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It is my daughter’s birthday today. She is a very pleasant 5 years old. On days such as these I like to look back over the past and reflect on what has happened: the good, the bad and, sometimes, the ugly.

It is different being a mum to a girl. There are so many bad stories out there about mothers and daughters. Some are as close as you can get and others are like same ends of a magnet. It seems the closer they get, the harder they push off each other. Is it a clash of the hormones? Jealousy? Competition? Or just a mismatch?

My little girl is a funny little bunny. I love that she thinks another name for a daughter is a ‘darling’. She has the sweetest and strongest soul. We are very much alike, which can be quite confronting. When I had her I decided a few things: I would always try to listen, to see beyond her behaviour, to value her emotions and always have her back.

Daughty and I are very close. We have been since she was a baby. I have a different relationship with my son which is also very close but the two are simultaneously different and that’s ok. Daughty and I ‘get’ each other. We both have times of losing the plot, both love are very affectionate and both hate being wrong. I am curious about what this relationship will look like when she is a teenager, but so far so good.

I think the key to having a good relationship with your daughter (from my oh so limited experience) is to know your place. She needs me to be her mum, to be an adult, to be patient and take time to understand her. She needs to know she’s a kid that is learning and that is ok. This is a girl that thrives when she is soaked in both love and boundaries. I think she likes the combination and appreciates when she is listened to and loved despite her fiery moments.

Ultimately, it is all trial and error and a whole load of  love. At the end of the day, if she knows she is eternally loved then I think we’ll be ok – teenage years and all! Fingers crossed!!!

Happy birthday daaaarling!

Battle-lio. Furrowed brows, heels dug deep into the  floorboards. Hair standing on end, muscles clenched and teeth grinding. Tears, lots of tears, wailing and crowing. Battle lines are drawn, it is war!

The reason? An apple. The opponents? A mother and her daughter. Sound familiar? So much crying, so little eating. The solution comes in the form of surrender; hands in the air! This time from the older of the two. Mumma surrenders, gives up, retreats. After three days of fighting the apple-related battle, things have been weighed up and a ridiculous tension has set in.

Time to call it quits. Pick the battle mumma, pick the battle. It’s not because she cried but how much she cried; like her little heart was being torn apart. Toys were confiscated, sweets were withheld but still she cried. The pain, the heartache, time to choose the battles mumma.

Trial and error, much error. The tide has turned. Peace has returned to the house. The apple still makes an appearance, only later in the day and everyone is happy. Light feet pad over the old heel holes. There are smiles, cuddles and lots and lots of toys returned.

An apple, a battle and a surrendering mother. Not ashamed or defeated, just a little older, a little wiser, and ever loving her little girl.

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