on my bed after my disagreement with my daughter. At first I was still a little to hot under the collar to read it. You see, I was expecting her to still be slamming me for telling her something she didn’t want to hear. I was being selfish.
I sat, ate my pizza and then picked up the journal. What I found was not only an apology, but my daughter confessing that she didn’t feel like she was worthy to be my daughter. She told me that I deserved a better daughter than her.
WHAT!?!?! This was crazy! I was thinking my children deserve a better mother than ME!
I sat the journal aside and prayed through my tears. I asked God for forgiveness. I asked Him to help me. I asked God for healing for both of us.
You see in that moment, I saw not only into my daughter’s mind but her heart and soul as well. I saw what her soul was crying out to me, and the only reason I was able to see that was because I wasn’t emotionally charged. I was able to calmly and clearly see what the problem was and address it.
Why you need to do it too
Maybe you aren’t as hot headed as I am. Maybe you are more joyful, relaxed and easy going. I know I’m not the only one who deals with this because it was recommended by a friend who uses it as well.
But I do know that everyone has emotions that sometimes get the better of them. We are women, and God made us emotional creatures.
So maybe things go out of hand. Maybe you or even she said some harsh things. Maybe you said some cruel things. Maybe you were not nice at all, but you are still too wrapped up in the emotion to say what is on your heart.
This is where you need the journal. You can write out what you really mean and feel to your daughter. You can tell her how much she is loved and adored. You could tell her all the things she needs to hear, even the hard things because those are so much easier to hear when you aren’t emotionally charged.
Now, I did go out and buy a “fancy” journal, but you don’t have to do that. You could use a spiral notebook or even a composition book. It doesn’t have to be fancy to work. It was just something I wanted and it made it easily recognizable for everyone so it would be left alone.
Are you struggling to communicate with your daughter? Do you feel like she doesn’t listen to you? Are you worried that there are things she is hiding from you? Do you feel like there is an emotional gap between the two of you?
Maybe you need to start your own Mother-Daughter Journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It will just be precious and a treasure. Who knows it may even save your relationship.