The Mother Daughter Thing

By Abby Bordner

I’ve had a flood of new clients contact me lately to help work on the relationship between mother and daughter. It got me thinking… what is this “mother daughter thing” all about?Mother--teenager-daughter--kid--mom---26961807

The mother daughter relationship is primary to a woman’s feelings of confidence, acceptance and self-worth. I’ve informally polled several adult women about their experience with their mother and find that many have regrets, anger, sadness and disappointment about their relationship with their mom growing up.

And many mothers are contacting me because their experiencing the same distance and strain in their relationships with their own daughters, especially as they become adolescents.

Let’s start with the archetype of Mother. What does our historic consciousness carry about who the Mother is and what she gives? The archetype of Mother has the following qualities:

  • Nurturing: feeding, holding, rocking, comforting
  • Protection: a fierce desire to keep her children safe
  • Unconditional love: love that never stops
  • Acceptance: a force that believes whole-heartedly that you are perfect; who you are in each moment is loveable and worthy of connection

So, did you get that from your own mother? Because we are so completely dependent on our mother as children, we become desperate for this validation. It affects the way our beliefs are formed about who we are, our own worthiness and our ability to be in healthy relationships.

The information I received from my survey is that women who rate their relationship with their mother as poor, described the problems to be:

  • Feeling judged by their mother
  • Never feeling good enough
  • Feeling that their mother wasn’t “on my side”
  • Giving too much advice, telling me what to do when I can figure it out myself
  • Not feeling nurtured, she was cold and unavailable
  • I can’t trust her

Because I developed Relationship Based Parenting, I’m using this work to help mothers and daughters improve their relationships before we send our daughters into their adult lives. What I’m finding is that by doing this important relationship work, mothers are healing their own wounds, too. So often these difficult relationships are based in our own past, what we learned about love and how to share it.

One thing is for sure, all the mothers I work with desperately want a connected and loving relationship with their daughters. They just don’t know how to change what is already happening. Or some of them just want to strengthen what is already there.

So, I suggest that you look at the ways you are mothering your daughter. What could use improvement? What are the things you don’t understand about your daughter? How could you make small improvements on a daily basis?

Do you need help? Let me know. With guidance, information and support, you can heal yourself and build a strong relationship with your daughter that will last a lifetime.

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