Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mid-Week Musings

Mothers and Daughters

What exactly is a good mother? We've read about tiger moms and dragon moms and tucked between them, the more ordinary women whom I suspect are more like your mother or mine. So, who is this good mother and is the mask she wears stern and demanding, or cool and permissive? Chances are, seeking balance, she swaps them out depending on which way the trade winds blow. Motherhood does not come with an instruction manual and the primal relationship between a mother and a daughter is fraught with speed bumps as the struggle for control and rebellion play themselves out. Often language gets in the way and what one says is not what the other hears. Expectations, hers of you and you of hers, create walls that must be scaled once they are built, and small, silly things become lumbering giants intent on slaying anything or anyone that gets in their way. No mother or daughter starts the morning with the conscious intent of spoiling the other's day, though it might sometimes seem that way. Once the mother's need to protect is seen as controlling and a daughter's need for independence is seen as rebellion, it is game set and match for everyone involved and there are no winners. Forty-five years ago, Nancy Friday wrote "My Mother/My Self", a book that explored the unique interaction between mother and daughter and the real need for daughters to create identities separate from their mother's. However, she also emphasized that a mother's greatest gift to her child is an early unquestioning love so firmly rooted that nothing can cause it to be lost. That is the basis on which trust and the strength of future relationships will be built. From my perspective, I wish we could hear more about the mothers and daughters who have bridged the divide and become friends once the angst of those early years fades away. And because I am me, and some miracle of fate has left my daughters and me on level ground, I go looking for "proof", for stories if you will, that show those still engaged in the battle that the war can be won. I rarely ask you to give me five minutes of your time, but I am going to ask that of you today. Please, mothers and daughters alike, listen to Deb Cooperman read "Walking Through the Mist."

Just a reminder. I'm making a few small changes to my blog. I am going to use Wednesday's post to feature things that have caught my attention and that I want to share with you. Sometimes it will be a story, another time it may be an observation or a link to another blog that has a special recipe or has something really interesting to report. I'll also be sharing utensils or appliances that make work in the kitchen easier or the finished result prettier to look at. The important thing for you to know is that whatever appears here on a Wednesday will not be a sponsored post, and if I'm sharing a book or a product it is because I want to, not because I'm being paid to do so.

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                 Asian Shrimp Omelet                                                 Oatmeal Refrigerator Cookies

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                        Sticky Buns                                                    Blueberry and Almond Coffee Cake


Manu said...

Beautiful picture and great quote!
Thanks for sharing

Katherine "suesue" Bollinger said...

Very moving tribute. I have two daughters, both are so different from me and each other. They both have children but also work full time outside the home. I always felt fortunate that I could stay home and raise my kids. I don't think they would ever choose that even if they could afford to do so. I am also one of six daughters (plus four boys). I was very much like my mom in so many ways and still miss her every day. We did have those teen age battles like most, but I remember a couple of my sisters having all out war sometimes. The most important thing is that we do raise our children to think for themselves. Then the hardest thing is to let them! Thank you for sharing and giving me this chance to share also.


Beth said...

I am 59 and my only daughter is 29. For all those mother-daughter duos that are struggling now, yes, there can be a end to it. It takes both of you to decide that you no longer have to 'form impressionable minds' or 'keep you up-to-date'. You simply have to enjoy each other's company and share activities you both enjoy. For us, I think the thing that became the conduit for better understanding was becomes easy to see the other person's interpretation of both good and bad events from a distance. Memories are powerful and 'remember when' will always contain some gem of knowledge about the other that you did not have before.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Well, Miss Mary... you've got me bawling like a baby. That video was very, very touching. I am one of the lucky ones with my daughter... she is also one of my dearest friends. The many miles between us do not diminish our love... though it does limit our times together... and that makes my heart sad sometimes. My relationship with my own mom... well, it is a little more difficult. As you have said, the mother/daughter connection covers a broad spectrum. Thank you for sharing this moving post, Mary. It reminds me how lucky I am. blessings ~ tanna

Pam said...

Mary, thank you for the video. Wow! It reminded me of that journey we all must take. Saying goodbye, is not easy. Living well isn't easy, either, but it IS worth it. I just talked w/my daughter and told her I love her. Decided there was no reason to wait for something that important!

zooperson said...

thanks for sharing this video. I look forward to reading your blog and try many of your recipes, so whatever changes you want to make is fine with me as long as there is something in the que from you.

Deb Cooperman said...

Hi Mary - A friend just emailed me that she'd come across my reading on your website; I was SO touched that you were moved by it, and that you shared it with your readers. Made my day.

(now i'm going to go wander about your siet and check out some recipes; i love cooking too, and am always in the market for one [or two] perfect bite[s]).

All the best, Deb

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