Mothers and Daughters

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Steel Magnolias, Georgia Rule, Terms of Endearment

What do all of these movies have in common?

  1. They are all girl movies or “chick flicks”
  2. They may make you cry at some point
  3. They all have a strong storyline about mothers and daughters

Let’s face it, the mother and daughter relationship can be very complicated. We all wish for the storybook relationship, however, even Hollywood knows that this is rare. We wish for a conflict/tension free, always happy, and best friend relationship. Knowing that we live in the real world we know that this is impossible. But why? Why can it be so hard?

When my oldest daughter was born she was perfect in my eyes. She had the perfect bald head, perfect little smile, perfect chubby legs, and perfect little dimpled hands. It was love at first and an instant bond. As all new mothers, I was tired, but I did not mind. Now she did cry…a lot. After she turned a month old she learned how to cry and she cried for three months straight. This also meant that I did a lot of crying myself. This was a trying time for both of us, but also allowed for more bonding and cuddles. I learned a lot about patience and love during those three months.

As she turned one, she started to mock a lot of my actions and mannerisms. She wanted to clean like mommy and she carried around her little coffee cup and blew on it. This, of course, melted my heart. My little girl wanted to be like mommy. This need of hers only grew. She wanted to wear make-up, put on lotion, blow dry her hair, wear dresses, paint her fingernails, and wear her hair in a bun just like mommy. We enjoyed getting ready together and this became a little routine of ours. She is my little mini me in many ways. She has even picked up by bad and/or less desirable traits. She likes things to be a certain way and she loves routine. When she gets angry with something she growls under her breath, she will roll her eyes, and she is very sensitive. My husband says that her drama comes from me. He calls me a “little dramatic.” I have no idea what he is talking about! Wink Wink!

What worries me the most is her desire to please me. She will randomly ask if she has made me happy or if she has made me mad. She wants to do things to please me. This is hard for me to see. I want her to know that she does not have to earn my love. I do and always will love her unconditionally.

One thing that also bothers me is that I have felt that I might be too hard her. She is the oldest, her sister is only a year younger, but I expect more from her. She is a smart girl and I know that she understands me when I ask her to do something. She knows when she has misbehaved and she knows my expectations…to a point.  When it comes to my younger daughter, I tend to have more patience and I am calmer. I think it is because she is the baby of the family and possibly the last baby. This is not a good thing and it is something I am trying to stop.

My husband is less hard on my oldest. I hear her whine for a new spoon because she does not like hers and he goes to get her a new one. My response is, “She is fine. She is just being whiney. Leave it be.” I notice these feelings a lot when my husband is home. She knows how to work him and he never says no. So, I feel the need to point out that she will be okay and to not baby her. I wonder, is this the proper response or am I too hard on her. Deep down inside I know the truth. I am just too afraid to admit it.

I often wonder, will our entire relationship be like this. Will I always expect her to do more than she can and will she be watching out for my reaction?  Will she be looking for my displeasure or my happiness when she does something? I hope and pray that this is not the case. I never want this to be our relationship.

I pray for my relationship with my daughters. In my eyes they will always be those perfect little babies that I held for the first time and cried. They will always be those babies that I rocked in the middle of the night and soothed when they were ill. They will always be the most precious things on this earth. I pray that our relationship is one of love, acceptance, understanding, and adaptable throughout the years during different stages our lives.

My final thoughts/questions are:

Are all mother and daughter relationships like this? Was my mom the same way? Was my grandmother’s mom the same way to her? Do we just expect more out of our daughters? Are we harder on them because we are so similar and we understand each other? Also, does it change with time? When our moms are older do we expect more out of them then we do when they are younger? Does the role reverse? Do we ever stop second guessing ourselves as parents?

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