The mother-daughter relationship is so strange. At least mine is with my mom. I love her to death and I feel so incredibly close to her. We talk on the phone at least once a day (usually more). Yet, I can’t stand her a few minutes into our conversations. The repetition that occurs in almost every conversation makes me feel frustrated and when she gets emotionally charged, man, I just lose it. Out of nowhere, my calm and collected self becomes this crazy ball of outrage. All of a sudden, I feel like I’m 15 years old again and the door slams in my face. I’m left staring at it while listening to my mother’s heavy footsteps stomp down the hallway. It’s the most complex relationship I’ve ever had.

I was a rebellious and impulsive teenager that always seemed to skirt the line of trouble. Occasionally I would get into bad situations but I was never a bad kid. I did make a lot of terrible choices and I know I’m the reason my parents grew all those grey hairs. My mom and I did not get along when I was a teenager. I couldn’t stand to be around her and if we were in the same room for more than a few minutes a screaming match would begin. It would end with yelling, slammed doors, and ultimately running away to a friend’s house.

Now that I’m 28 years old, things have changed. I’m the farthest from impulsive and while I’ll always have a rebellious, stick-it-to-the-man side of me, I’ve become a marketing Jackie Kasian article-bodyprofessional and I plan events months in advance. I think about consequences and I am not prone to getting into trouble. Sure, I’ll make an illegal u-turn here and there but that’s as far as I go in terms of law breaking nowadays. I’ve outgrown my teenage angst and rebellious ways, but my mom still has this idea of me and it hasn’t changed over the years. It makes me sad that she still thinks of me as a teenager; I’m hoping that will change soon.

My husband and I are moving in with my parents. We have an eight-month-old son and we’re a bit scared about how this will change our relationship. The above scenario happened a couple weeks ago when we visited my parents. After moving furniture around to prepare for the move-in date we had a nice dinner. Then my mom and I started talking. After she suggested something five times, I had trouble staying calm and I got a little harsh with her. She wants the best for my family and me, but sometimes I know what’s best for my family and me. Our opinions don’t always agree and that’s usually where we run into problems.

With our moving day right around the corner, I’ve been trying to understand our complex relationship a bit more. I’m hoping that by understanding my relationship with my mother, we will be able to get along better than we did when I was a teenager. I believe the first breakthrough will be when we realize that we are separate from each other. Although we have a strong bond, we are very different people. We both want to make each other happy and we both feel hurt when we can’t do that. It’s an issue when we don’t agree on something. I am hurt that my decision doesn’t make her happy. I just want her to be proud and support my choices. Meanwhile, she is hurt because she feels her opinions aren’t valued. She wants to protect me from getting hurt and feels only her method would keep me safe.

When I became a mother I realized what a mothers love means. This strong and unbreakable bond that a mother shares with her child can’t be described and you can’t understand it until you become a mother yourself. I get it now, but I’m not sure it will make living together any easier. My biggest fear is that I will regress back to my 15 year-old self. I hope you’ll join me on my quest to understand the most complex relationship I can imagine – mother and daughter.

 

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