A few weeks ago, Ellen wrote “5 Myths about Mothers that Daughters Should Know.” Now it’s Jenna’s turn to weigh in with her perspective on common misperceptions mothers have about their daughters.
- Daughters don’t appreciate their mothers.
The Truth: It is so easy to treat the people we love the most…the worst. Unfortunately, moms get to see and experience our nastiest sides. We can be quick to snap at you when you share your opinion; we may roll our eyes when you make a joke; we know the way to get under your skin.
You may feel like you are giving so much and getting little appreciation and respect in return. And while us daughters probably don’t always find the words, we know that at the end of the day, we owe everything to you. You gave us life, provide unconditional support and love us despite our moodiness! No matter how many times you get on your daughter’s nerves, don’t forget that she loves you deep down and appreciates all you do for her.
- Mothers always know what’s right.
The Truth: As a little girl, I remember looking up to my mom and thinking that she knew everything. No matter what question I asked, she had an answer. No matter what the situation, she seemed to have it under control. I was a very conscientious kid and was always terrified of disappointing my mom. Other kids rebelled, but I wanted to please my mom by obeying her wishes. If she said something was bad and I shouldn’t do it, I listened.
As an adult, I still really value my mom’s opinion but now, I pause to see if I agree before following her advice. For example, I remember my mom suggesting that I might want to consider leaving business school when I was extremely unhappy in the beginning. However, I knew this wasn’t the right decision – as tough as it was, I knew I needed to stick it out and that it would get better. And it did.
Moms, while you do often know what’s best for us, you don’t always. Please don’t take it personally when we make our own decisions that might conflict with your advice. As daughters, we need to carve our own paths – even if that means we make some mistakes along the way.
- Loving mothers and daughters can never spend too much time together.
The Truth: It’s definitely possible to have too much of a good thing – and it certainly applies to mother-daughter time. When I come home, the first day is always joyous, filled with big hugs and free flowing conversation as we catch up after a long time. But as the days go on, the conversations become shorter and we slowly revert back to our respective rooms (my bedroom and my mom’s office). We both know we need alone time and breaks to avoid getting on each other’s nerves.
No matter how old daughters get, spending large quantities of time with our moms can be challenging. Old pet peeves rise up, bickering increases over time and we tend to revert back to the way we acted as children. Once daughters grow into independent, adult women, it’s hard to return under our mom’s wings. Equally, it’s hard for moms to let go and let us live our lives after overseeing us for the first 18 years of life.
So, take breaks when you spend long stretches of time together! Go for a walk, take a nap or do something you enjoy. While I would rather spend time with my mom than anyone else, we both know we need breaks from each other – and that it’s healthy for our relationship.
- Moms have to do everything right or their daughters won’t turn out okay.
The Truth: Moms, I know you have the best intentions and do everything you can to set your daughters up for the brightest future possible. Some of you may have read experts’ parenting advice throughout our upbringing. Or maybe you sacrificed your job and hobbies to be there whenever we needed you. You may be doing everything in your power to nail motherhood….but guess what? No one’s perfect. And even more importantly, no mother always has the right answer in the moment.
Do I love that my parents are divorced? Not really. Do I wish my mom was around more when I was little? It would have been nice. And while I grappled with these things as a young adult, I think I’ve turned out okay in the end. And as a matter of fact, they have made me stronger and helped me develop into the unique woman I am.
My mom and I have had really great conversations about these things and found peace with them in my adult years. You don’t have to get everything right – as a matter of fact, it’s impossible! But know that you have not necessarily ruined your daughter in the process. I believe we all can heal our past wounds with empathy, forgiveness and open dialogue.
- It’s devastating when mothers and daughters fight.
The Truth: No one ever wants to fight with the ones we love. Disagreements, hurtful words and tears are often hard to bear. Growing up, I remember bickering with my mom in the car and returning home bursting with emotion. It never feels good to say goodbye on a bad note.
In the past, we would usually let feelings settle and just get over it with time. However, we have learned over the years that bringing up hurt feelings in the moment and learning to listen with empathy can turn a fight into an incredible learning experience. Mother-daughter fights are inevitable; it’s how you handle it that matters. Moms, you might be so disappointed when you fight with your daughter, but I dare you to try and transform that moment into a shared lesson. Some of the times I have felt closest to my mom is after we have overcome a major disagreement – and developed a new level of respect and love in the process.