“By the time a woman realizes her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she’s wrong.” – Anonymous
“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” – Catherine M. Wallace
The relationship with my daughter is truly one of the most difficult, and yet the most important. The same could be said of the bond between my mother and I. These ties are vital and painful, and every day I wonder if I’m making any of the right decisions. I feel that I have been blessed to be surrounded with two generations of amazingly intuitive, generous, and compassionate spirits; and yet, with all those emotions also comes fear, disappointment, worry, and angst.
I often buck against the latter set of seemingly negative emotions, and here is where most of my greatest soul work seems to be. Questions: Am I dampening her spirit? Am I loving her unconditionally? Can I be more patient with her in this situation? Can I see her true motivation in acting that way? Do I remember that she has my best interest at heart? Can I see her for the individual she is, and trust that she will make the best decisions for herself?
I’ve never really likened the relationship I have with my daughter to the one I have with my mother, but I can see value in doing so. All three of us swing wildly between being the quiet introvert in the room to ruling the roost and drumming up fun for everyone. I think I cling too much to my childhood experience working through my shyness. Sometimes I feel as if I might have insights to help my daughter move past her observant nature, instead of seeing it for the gift that it is. I guess when I boil it down, it is staring at that cold hard fact that we are each living our lives the best that we can.
The biggest thing that I could ask of my mother is to listen to me – without judgment or a solution. And there it is. I suspect that my daughter at age five and my mother at 65 would ask for the very same thing.
What could you do today that would bring more peace and understanding to the relationships you have with the women in your family?
- Improve Your Mother-Daughter Relationship, Oprah.com
- Nurturing the Mother-Daughter Relationship from Infancy