The Not So Perfect Mother/Daughter Relationship

by Li Yakira Cohen

While the first man a girl ever loves is her father, the first person a girl ever idolizes is her mother. From the time they begin to walk, little girls follow their mothers around, examining their every move to figure out how to be just like her.

Mum is Wonder Woman. She wakes up early, gets you ready for school, goes to work, makes you dinner, helps with homework, cleans the house, takes you to the park and loves you unconditionally. As you get older, she talks to you about boys, teaches you how to properly apply makeup (or teaches you that you don’t even need it), the importance of self-love and that it is perfectly okay to feel emotional sometimes because that’s just life. You wake up every morning and get to see what incredible thing she does next and you take mental notes so you know how you should act if you become a mum too one day. Sure, you may fight once in a while and she’ll give you (sometimes unwanted) advice, but at the end of the day all you want is to sit next to her with a big bowl of ice cream and make amends. After all, she’s the greatest woman you know right?

Sometimes girls have to learn how to become a woman on their own. The relationship portrayed on Gilmore Girls or in the movies is just a fairy tale that they really won’t get to experience until they become mothers themselves because the truth is, not every girl has a great relationship with their mum. Some mums are abusive, some pass before they should and some are just not around nearly as much as they should be.

When these girls see all those cute pictures online, in magazines and on TV, they see the perfect mother-daughter bond, and generally… that’s a pretty damn good summary of how the relationship is (or should be). Mothers and daughters have a complex love that is indestructible.

Unfortunately, just because the love is indestructible, doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t broken. Every girl would love to have this ideal relationship with their mother. It’s beautiful to imagine, but that kind of relationship just doesn’t exist for everyone.

For some girls, their mums are just unreliable. They say they’ll always be there, but in truth, they’re not. They’ll come around a few times a year or grant a phone call every few weeks if they’re lucky. When they do call, it’s a conversation that they’ve had before with the people walking down the street… you know, the small talk. Of course, they will tell all of their wonderful stories from their travels and tell them they plan on coming to the area in a few months, but it’s nothing new.

As the young girls who have this kind of mum transcend into women, they learn not to expect anything. Without the guidance they would traditionally receive, the growth is a bit more difficult, but there is a bright side to this dark cloud.

They learn to be independent and strong, they learn that they don’t need to rely on others and with their newfound resilience, they learn they can be very successful women. They would love to have a Hallmark-style relationship with their mothers, but that just isn’t the situation for everyone. Yes, sometimes it really fucking hurts and there are times when all you can do is cry, but everything happens for a reason. There will be tedious growing pains, but growth nonetheless and maybe that not so perfect situation will lead to a wonderful one.

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