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Mothers and Daughters~When the Apple falls Nowhere Near the Tree

by Deborah Cruz

Mother and daughters, I never could have imagined the extent of the importance this relationship would someday hold in my life. The very words mother-daughter relationship conjure so many deep emotional reactions that it can be overwhelming at times. My daughters, from the moment that I saw their little hearts beating as a blip on the ultrasound, felt those very first faint flutter kicks in utero and pushed them out into the world, I knew. I held them in my arms and saw all the good that the world has to offer in their eyes. From these small moments, they were more important to me than the sum total of anything and everything else I have ever done in this world or will probably ever do. My girls are everything that has meaning in my world.

I know this sounds very 1950’s housewife of me.I am perfectly aware of the irony of it all.Just as my husband was everything I never knew I always wanted in a man, motherhood has proven to be everything I never knew I always wanted. It has grabbed hold of me and filled me in ways that I never even knew I was empty.

Sometimes, in those quiet moments when the girls have gone to bed and the house is still, that moment of the day when I can finally exhale, I catch myself elated in the fact that no matter how hard this mothering may be, at the end of the day there is no place else that I’d rather be.It is a lot of hard work and I’m learning to be a better person for these little people.They make me want to be the best me that I can be. Even when I’m at my worst, I am better because of them.

I’m sure you can understand why it pains me to realize that I have never had this relationship with my own mother, at least not from my perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother and I respect her, as does she love and respect me. How do I explain this? She and I are completely opposite in every way that two people can be opposite. The only thing that we share is blood and our love for one another.

It makes me wonder, if she and I started out at this point where my daughters and I are now? If so, what happened? This frightens me and saddens me in ways that I can’t even bring myself to verbalize. What if some day my daughters feel like we have nothing in common?

What if they look at me and don’t see any part of themselves? What if they love me but don’t know me? I can’t bear the thought. Mothers and daughters should share more than just DNA, there needs to be a bond of unconditional love and unwavering understanding. I am working to try and bridge the gap that lies between us but it is a slow process. I want to look at my mother and know that I am part of what fills her world with pulchritude.I want to know for certain that once upon a time, I was her everything and she was mine.

Is your relationship with your mother anything like your relationship with your daughter? How are they different?How are they similar?

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Miranda H. 2011/04/05 - 4:38 am

My mom and I are 2 completely different people and my relationship with my daughter is much different. I think it’s because my mother admittedly says that she only had me as a means of trying to patch up her marriage… I had a baby because I wanted a baby.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/06 - 8:59 am

I am glad for you that your relationship with your daughter is so much more tight than that of you and your mother. You had your baby for the right reason.Your daughter is a lucky girl.I am sad that your mother has told you the reason that she had you.I think some things are left unsaid and perhaps that was one of those things she should have kept to herself.

Coolwhipmom 2011/04/05 - 12:22 pm

Very touching post. I’ve been thinking about this very topic lately. Because I feel like you. My boys are everything to me. Our love for each other is so amazing and so pure. But they are little now. They haven’t had the time to become independent and find reasons to find me annoying. Like you, my relationship with my mom has been rocky these past few years. Esp since she moved in with us 2 years ago. I had no idea that it could be so hard. I wish I had some advice for you. But relationships are complicated. And I can only hope that when our kids are older they don’t feel conflicted about their relationships with us the way we feel about our own moms. Thanks for bringing up this topic and talking so honestly.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/06 - 9:09 am

It is my biggest fear is that someday my girls will be ignoring my phone calls and rolling their eyes at me when I speak. I hate that I can be such an independent, functioning adult but when my mom comes into the equation, I become a petulant teenager.We are so different in every way, especially our parenting techniques that I think I feel cheated sometimes.It doesn’t help that every positive thing I do with my girls, she applauds but stipulates that “IF” she would have known better or “IF” she would have had more money….it feels like excuses and that bothers me. I love her but sometimes I just don’t understand her.

Samantha S 2011/04/05 - 6:37 pm

I worry about this with my daughter. My mother and I are very close, partially because of how we lived after my parents divorced and partially because we have a lot of similar interests.

I’ve joked about it, but I’m terrified of having Piggles grow up and be nothing like me. I’d hate for her not to have the same kind of relationship I’ve had with my mother.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/06 - 9:11 am

YOu are lucky to have this relationship with your mother and I you WILL have it with your daughter, as long as you are willing to make it happen.I am sure you are , just by being aware of what you want.:)

A Mommy in the City 2011/04/06 - 9:10 am

You and I are in a similar situation. I am one of four kids and my mother and I could not be any different from one another. She had brain surgery about 15 years ago which has changed her personality dramatically and unfortunately has strained our relationship. I still love her dearly and I know she loves me. She would do anything for me and Harlan. I pray with all of my heart that Harlan and I never argue the way my mom and I do. It’s so hard to see where and how the relationship went that way and I hope I can prevent that from happening to Harlan and I

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/06 - 9:17 am

YOu completely understand. My mother and I have ALWAYS been different but once the playing ground was even and I was an adult, that’s when it became more obvious. She just asked me the other day “you just like to argue with me , don;t you?” NO! No I don;t like to argue with my mother.Its just we disagree on just about every single point there is to debate..ever!I love her so much, I just wish we could get through a conversation without someone walking away annoyed or hurt.*Hugs* for both of us. I pray we dont; end up like this with our girls, and I don’t think we will since we are aware of how strained the relationship can be if not worked on. You are a great Mommy and Harlan knows that.

A Mommy in the City 2011/04/06 - 9:20 am

That sounds like a conversation I have with my mother on a daily basis. I am going to visit her and my family tomorrow for two weeks and am scared straight! I don’t know how I am going to handle living with her for two weeks. I feel so bad saying that too.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/06 - 9:37 am

My mom was with me for 4 days last week, and I literally almost went insane.Then I feel guilty ( even worse than Mommy guilt..daughter guilt) then I get mad!ARGH!!!!!!Deep breaths my friend. Deep breaths.AND Ginormous HUGS. When she drives you too batty, go give Harlan a big squeeze and go to your happy place!

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