The Ties That Bind Mother and Daughter

12:02 AM

Times have changed so much from the time I was 13 and now that my youngest daughter is of the same age. We have a clear 40 year difference in age. Most of the time, it is not easy to bridge the gap between us even if there are natural ties that bind mother and daughter. These ties can break if not taken cared of especially during the present times when children demand independence in decision making while expecting economic dependence to continue. 

Natural Allies

Mother and daughter are said to be natural allies. Sharing the same path to womanhood which fathers and brothers may find hard to understand, they should be enjoying one of the closest forms of human relationships possible. This isn't always true however because conflicts can arise due to differences in perceptions and opinions. There are times that mother-daughter relationships seem to be lighted candles fighting to stay lighted in the face of challenges.

There is absolutely no assurance that a child will have the same values as the parent. Aside from upbringing which may be controlled by parents to a certain degree, other factors such as the prevailing societal values especially during the growing up years will have to be considered. It is not uncommon to hear parents say to their children "During my time, we were not allowed to do this and that" and other similar lines. Some children will then say "Your time is different from mine". Both of which are true.

Bridging the Time Gap

The key lies in these very words "during my time..." and "your time is different..." . In realizing and accepting that they have grown up in different times, mother and daughter can agree to meet at a certain point and minimize conflict. Mothers have the advantage of wisdom and experience while daughters offer freshness and innovativeness in tackling everyday issues they have to face together.

We cannot expect a perfectly smooth-sailing relationship but certainly two females with one coming from the other, should be able to work it out among themselves. Most mothers will agree that the most critical stage in mother-daughter relationship is during the years when daughters are blossoming into womanhood. This is usually the stage which makes or breaks the relationship where the differences in views can be at its widest and emotions are at its fiercest.

Women Working Together 

My youngest daughter and I are in this stage at present. Sometimes I feel we are moving in different directions. This is definitely not how I want it to be that is why I decided we needed some time out with just the two of us. I asked her to participate in a special women's retreat called "Roots of Wisdom: Blossoming into Being" with me, along with other mothers and daughters aged 11-14, as she was about to turn 13 during that time. It was intended to guide the young girls who are blossoming into womanhood while emphasizing the importance of women working together.

If there is one thing I learned from this retreat, that is the importance of communication. There are so many loving things left unsaid with the barrage of hurtful words that may come out from genuine caring, fear, and physical or emotional exhaustion. A mother's concern can easily be interpreted as intrusiveness while a daughter voicing out her opinion can be seen as impertinence on her part. Most often than not, the real intention which is to do good to the other is lost along the way. .

My Say 

It is not very often that the two of us get to spend time together by ourselves. We often go out and do any activity as a family. I'm hoping we can make this a regular thing probably every three months or so to give me time to spend solo time with my son and husband as well. I was actually surprised we got to discover something new about each other.

That said, it need not be something extravagant, just something that will send the message of love to each other, very clearly and unequivocally.

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