Mother Daughter: One at Knives, The Other Like Lovers
When you were 5 it was your view. You were putting on her lipstick and earrings and trying to walk in her heels. You wanted to be like your mother. Until 13. Because then she became the most annoying, ‘out-of-things-creature’ on the planet, who can’t stand it.
Later, somewhere in your 20s and 30s, she becomes your best friend again (if you’re lucky). There is no doubt about how strong the bond between mother and daughter is. It is so special that it is capable of changing our lives forever, since it teaches us about concepts such as love, family, and relationships, which we have to deal with in our lives. But it is also a bond that brings sadness, disappointment, since it is full of disputes and conflicts.
Mother and daughter are not always ‘best friends’. One of the reasons has to do with whether the mother is ready to accept her daughter as an adult. For example, when he visits you, does he make comments about your cleaning/doing your hair? Does he trust you to be independent and mature enough to make your own decisions about your life (eg who you are with, how you spend your money, what you do)? When this happens, we see the daughters ‘rebelling’ as they did when they were young, and fighting for some control. There is no good communication. They don’t listen to each other. Comments and style are misinterpreted, and anger and resentment prevail.
What can I do;
You may see it as wanting to help but it only hurts your daughters and makes them feel inadequate. They need their mothers to see them as capable adults.
-Learn to listen
Show understanding and avoid giving advice based on your beliefs and values. It might not be the best decision for her. She alone has to figure out what to do. Let her make her mistakes but know that you will be there to support her.
-Think about what you wish your mom had said or done differently, and apply it to your own daughter.
-Try to see your mom as a person. It will help you to be more patient and understanding towards her. Ask her about her life, her experiences. What kind of relationship did she have with her mom? What were her disappointments, the joys that marked her life?
-It’s very easy to act like a 15-year-old when you’re with your mom. Think about what buttons mom is pushing, and find different ways to handle the situation or control your reactions.
-Consider talking to your mom about things that are bothering you in a mature and thoughtful way that represents you as the adult you are.
– Understand that for some mothers it is difficult to see their daughter as an adult – she will forever be their little child.
At Counselling Kenya, our team of dedicated mental health specialists use tried and tested methods that address the root cause relationship and mental health issues. To make an appointment with one of our licensed therapists, call 0741123944