It’s kinda nuts the way – one moment you’re a daughter (with a big tummy) and the next you’re the mother. Naturally you’re still a daughter but that takes a very big step back in your mind as you look at the tiny bundle of perfection they’ve gently placed in your arms. Now – all of a sudden, you’re not pregnant – you’re the mama! Congratulations and welcome to mayhem.
Algorithm definition: Set of rules to be followed or other problem solving operation.
Algorithm No. 1. Little People = Little problems.
The early years aren’t so bad. Keep them (& yourself) warm, fed & well slept. Throw in lots of cuddles and the occasional tea-party and you have a happy daughter. Little girls are proud to tell the world that when they grow up they’re gonna be just like their momma and marry daddy. (Oh, those were the days.)
Algorithm No. 2. Big people = Big problems.
Sadly, if we’ve done our jobs right – as they grow, they’ll start to think independently. By mid-teens you might get a slightly disapproving glance from your baby girl when you reach for that second slice or cheesecake. She might stop laughing at your jokes or roll her eyes when you wear your favorite dress. Two things are happening here. We moms are losing some of our perceived-perfection and our darling daughters are not quite the darlings they once were. This is all perfectly normal and the way things should be because they’re our daughters – a generation younger – not our peers; but at one point in every mother-daughter relationship, there comes a moment when you’re suddenly looking into the eyes of another woman.
She’s still your daughter but she’s also an independent, thinking for herself young adult. That, my friend is terrifying; liberating and terrifying.
Algorithm No. 3. Hug + Hug + Hug = Happy.
Scientists now claim that for a hug to mean something it has to last twenty seconds. (I’ve prepared dinners faster!) But now it’s something I really try to do. Try it, make a joke of it. Tell your teen tear-away that you want to hug her for twenty seconds because it floods the body with endorphins. It really works and it’s much better than arguing.
Algorithm No. 3. If X < Y then X does not = Y. Where X = Daughter & Y = Mother.
You may both be women but you are not equal. If you’re the mother you need to act like one. Rise above the argument, cross the room most of the time, explain your reasons logically and clearly. It’s her turn to throw the hissy fit. You did it to your Mama. There’s a flip side to being the bigger woman… you might just get to keep your daughter. Maybe one day, if we’re very lucky if we’ve mothered to the best of our ability and taught them how to be strong, confident, independent thinking women – maybe, just maybe they’ll stay close so we can get to be doting grandmothers too.
Here’s to doing our best.
Lots of love,