Breaking the Cycle: A Word about Mothers and their Daughters

There’s a history of poor mother-daughter relationships in my family. My mother and my grandmother’s relationship has been strained (to say the least) for a number of years.  Poor communication, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, animosity, competition…yep, that about sums it up! When you’re a child you can’t really process these things, but now as a woman and a mother – they’re all crystal clear, and it’s a pretty sad sight.

Unfortunately a lot of those same issues have found their way into my relationship with my mom because, well, to put it plainly…she chose not to break the cycle. Instead, she passed the drama right on down to me and my sister. And now as a result, our relationships with her aren’t in tip-top shape. But that’s where the buck stops.

When I was pregnant, I felt in my heart that God was going to give me daughter. I told Him that if He did, I’d do my best to make it different. I refuse(d) to repeat the cycle of broken mother-daughter relationships with my daughter. I didn’t know how I was going to do that or what it would look like; but, I made the choice then and I try every day live that choice now.

I know that I won’t be the perfect mom to C.C.  We’ll have our own set of issues and I certainly won’t have all the answers to give her. My hope, however,  is that when I’m long gone and she reflects on my time here with her – she’ll always be able to recall that I was there. That I was physically present and emotionally available for her. That I listened…not just to her words, but her heart. That I tried with all that I had, to love her unconditionally and put her first.

To me, that’s what breaking the cycle means. Despite what type of situation, circumstance, or family you were born into, you have the choice to make your life different. It’ll take a lot of hard work, but knowing that you planted a seed and grew out a new branch of your family tree will make it all worth it. This is my hope and my prayer.

“Fathers, be good to your daughters/Daughters will love like you do/Girls become lovers who turn into mothers/So mothers, be good to your daughters too…” ~ John Mayer


Posted on June 6, 2011, in The Woman: All about me. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Get out of my head please! I was thinking about this very recently, and I can totally relate. It’s not even about trying to “one-up” your mom, but about doing the very best you can, and trying not to make the same mistakes that she made. I never want Izzy to feel the same emotional detachment that I feel. You will not be alone in this journey, I’m sure that sooo many women can relate!

    • You hit the nail on the head, Christina. It definitely is not trying to “one-up” your mom…but seeking to do things differently. It’s that simple. Thank you for your encouraging words!

  2. love this. my mother and i have a pretty good relationship, but i still want my daughter and i to have an even better mother-daughter relationship. i hope and pray for it all the time, and will do so for you, too. 🙂

    • Thank you, Lauren! I appreciate your prayers and will do the same for you! It’s not easy being a parent, period. We need the Lord’s guidance in all things because ultimately, our children belong to Him.

  3. As your Milly I’ve watched you with your precious daughter and I see the love, i hear the love in your voice, and one day you’ll see that you have rested in your love for Natalie Sanei. It’s evident to me that you have already broken & started the rewrite so every day you’ll wake up knowing that you are succeeding! Granny & I will be there to help if you ever need, for we want only the best for you, Natalie and her Daddy.
    Much Love Always

  4. I think that by making it a choice to break the cycle, you’re doing the right thing. That’s the first start because, let’s be for real, old habits die hard. They really do. But when you make a conscious effort to break the habit, that’s the first step. And that you’ve done. Good for you.

    • You are so right! Old habits do die hard and it takes so much work to break them. All we can do is try to make changes for the better and trust God for the rest. I salute you for having the done the same with and for Little Aiden.

  5. That’s lovely. I’m glad you made this choice for your life with your child!

  6. I don’t know where to start but I feel you. Unfortunately my mother has passed away but the relationship left alot to be desired. She lived with us and for lack of better words she made my life so difficult. I was so unhappy. I learned eventually to understand it wasn’t me and that she was unhappy and that I shouldn’t let her issues affect me. When I learned to ignore her antics our relationship improved. I am the controller of what I accept and let bother me.

    When she died I felt proud that I tried to mend our relationship. But to be honest, since she has passed my life has been so much simpler. I said that to say. Do what you can, because when she is gone you will want no regrets. I have none. I gave it all I had.

    Great Post!

    • Absolutely, Mimi! I agree 100%. We cannot change the behaviors of others but we can most definitely control how we respond and the things that we say. It’s never easy (I would imagine) to lose a parent, so I’m proud of you for giving it all you could while your mother was here. I’m doing my best to do the same.

  7. Here from #commenthour and adding you to my reader because I want to read all of these posts!

  8. Very brave and honest post. I give you a lot of credit for Breaking the Cycle. I am very blessed to have a great relationship with my mom. I cannot imagine it being any different and it sounds like you are laying the ground work to have a great relationship with your daughter.

  9. Oh, forgot to mention I am stopping by from #commenthour 🙂

  10. Beautiful! Here’s to breaking vicious cycles.

    P.S. Love the nickname C.C.(chocolate chip)!

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