Mothers and daughters are a unique duo in any family structure. They represent parallels and comparisons, generational changes and similarities. Daughters learn directly from their mothers the mathematics of womanhood and struggle, as well as empowerment and ambition. Psychologists have examined the relationship between mothers and their children for many years, unfortunately too often blaming mothers exclusively for any negative characteristics they may pass down onto their daughters.
However, in this new age, the typical mother-daughter relationship is not what it used to be. I see a more friendly chemistry between them as opposed to older times. The general picture of the traditional mother isn’t what we’re used — they aren’t entities that permanently sit at home, neglecting themselves in favour of the rest of their family and in-laws. No longer are conversations between mothers and daughters arguments centred around how to eat, talk, walk, or pray properly.
Women have embraced their individuality and begun to take out time solely for themselves, realising the importance of self care. To groom, to shape up, and to do things beyond what is simply expected of them. In this revolution, the changing role of women in the media affects how they behave as daughters. Daughters of the modern day teach their mothers almost as much as they teach them. They are more encouraging towards their mothers pursuing their goals, prioritising grooming, and making them more social. In this generation, mothers and daughters have more in common than ever. They share clothes, secrets, bags, work tips, and family expertise.
A medical student I spoke to said, “I agree the relationship has changed, but for the better. Going to the salon or for a cup of coffee is the new way of bonding and of becoming closer to each other. No mother will ever compete with her daughter or try to one up her. In addition, I believe no daughter would begrudge her mother for wanting to go out.”
A doctor says, “My mum had me when she was 19. My relationship with her was horrible in my teens — all my friends had older mothers, while mine was still studying. I was immature in not understanding her need to go back to get a bachelors and then masters. In addition, this is silly, but it was big deal to me when I was younger – she was gorgeous and I didn’t feel like I was. All my male friends thought so too, and the family always made comparisons. To answer your question – I figure it’s healthy to do mum and daughter stuff together, but it’s something that evolves with age. I value her immensely now, being 28 and her at 50. The annual salon trip is much awaited, I borrow her saris, do her makeup. I couldn’t have imagined doing any of this as a surly teenager who was always hostile because I thought I’d been given the ‘bad’ genes. In addition, I was not allowed to go out with friends alone until I was 18. I was that girl — whose mom would be at a nearby table when my girlfriends and I went out. Every male I befriended in medical college would gave to go through an approval process. I hated it then, but am grateful now. Just a daughters point of view!”
Uzma, a mother says, “My daughter is almost 24, and our dynamic is more than just mother and daughter. We are sisters and friends; we discuss everything under the sun — and I mean everything. There is no competition between us at the end of the day. I am the mother and she is the daughter. What leads to issues between mothers and a daughters, I really cannot understand. Her friends come over and spend time with me as well, and when my friends come over, she joins us too. It’s really sad when there are issues between mothers and daughters. It’s such an important relationship.”
As for the young daughters and unsure mothers who still haven’t found the right footing with their growing girls, my advice to you will always be to try to and look at any situation from a new perspective. Try to settle on some common ground. There is always some, you just have to look harder.
Always remember, “when you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself, and once for her child.”