Can we please stop romanticising mother-daughter relationships; Lorelai and Rory, I am looking at you. I’m sorry, but the conflict between a mother and daughter is not dealt with within a fifty-minute timeframe, orchestrated by a Snow Patrol banger, where everything’s tied up in a neat bow and they’re skipping into genetic sunset together. It’s false advertising and giving women an impossible goal to achieve; that mothers and daughters have to be best friends and be carbon copies of each other.
When that isn’t the truth. There will inevitably be conflict within this relationship, especially around the teenage years. There will be many soap opera moments where you’re screaming in the street, threatening to run away. All because she won’t let you do something you’re going to forget about next week.
Not only that, I would argue a significant factor in the conflict in this relationship is down to the experience of being a woman in society. No matter how your relationship with your mother operates as a woman, she knows first-hand the experiences that are by-products of just being a female in society. She knows and recognises how dangerous the world is; so, she prepares you as an act of protection. Which, through a daughter’s naivete, can be viewed as restrictive and frustrating. You chuck raging hormones into the mix, and it’s a bloodbath.
Personally, my mum and I have always been close, probably down to the fact we are pretty similar in our makeups and how we handle situations. However, if you told teenage Lucie that, I don’t think she would take that too kindly. Since going to university where there is a geographical distance between us, I’d like to think I have gained a bit more self-awareness, and I’m slowly melting that self-imposed chip on my shoulder. I’m in a position now to actually see my mother for the person she is, not just the occupation of my mum. This sounds bizarre and a bit narcissistic on my part, but it’s true. Quite ignorantly, I never saw how strong my mother was when, in actual fact, she is the glue that holds our family together, and I hope she knows that.
I guess I never truly realised how much my mother impacted me. I know I picked up her mannerisms, always talking with her hands, giving you the complete re-telling of a story like you were there when it happened. I learned all her old wifey tricks for kicking a cold overnight (Vapo rub on your feet when you’re going to bed – trust me, it’s a game-changer). She is the epitome of a caretaker, my maw, and I hope to have these qualities.
However, the most valuable lesson she ever taught me was one she never spoke about. Still, she led by example. Strength in vulnerability. My character has always been big and brash with a major ‘let’s dismantle the patriarchy’ attitude. Therefore, I subconsciously fight with direct actions, so I would view that phrase as an oxymoron; because I never truly understood it. I believed that for me to achieve the goals a set out for myself, I had to toughen up and create a hard exterior for me to be taken seriously. I would have to view my own feelings as secondary from fear of not being respected if I gave into them. Which inevitably takes a toll on your mental health.
In comparison, my mum wears her heart permanently on her sleeve but its sewn into her armour. Knowing how similar we are, I know sharing our emotions and feelings is a difficult thing for us to do, but my mum does it beautifully . She says what’s on her mind, she will cry, and she will laugh, and it will be the truth. She opens herself up to you like she opens her home, and that is the bravest thing I’ve ever seen. Something I thought was a weakness is a strength because you can see it on her face; she is authentically herself – which quite possibly could be the most terrifying thing to do. As a woman in particular, portraying our emotions have so many negative connotations aligned with it. Well, my mother throws her middle finger at all those stereotyping because she is the strongest woman I know.
So, to make it clear, if you were to compare me to my mum now, it would be the highest praise I would ever wish to achieve. Happy Mother’s Day.
Featured Image Credit : Teen Vogue