Mother -daughter relationships can be described as complicated at best. They are weird, volatile, intense and numerous other words at worst. I feel like I can speak with only a small bit of authority on this, as I am both a daughter myself, and a mother of daughter. But every single mother/daughter relationship is unique, special and individual. For outsiders an attempt to understand can be an exercise in futility.
I became a mother to Shoshanna 29 years ago. My first baby was the girl that I had always wanted. Of course I didn’t really think much about why I wanted a girl so badly other than for lots of pink, lots of ruffles, lots of hair, and loads of cute, cute, cute clothes! Of course she would always want to wear, do, be what I wanted. Why wouldn’t she… my vision of a cutie with bouncy curls, big bows and adorable little dresses was adorable. Now why I ever thought any daughter of mine would be like this is beyond me….. both compliant to my wishes for her, or to have a girly girl personality.
My daughter is a lot like her mother. So while I thought I would have a Hallmark baby shower greeting card girly girl, who was sugar and spice and everything nice….I got a sassy, stubborn, moody one. There didn’t seem to be a greeting card for the girl I was blessed with. By the time she was 4 or so she realised that she had some free will and the bows were pulled out and swapped for a reluctant pony tail. Dresses and cute ruffles were swapped out for jeans and sweatshirts…but always pink, with puppies, kitties or princesses and usually a dirt stain on them. All her Barbies and dolls were naked all over the floor of her room, along with piles of books, clothes and craft supplies. And oh the mood swings, tantrums and attitude. But she was also a very creative artsy, loving, caring and kind little girl. She doted on her baby brother, along with anyone else who seemed to need some of her infinite guidance and wisdom. There was never any jealousy or sibling rivalry with her brother. She was also very independent and had a take charge personality.
I think I can honestly say her personality was the same at 4, 14 and even 24! Needless to say…. we are very similar. I think she is ok with it now. But as mothers of daughters and daughters of mothers all know….a good part of a girls younger years are spent trying to be anything but like their mother. A good part of the time spent mothering a daughter is spent trying to develop a strong bond with them, and learning to let go and let them be who they are at the same time. Hanging onto them, while letting them go is the shittiest part of mothering ever.
Somewhere along the line I read Mother Daughter Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup. this book was a game changer for me, and I knew I needed to change up my families legacy of mother/daughter dysfunction. It is worth a read for every mother or daughter.
I know for our relationship, the bond was strong, and even though we fought a lot, which is normal in two strong personalities. We never strayed from each other for too long before one of us apologised. We had a few tense years…. but I think she always knew she was her mothers daughter, and no matter how tough things got, we cared about each other deeply even when we tried not too.
Now my daughter and I share a alot of interests and do alot of things together. She is one of my best friends. She is also a fantastic wife, mother, friend and kindergarten assistant. She is still stubborn, bossy, independent and take charge. I am very proud!
My daughter is also the mother of her own daughter. A daughter who is so much like her mother. I am sure they are in for a few rough years as Lilli tries to turn herself into her own person separate from her mom. But the bond is strong and I am proud that we have changed the legacy of mother/daughter relationships in our family.
We are heading to Vegas for a solo vacation. No husbands and no kids. Just us. We have decided to do a mother daughter trip every year. As Lillie grows up she can can come too. Although as it is we do lots of girl days, just the three of us. Mothers, daughters and now granddaughters can be the of friends.