Like many middle-aged women, I have both a mother and a daughter and I am also both a mother and a daughter. My role in these family dynamics has changed over time as has the relationship that I have with my own mother and daughter.
As a pre-adult daughter, your mother is there to care for you, set boundaries, mentor/teach you how to navigate through life and unconditionally support you.
My mother stayed at home when my siblings and I were growing up whilst I was working full-time going back to work following maternity leave when my own daughter was 9 months old. I have had to rely upon paid support to look after my daughter during the week whilst I was at work.
One thing that mothers and daughters are not is best friends, however much it may feel an attractive proposition. This is because in bringing up a daughter, the mother has the roles of mentor and disciplinarian setting boundaries of acceptable behaviour whilst providing unconditional support. Though you can have one of the closest emotional bonds of your life if you want and make it happen.
When you have a daughter you have the opportunity to become the mother that you wished you had had, whether or not this is the ideal mother that your own daughter would like for themselves is another matter. I do however have a sixth sense on when hot chocolate and toast is required to mend broken hearts and upsets!
In midlife you may find that you are the one providing your own mother with advice as well as seeking her advice on aspects of your life. As our own mothers age, we find ourselves as daughters taking on more of a role of carer just as our own mothers were our carer when we were young.
What is constant in the mother-daughter relationship over time is that you are unconditionally there for one another no matter what ups and downs you may have from time to time.
Take time to reflect on your relationship with your own mother and daughter this Mother’s Day appreciating one another and how you would like this relationship to move forward.