Why Your Mother-Daughter Relationship Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Wherever you are and whoever you are, I hope that you’re able to celebrate today with loved ones, because that’s what days like Mother’s Day is about. Make sure to let the people in your life know that you appreciate them and the impact that they’ve had on you.
Since today is Mother’s Day and day 10 of my blogging challenge, I am going to open up and get really personal with you today. The thing about a lot of bloggers is that they open up and really expose themselves to you, and their life seems perfect. The truth is that no one’s life is imperfect, and if you were to ask me about the imperfect parts of my life, I would say it’s my relationship with my mom. And that’s okay. If you want to know why, keep reading.
The inspiration for this post came from the fact that I watched Brave for the first time yesterday, and I found that I could relate to Merida more than I thought I would. She doesn’t have a great relationship with her mom, not because she’s a bad child or because she’s ungrateful. Queen Elinor, the mom, also isn’t a horrible mother, and she isn’t a dictator either.
The truth of the matter is, the two of them just valued different things in their lives. Queen Elinor has very traditional values, and wanted to raise Merida to be a woman that also represented those traditional values. Meanwhile, Merida had a heart for adventure and freedom, and lived for the occasional day where she could horseback through the land and shoot her bow and arrow.
This is definitely how I would put my relationship with my mom. Neither of us are bad people, we just value different things.
My mom is a traditional Vietnamese woman who was raised in a small village where everyone and their mothers knew everyone else. This has lead to her valuing the opinions of others, and emphasizing that we are put together and presentable at all times. She’s also constantly reminding me that I should pick a man who is going to take care of me, and that she got married by the time she was 23.
Meanwhile, I’m pushing 23, and definitely not ready to get married. As someone who has seen how much the world has to offer, I don’t really let the opinions of others influence what I do too much. I’ve always been more inclined to be creative and adventurous when it comes to the possibilities of my life, which I think stresses her out sometimes.
They may sound shallow, but these differences have caused some strain in our relationship. She’s constantly telling me how unladylike I am, and how my independent nature will scare off men. Meanwhile, I feel like she’s a bulldozer parent who could loosen up just a little.
Like Merida, there are times that I wish my mom would change and be more accepting of the free spirit that I am. Often times, my friends would talk about their mom like they were best friends. I found that to be something that I desired, because the differences between us stressed me out a lot.
Eventually, though, it was like John Mulaney said. Your parents aren’t supposed to be your best friends. They’re your parents. It makes me more grateful that my mom never became my best friend, because I don’t think she would challenge me in the same way.
See, being her daughter, I don’t think I’m ever going to give up that desire I have to make her proud. But I also know that what I want and what she wants are two very different things. So in my mind, I’m set to living life the way I want to live it. She’s free to voice her opinions to me about what she thinks I should do from time to time, and I’ve found that it’s made me work harder towards what I want.
At the end of the day, we want the same thing. We both want each other’s happiness. We’re both growing and changing each other, challenging each other’s perspectives, and I hope we’re becoming better people because of it. That’s why I’ve made peace with the fact that our relationship isn’t perfect. Somehow, we’ve made it work for us, and that’s what relationships are about. I love my mom, and I would like to think that she loves me too.
What’s your favorite memory with your mom? Do you have another person you consider to be a mom-like figure in your life? If you’re a mom, what is your relationship with your daughter like? Tell me in the comments below!
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