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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Topic of the Week: The Mother-Daughter Bond

Today I spent an hour of my life in Walgreens trying to find the right card for my mother's upcoming 50th birthday and Mother's Day. I honestly didn't browse anything else for that entire hour. When I came home I spent 30 mins trying to find the right words to express something more than the usual hope you have a great day, etc. When I buy a card it should be sincere, nothing generic. My mother and I have always had a turbulent relationship filled of highs and lows. One minute we're on the same page the next we're not. In the end we're bonded for life, I'm her daughter, and she's my mother, we can never erase or replace eachother. The bonds we share with our mothers totally affects how you mother. Having two daughters of my own, I stood in that aisle today; an entire hour, with my feet hurting, thirsty, reading card after card, thinking, will it be this hard to for my girls to choose a card for me in the future? Why is it hard? Will I live up to any or all of the messages in these cards? Sure I want to be a friend, be supportive, make memories, be real, be strong, be beautiful, be a role-model, be positive, always pour out warmth and affection, have faith all the time, sacrifice, know best, and be the person that never lets them down.


My patience with them is being tested daily, and sometimes I feel like I'll lose it, and there is when my mind drifts back to my mother. She always did have it hard. How the hell did she deal with both of us? We were pretty bad sometimes... I don't think I really fully appreciated this woman until today when all these things were hitting me like a ton of bricks. I never told her, even though I'll say thanks for things. I think I purposely downplay the hand she had in making me who I am now because that would have to be me tearing down one of my multi-layered walls to say yes, you're right I didn't get here on my own. If I ever complain about my kids to her, she reminds that I don't have to worry about bringing in that single income paycheck and that I don't have to do it alone. She's right,  I don't have to cook if I really don't want to, I don't worry about how I will make it every month, and yet I feel like sometimes its so hard to keep up with the daily pressures and standards of dealing with two small kids under the age of five while adhering to the vain standard  that I shouldn't look like shit while doing it in which I wholeheartedly thank her for, because it is important. If I lost that part of myself, then who's to say what else I will let go of that makes me me.

I realize that I don't validate my own feelings because my feelings never mattered before when I start to feel like an ungrateful bitch. Kids are hard, and it's okay to admit that. I did follow my dreams chasing my own happiness without a care in the world for anyone or anything else. People say to me, enjoy your kids now this is the age, they grow so fast. I am enjoying them, and it's exhausting. I don't think that's any different than what I did before them, I thoroughly enjoyed my teens and 20's thus far. I did whatever I wanted  and on my own terms. I will never get that time back in my life when I was called selfish, but alas the cycle's been broken because now as a parent, by default all I can think about in that aisle is how will I be the best mom I can be, instead of think about how will I be a mom who never got the chance to make and chase dreams of her own as most mother daughter generations have lived. There's no room to be selfish now.

The choices we make in life are either based on priorities, obstacles, failures, obligations, fears, worries, responsibilities, morals, values, or hopes, dreams, pleasures, happiness, triumphs or because we thought we could live with the repercussions of that choice. Any choice based on any of those things aren't wrong, but think about where it will lead you.

This past weekend my girls and I sat doing our nails. My oldest who's almost five years old asked why do we have to cut our nails? I said because it's cleaner and neater. I said "you should always keep yourself clean and neat. You must wash and comb your hair, put lotion on your skin, keep your nails neat, and wear good clothes, like a beautiful package". My husband intervenes, asking me what am I telling her? I'm teaching her about taking care of herself, that's what. I'm not about to raise two slobs that think it's okay to run around with dirt under their nails and ashy skin. I used to mentally rebel when my mom would have these conversations about women taking care of themselves, and naively think that a man will love you no matter how bad you let yourself go. He will love you alright, but he will also be wondering/wandering...

Birthing two girls and going through life myself I can see why she embedded that into my DNA. The more I see and hear, I realize how much I'm learning and growing as a wife and a mother. The conclusion is that while the journey will be different, I will raise them the same way I was raised with tweaks and modifications as needed. If you turned out to be any type of a good, successful productive human being, it was because of your mother. Good or bad it directly molded you. Both nature and nurture win here.

My mother is the strongest person I've ever met in life. She did whatever she thought was best, in the best way she knew how. Whatever good or bad times we've had enriched me in ways I never knew or thought was possible. Today I'm stronger, I'm capable, I'm evolved, I'm beautiful. I am enough

Remember; Happy Moms= Happy Kids 

Resources: 

'I'm Not Your Little Baby!' Calling a Truce in Mother-Daughter Conflict

The Emotional Crisis between Mothers and Daughters

Why it’s Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound

4 Key Ingredients for Mother-Daughter Relationships


This Infographic Reveals How to Raise Happy and Healthy Kids