I remember being with a friend who had become a new grandmother. This friend had four children, raised them all well, and was so happy and proud to be a new grandmother. The funny thing to me was that, even though it was clear that my friend knew a thing or two about raising children, her daughter had no intention of listening to anything she had to say about child rearing! If Grandma said make the diaper tight, daughter would make it loose; if Grandma said no meat before six months old, daughter wanted to see if baby wanted prime rib at three months (exaggerating, of course). It is just so strange that we can love our mothers and yet want to defy them at any chance we have.
We little girls, from a year old to the point when our mothers themselves are elderly (and probably well beyond that, since they themselves become like obstinate little girls as they get older), have always found ways to defy and annoy our mothers. Daddy is always the hero and Mommy the devil because she has to enforce the law, especially when Daddy is not around.
In addition, even the tiniest little girl knows that Mommy is the competition. Poor little girls: here is this wonderful woman who takes care of us and who we want to be exactly like, and yet we have to compete with her for the affections of daddies, grandparents and siblings.
It is no wonder that girls are confused with this dichotomy. A girl wants to be like her mom (and believe me, she will be, whether she wants to or not), and yet she wants to be her own person. A father does not present this same riddle to a young girl: there is no way she will be like her father. And thus is presented the riddle of the mother/daughter love/hate relationship: how can I be this woman and be myself at the same time? The only way is to love her as I would love myself, and yet hate her because she is what I don’t want to be.
is there a solution?
In many instances, due to the simple factors of arithmetic and quite coincidentally, mothers may be going through their own very strong hormonal changes just as their daughters are becoming women. At a certain point, (and it certainly won’t happen during those teenage years), one or the other will see the alternate viewpoint. It probably won’t happen when the first grandchild’s diaper is being changed, but many diapers and lessons later.
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