Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Walk the Line: The Mother - Daughter Relationship

Monday, 11 June 2018

Walk the Line: The Mother - Daughter Relationship

This weekend I have been on a mini break and by mini break I mean that I have been bed ridden with a nasty bout of tonsillitis. Thankfully, this illness fell on the same weekend that I was due to run the Great Run Women's 10k with my mother to raise money for the fantastic Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity. So whilst I was very disappointed not to be able to fulfil my promise to the charity and my mother (who ran it anyway) it did mean that I was back at the homestead with a husband geared up for the role of childcare allowing me to retreat back into the role of the child and wallow in my ill health without fretting about which child was going to maim the other.

As I emerged from the confines of my bedroom 24 hours later (with the offspring safely ensconced in a city 40 miles away) and lolloped from couch to kitchen where my preferred drinks were found chilling and the ice cream was freezing, ready to ease the searing pain in my throat at a moment's notice, I started thinking about my relationship with my mother. 

Hold on to your hats people.

I was always a good child almost to the extent of, quite frankly, being a little dull. I habitually towed the line and would be racked with guilt if I ever strayed from the desired behaviour. I was convinced that the world is a karmically balanced place and that any questionable act on my part would lead to a punishment elsewhere. So I did the right thing. All the time. My best friend once told me that were we planning an activity that would test our responsibility as a group the first question out of her mother's mouth would be "is [Mother Almost Never Knows Best] going?" and if my friend hoped for an answer in the affirmative she would always say yes. The truth is, that the plan wasn't always to do the right thing (I mean we were teenagers) and there were many times where I would cry off and even ask my mother to lie and say I was grounded (having never actually been grounded in my life) just so that I could avoid doing the wrong thing as it would fill me with dread and a terrible stomach ache. 

My inability to bend the rules (never mind break them) meant that my mother eventually took things into her own hands and demanded my elder brothers take me out on a night out, a somewhat surprising turn of events as she, herself, was no rebel and the venue they were attending was not one for the under age and would most definitely be selling the old "dancing juice".

The point is, that we had no beef. We never went through "those difficult teenage years" when doors are slammed, secrets are kept and cruel words are uttered in the heat of the moment. If anything, I think my mother worried that I was trying to be too perfect, and setting myself a standard that I could never live up to thereby needlessly setting myself up for a failure with which I could never cope. 

When I look at my daughter and think about the loggerheads we get into, despite her only being 4, I am torn between thinking "will we ever be friends" and "oh I like your spirit". In some ways I love that she and I are totally different and I pray that she will push the boundaries (within reason), confident in the knowledge that she is good and kind and will never go too far wrong. It's just that I really love my mum and we are almost carbon copies of one another. She is the one on speed dial (if I knew how to program my phone) for any moans, pointless chats or good news; she is the one who my husband asks about when he comes in the door after a day at work (knowing that we will have spoken at least once since he left the house that morning) and she is the one who understands my parenting highs, lows and mediocrities. 

Thank goodness they get along

I want to have the same relationship with my daughter but worry that we aren't the same people. Then, I tell myself off as you can't birth your friends it's just that my mum and I got really lucky. It's just that I want her to be able to phone me up when something goes horribly wrong, I want her to ask me to help her plan her wedding knowing that I'll get it right for her, I want her to be able to talk to me about boys (the good and the bad) and contraception and her relationships. 

Basically when I grow up, I want to be my mum.

Like mother, like daughter

For those friends who read this and were lied to in the past, please forgive me?

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