wisdomfromthesisterhood

The Sisterhood is a place to bring your cup of coffee to. Heck, bring the whole pot :). Sit down, relax, and fall in for a while. No divas or meanies allowed. It's about boy brain, kiddos, food, one crazy labrador, autism and a cat in recovery from a back tire incident. Oh the places you'll go :)

The Secret That Moms Keep

Over the years, things jump out at you.

At inopportune times when you are not expecting it, you hear things, you learn things, you see things.  Sometimes the lessons warm you, teach you, and make you a better person but, there are the other times, when the lesson shows you who you don’t want to be.  These are the lessons that chill you.  After parenting for fifteen years, short by some standards and long by others, there are things you become aware of.  This is one of those sad secrets that has surprised me and it is one I have not been pleased to learn.  It did not better me.  If it did anything, it broke my heart and saddened me for the young girls who have to endure it.

It’s no secret that mothers and daughters fight.   I know you know that.  I know this is not rocket science but there is a secret that lives within the fight.  The part that has shocked me is finding out why mothers and daughters fight.  I don’t believe for a minute that the fighting is inevitable.  I have my two boy brains in my life but I also have my girl and she is my oldest.  This girl also happens to be experiencing the dreaded fifteenth year so, as life goes, we should be smack dab in the thick of the mucky stuff.  We should be mired down in the muck, slinging screams and shoveling insults.  Shouldn’t we?  That is what is supposed to happen, right?

But the thing is, it’s not happening.  She is lovely, she wows me and I am in awe of who she is.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still the bad guy.   And, doubly so as the single parent, I am generally the bad guy 24/7 and I do not shirk away from it.  I will bring down the hammer, I will make the rules and when kiddos begin to imagine themselves living lives as domineering kings and queens, I bring them back to the reality of where they really live.

The secret that moms keep, the one that makes me sad, is that moms fight with their daughters out of resentment and jealousy.  I never knew moms could resent their girls but there are those that do.  Not every mom is this way.  I have some amazing friends who are excellent moms and step clear out of their way to let their girls shine.  I will be very up front and say  the mean moms don’t make it into my permanent circle.  That is not a value I welcome but, for one reason or another, they have been temporary women in my life and they have demonstrated how they actually compete with their daughters, resent their girls.  I see mothers who sabotage their daughters and try to keep them frail and dependent because it helps mom to feel more important.  I see moms who keep their daughters in their own shadows because they cannot let go and give the spotlight over to their girl.  At first I thought I was just imagining things and that what I was seeing was isolated but after the four states that I have lived in with my girl across this country, I have come to the conclusion that I am not imagining this at all.  And, these moms who parent so selfishly, don’t do this to their boys!  Sadly, it’s just a girl thing.

My daughter is already at least three times (maybe ten..just sayin’) the girl I was at her age and that thrills me.  She is smarter than I was (she thinks algebra is fun, I think it is white noise), she is more organized than I ever was and she has a beauty that is so natural…well…I only wish I was as comfortable in my own skin back in high school as she is now.  I would not for one second make her feel bad about her goodness, her achievements and the success on her horizon because I am so proud of her and I want her to shine. I will, however, covet her hair…all the golden corkscrew locks that I adore.  I have, in no uncertain terms, promised her that if they come up with a way to cut her curls off and paste them onto my head, I will do it.  Her hair is brilliant and I still have no idea where it came from.  I tell her almost daily how pretty she is..not because I am trying to stroke her ego but because when I am driving and I look over at her…I am dumbfounded that she is my girl.  She simply wows me and I have to tell her.

Part of being a good mom is building your children up, giving them a strong foundation and strengthening their confidence so that life, when they venture out alone, won’t tear them right back down.  And yet, on a daily basis, I see women who passive-aggressively pick fights with their daughters, insult their girls, keep their daughters in their own shadows and, truly, try to cultivate self doubt and dependence in their girl.  I don’t know exactly why they do this unless they are desperately trying to keep their daughters from eclipsing their own “once upon a time” glory days.  Perhaps it is a way for insecure moms or moms scared of aging to keep their own ego inflated and their position of dominance intact.

I just know I don’t want any part of it.

Our job as moms is to help our girls live lives that will turn out to be better than our own and help them to not repeat our own disasters.  Our job is to amass everything we have learned, the wisdom we have garnered from this life, and to use it to help counsel and guide our girls into choices that are better than the ones we made.  As Maya Angelou says, when we know better, we do better, and those are some strong mom-words that we should all aspire to.  I have not led a perfect life or made perfect choices and there are a few choice moments that, if offered a redo, I’d take it.  But, despite my imperfection, I have offered my girl the lessons from the traumas and dramas that have rolled through my life.

The moment we start to resent our daughters because they are somehow prettier, or smarter or happier than we are or once were, is the very moment we stop being mothers and we deteriorate into divas that care more for ourselves than the children we lovingly brought into this world.  I may never be as great as my girl is but I sure won’t let myself deteriorate into a diva.  I will be the one standing right behind her, in her shadow, making sure she turns into the woman she is meant to one day be…filled with confidence in her own ability and her value in this life.


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