To My Daughter, the Mother

Dear Daughter,

These are interesting times.

Remember who you are: as a person and as a mother.  Having been tried and tested  you come up on the plus side.

It’s so difficult to hold on to yourself when your children are adolescents.  It can become, at times, like any dysfunctional relationship in which you dodge and dart in the dance to please, to stay in contact, and to stay whole.  It would be lovely if we could take this on when we are young, arrogant and sure of ourselves.  But instead, it usually comes at a time that we are questioning  who we are; what we are doing with our lives; and where we are going.

It is also a time in your daughter’s life when she is compelled by nature to break away from you.  It can seem that the closer you are, the harder the break.  If she doesn’t begin this process she will be stunted in her path toward adulthood.  You don’t need to tolerate disrespect.  But, even if she isn’t cruel and hurtful, the path is painful for both of you.  Nature doesn’t demand that you separate yourself from her, but life teaches you that you must.  There is nothing in our society that applauds the woman who begins separating from her daughter in a simultaneous partition of lives.  Instead, your daughter’s separation comes at a time that she needs the watchful and loving eyes of nurturing parents.  She needs comfort and support even as she holds herself away from you.  She seems attached by a rubber band on which she pulls away and then snaps back when you are least expecting it.  You must and you want to be ready for the moments of closeness and communication.  But instead of those binding her closer to you – they teach her to live without you.

None of her struggle helps you in your own.  There is no smooth glide away from mothering your children.  You will be a resource to her many times when she doesn’t believe it or acknowledge it.  You will yearn for her when she is least aware of you.  Taking back your own life  will be a much longer journey than hers away from you.

Remember that you are a wonderful mother.  You are thoughtful and sensitive to the needs of your children.   Keep your intention true.  Don’t judge yourself by her words.  In fact, try not to judge yourself.  Be yourself with her.  She needs that and so do you.

I love you.


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