Did you know there are REAL SOLUTIONS to the dynamics we struggle with in our mother-daughter relationship?
Solutions that are specific to us as mothers and daughters. Finally something just for us!
I want to share with you the real struggles that mothers and daughters tell me and maybe you will find yourself among these words.
"My biggest fear has always been that I would not have a relationship with my daughter, that it would be like my relationship with my mother, and I am determined not to let that happen!"
This is a very common fear, in fact I felt this when my daughter was born. It's common because it's true. If we don't learn how to do it differently we WILL pass down the same patterns to our daughters. Each time I map a mother and daughter's history we see these patterns that are passed down from generation to generation. The WHY behind what we do becomes very clear. And sometimes we see that although we've made the decision to break patterns that were passed down, we haven't quite gotten that right either. Maybe we've gone in the opposite direction or we've dropped the behavior completely but it really needed to be replaced with something. This is where really examining your history and writing a path for change teaches you HOW to do it differently.
"Constant disagreements and I feel frustrated with our relationship, conflict in bringing up my own daughter."
When we know better, we do better. If we weren't taught how to communicate our feelings or that our feelings are even valid, we don't have the skills to teach our daughters. We have to learn HOW to relate, connect and have conflict with our daughters differently so they learn to express themselves, talk about their feelings and know how to repair conflict.
"It was the worst year of my life and now my daughter is rejecting me too."
This past year has been so challenging, to add any stress on top of that feels like we are carrying the weight of the world. The rejection this mother felt from her daughter was blame. Mother blame is a real problem. When mothers are blamed for all of the problems within a family, it confirms the idea that mothers should be self-sacrificing in order to be "good mother". At Live & Bloom I teach mothers that they are entitled to their feelings, time and sense of self. If they don't have this, I see resentment, overwhelm, health issues, workload imbalance and women feeling like they don't have permission to need. Not only is this uneahlthy for us as mothers, but what is it teaching our daughters? That they don't deserve a life of their own? That they exist to serve others? Then they grow up feeling the pressure to walk the same path as their mother and when they don't they're not being a "good girl". Instead I teach girls to push back against the cultural pressures to live the life she feels most fulfilled by while honoring their mother's choices.
"We have a transactional relationship, it's a horrible way to connect."
I had this kind of relationship with my mother as a teen. And now that I'm a mother it breaks my heart to think about my daughter and I having the same. Two ships passing in the night lacking real connection and warmth. "Mom can you drive me to work tomorrow?" "Hilary clean your room." "Mom, what's for dinner?" "Hilary did you do your homework?" 😕 I was guarded and rejecting and my mother couldn't figure out how to reach me. Our relationship didn't simply improve because I matured and moved out of the house. And it didn't get better when I had a daughter and finally understood the struggle my mother faced. It improved when I became a therapist, invited her into conversations about our feelings and worked on our relationship with a mother-daughter expert (the amazing Rosjke Hasseldine). There is a better way and it DOESN'T happen simply because someone grows up. It happens we when do the work to make it better.
"I thought we'd work with a therapist but then after googling "mother daughter relationship" I learned that there is real help out there for us specifically. Counselors that are trained to work with us and learning it's not just us was such a relief."
There is very specific help out there for you. Therapists are wonderful :) buuuuuut the mother-daughter relationship is not something we are trained in. In all of the child, family and contextual therapy training (not to mentioned graduate school education) I've had there is no mention of the specific dynamics between mothers and daughters (neverless the solutions). Instead we've been taught that the conflict between mothers and daughters is normal. "It's just hormones" "How can you not expect conflict between two women?" "They're competing with each other." These myths exist to quiet women's voices and not demand answers. I know you're here for answers. You're not giving into the idea that we just have to accept overwhelming frustration, disappointment, rejection and conflict as normal.
So here is your sign - educate yourself, take a course or reach out for specialized support because it's here for you.