How to Create a Reality for Your Daughter That You Never Had
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a daughter is if I haven’t healed my past, I CANNOT mother my daughter with the presence that I want. I was still triggered, disappointed, rejected, hurt by my mother’s (innocent) behavior and she had no idea. Conversations needed to happen in order for my mother and I to heal together. It wasn’t enough for me to work on myself and change my approach, in order to feel grounded in myself and trust my knowing for my daughter, I needed to understand my past.
Our daughters need us in order to find themselves. They crave a strong mother who embraces her story, her mother and grandmother’s story and has a clear vision for the future. They want a strong woman they can hang onto and if it’s not us, it will be a therapist, teacher, coach, friends or boyfriends that will take that place. And I am here to tell you that she needs YOU. Beautifully perfectly imperfect, YOU.
Our daughters needs to be in conversation with us and grounded by our bond to learn how to be a female navigating this world. They need our permission to reject cultural messages of her appearance being more valued than her intellect, voice and self. They needs us to show her that we need to love ourselves first.
Daughters reject well intentioned mothers who aren’t living their best life. They want more for their mothers — they want them to slow down, take care of themselves and ask for what they need. Because their mother is a mirror for their future life, they want more for themselves. These are my Rebel Daughters. They are pushing back against the status quo in favor of a life they love and feel fulfilled by. They have sounded the alarm to get their mother to see she is needed. Guidance, connection and attention are needed. But daughters are often dismissed as difficult and challenging because they don’t fit the “nice girl” mold. They are banished to the therapists office, outpatient or inpatient programs and labeled the problem child.
In my previous therapy practice for teen girls I saw this over and over; well-intentioned mothers sending fragile daughters into my office to get “sorted” while they were banished to the waiting room. What these mothers and daughters really needed was for someone to guide them through these years, listen to what they really wanted from each other and teach them how to protect their relationship, not for a therapist to diagnose and listen to teenage dilemmas week in and week out.
They craved to be on the same team but no one was putting a voice to it. Instead mothers asked for daughters who would listen = fit in and around other’s expectations of them. Daughters asked for mothers who would let them go out and experience the world while “getting off their back”. But what they both wouldn’t say is I need her, I miss her and I want that closeness back. Why didn’t they voice it? Because they listened to culture’s messages about how teenagers are supposed to separate from their overbearing parents in order to be successful adults. But this perspective eliminates the relationship altogether.
Here’s the truth. Mothers don’t know how to guide, connect and attend without placing pressure and expectations on their girls, because that is all they know themselves. It doesn’t matter the generation of mothers I sit with, they have always felt the pressure to sacrifice themselves for the good of everyone else. And then they carry the guilt that that still wasn’t enough. Today we are witnessing mothers finally finding their voice, often after becoming a mother and reaching rock bottom. This is my story and it may be yours too.
Together we are changing the narrative for mothers and daughters. I am a woman on a mission to show mothers how to lift their daughters up and meet her needs without sacrificing her own. I teach mothers to listen to their intuition, stop apologizing, love their daughter fiercely and release their own mother-daughter relationship pain in order to change the future for daughters in her family.
This is where love grows. Girls grow up knowing they are lovable, important and encouraged to go after their dreams because they’ve watched their mothers accept, love and nurture themselves as well. This is the world I dream of for mothers and daughters.