Sunday, March 2, 2008

"The Complex Mother Daughter Relationship"

When you were 6 you considered your mother a goddess. You’d sneak into her room and smear your face with her favorite lipstick, borrow her beautiful earrings, her favorite dress, and slip your feet into her high heals because you wanted to just like your mother. Suddenly at 20 you fear becoming your mother. The mother daughter relationship is complex!

For the next 10 years it seems that your vocabulary shrinks to two words “But Mooooommmmm” and then suddenly at age 30 she’s your best friend again. No other relationship is quite as primal as the one we have with our mother.

Ask any mother that’s over the age of 65 about her relationship with her sons and daughters. You’ll find most tell you that their daughter is like a best friend, someone you can discuss issues with that are important to women and things men don’t like to talk about. As mothers and daughters mature it appears that in most cases the bond becomes even closer.

For some women this bond never comes, for others it’s natural, and yet for others is requires considerable work. At some point in the relationship before that deep bond of the young child returns in adult hood a period of rebellion occurs where you are absolutely certain you do not want to be like your mother. This turns to a deeper understanding of who your mother is and suddenly a realization that you would be proud to be like her.

For those where the bond never comes relationships can be stormy. The number one cause for these stormy relationships is the inability of the mother to accept their daughter as an adult. A mother that visits and then tends to run the house, or sticks her nose in her daughters business when she has not been asked to is asking for trouble. Letting a daughter be her own adult person is critical to a strong mother daughter bond.

When a mother doesn’t accept her daughter as an adult and respect her daughter’s decisions the same rebellion that took hold during those earlier years, especially the teen years, will resurface.

The daughter will begin to hear control in every word issued by the mother and the mother will hear only anger when the daughter speaks. Needless to say this unhealthy environment can only lead to more turmoil. Old patterns can be hard to break but if you truly want a special relationship then both mother and daughter will need to make changes.

If you who have a mother that supports you and respects your decisions as an adult you need to nurture that relationship and give your mother the same respect for the decisions she makes as an adult. Remember unconditional love will build an unbreakable bond!

The best gift a mother can give her daughter is the gift of independence. As she grows into a young adult and later into a mother herself she will have the confidence to be who she wants to be thanks to the gift of a mother who truly understood the importance of independence and free will. Mother’s should start this process at a very young age; say 2 or 3 when children can begin to make basic decisions.

For some the complex relationship between mother and daughter will always be filled with turmoil unless both approach their demons and work towards a brighter future.

For others the complex relationship between mother and daughter will never seem complex. Instead it will be a bond so deep nothing can break it, built on love, admiration, respect, and independence.

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