It's Mother's Day! A day to celebrate our mums and the lovely things they do for us. How they selflessly toil to get our shirts white and our shoes gleaming. A cooked meal on the table, a shoulder to cry on and good advice when we need it.
Aah – advice. That seems to be a bit
of an issue at the moment. According to
an article in in The
Guardian yesterday, often mothers feel they have the right to talk to their
daughters in rather a frank way. It’s
all for their own good, of course, but daughters simply don’t like it.
As both the mum of a daughter and the daughter of a mum, I can see how
feelings get hurt. Mums generally just
want the best for their daughters, they’re not usually out to cause emotional
pain and anguish (at least not in my experience). And daughters are pretty much the same, just
a younger version with a younger view.
Maybe it’s because I’m not very thick-skinned, but I try to think before
making personal comments to my daughter.
In fact, I usually try to avoid making negative comments to her and
focus on the positive…..and there are many positively delightful things about
my daughter which of course makes it very easy.
Yes, she is going to do things or wear things I don’t approve of…..I’m
her mother! But do I need to tell
her? I don’t think so. I think the mother-daughter relationship
should be nurtured just like any other relationship and I want to be someone
she can trust and someone she knows won’t hurt her.
I wouldn’t dream of telling a friend, ‘Yes, your bum does look big in that,’
or ‘That skirt’s a bit too short for your chunky thighs,’ so why would I even
think about saying it to my daughter?
(These are just examples and I really want to stress that none of my
friends or my daughter have large derrieres or chunky thighs and wear skirts
that are far too short! And if they did,
I wouldn’t even notice, let alone tell them!)
Now, if my daughter had an alcohol problem, used drugs or was in an abusive
relationship, I would consider it my duty to step in and have that difficult
conversation. Being a mum isn’t all
sunshine and roses, you know.
But when all’s said and done – it must be remembered that mums are human,
too. On Mother’s Day it’s all lovely
sentiments and chocolates and flowers and I suppose some daughters feel let
down by their mums because reality doesn’t come near to the Hallmark rosy
view. No-one can measure up to the
Hallmark version – no-one. We are all
human and all make mistakes. No matter
how hard we try, we all say things that are unintentionally hurtful and
sometimes we’re completely oblivious to the hurt we’ve caused.
Daughters do this to mums…..and mums do this to daughters, just like any
other relationship. It’s the long view
that counts, the whole relationship and we shouldn’t dwell on the blips.
So today, I’m going to remember all the happy times with my mum and think
how perfect she is. And my daughter is
so perfect in every way that I know she’ll do the same!
Today is a Hallmark sort of day – sunshine and flowers all the way.