Last year, I was in a meeting with a client; she and her mother had a wonderful relationship with one another. They listened to each other. They respected one another. I could tell they had great admiration for each other as well.
I’ve seen lots of different mother daughter dynamics through my years of working in the wedding industry, but this one was different. While the daughter completely respected her mom they also genuinely enjoyed being around each other. They were friends too.
In one of our last meetings, I asked the mother, “What did you do? How did you get her to respect you, but also be the one she wants to confide in? How did you become that person she trusts?”
She told me that starting at a very young age, she would take her daughter a couple times a year to a hotel, just the two of them. Even if they didn’t leave the hotel room for two days, they would sit in bed in their pajamas and watch movies. Something about that just creates a bond.
I thought about that more and how much sense it made. I decided I was going to make that a priority to do with my own daughter, twice a year.
This past Friday, I woke up with zero plans so I decided today would be the day! Within an hour we were on the road (more on how I’m able to do last minute getaways later!). A quick 30 minute trip to Little Rock, we checked into my favorite hotel at noon and went up to our room. Stella and I both LOVE hotels! We could seriously spend all day in our pajamas watching movies. We so rarely have that opportunity that when we do, we don’t want it to end! We went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for dinner and back up to the room. My daughter took three different bubble baths and watched Disney Junior until she fell asleep around 8:30pm. I sat in bed, read a book, and would often glance up and just watch her. She would crawl in bed with me and tell me she loves me. She would say, “mommy let’s pretend to be cheetahs.” We played, watched movies, read books, and at the end of the evening she grabbed my face with both of her little hands, she looked at me and said, “Mommy, I love staying in a hotel with you. I never want to leave.”
That advice my client gave me that day, I’ll write that down as one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. It really is so simple. It’s a girls night out, one night away from the distractions of our home, one night away from the other members of our family to simply be with one another. No crazy plans, just being with each other. There is something about it that begins to build that closeness and that trust.
My life is full. I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t, but the good stuff like having your daughter put her hands on your cheeks and tell you she loves you, those things happen when we stop. Those are the things that happen when we walk away for a minute and forget about all the other things going on in our lives. It’s ok to take a timeout from the hustle and bustle of life to just put on your pajamas, crawl in bed, and watch movies with your daughter. She shared all kinds of good things with me that day in the hotel room because I wasn’t distracted. My entire focus was on her and as a result, she felt loved, safe, special, and didn’t want it to end.