In honor of Mothers Day I wanted to do a post about mothers and daughters and my experience. Mothers Day is always a hard day for me as I’ve mentioned before that I lost my mom to brain cancer in 2006. It’s always just a bitter reminder of what I don’t have anymore but I also try to use it as a day to remember my mom and think fondly of the times I DID have with her. Mostly I try to do things that I know my mom would enjoy doing if she was still alive…like listen to Jimmy Buffet all day long or go to get a big breakfast at the diner she loved.
All this being said, exploring the mother/daughter relationship (in literature, movies and life in general) is something of interest to me. The relationship is one that is just so complex and fragile and yet can be such a beautiful thing. My parents got divorced when I was younger and we lived with my mother primarily. We got along well when I was young. She was strict but I knew how hard she worked to give my sister and I what we needed. And then somewhere when I got in middle school, my mother and I could not even be in the same room without fighting and it just escalated in high school. The fights, the mean words, the need to be right…it was definitely on both sides. It was like both of us were replaced with some evil alter ego of ourselves. When she got sick (at the end of my senior year), there was a lot of pain and anger that made the fighting even worse but when she got really sick it all just really ended.
I feel sad that I’ll never get to see the relationship that my adult self could have had with my mom. Those relationships are just as complex I’m sure…have their own difficulties and troubles. I saw it in my mom’s relationship with her mom. But I just have to believe that it would have brought some really wonderful things too. I think of all the things I’ll miss out on not having my mom with me…my wedding, being pregnant, etc. etc. I feel like I’m missing out on the chance for my mom to be my best friend because that just wasn’t in the cards for us during my teenage years. I always secretly hoped we could have a mother/daughter relationship similar to Rory and Lorelei from Gilmore Girls..just more grown up.
I think this is why I’m so intrigued with books dealing with mothers and daughters and the intricacies of the relationship. In YA lit, I love seeing the mistakes I’ve made and the chance for a character to have a second chance with their mom. I see so much of my relationship with my mom and my past feelings within the pages of these books. I have a soft spot in my heart for books dealing with daughters who have lost their mother because I KNOW how hard it is to lose a mother at such a young age and how it really affects the path you take into adulthood. Reliving the pain and the grief is hard but I just find myself really drawn to these types of books. I can relate. I also love reading adult lit and seeing some of the mother and daughter relationships that have been worked out in adulthood or that take on a new layer of complexities. I am curious to see what experiences I’ve missed out on and I often wonder how my mother and I would have been later on in life. I just find myself so interested in this relationship. I guess it helps me to not forget the relationship I once had because sometimes I find it really hard to remember what it was like to celebrate Mother’s Day with a living and breathing mom and not just a picture show of memories.
Tell me about your relationship with your mom! Did you get along as a teenager or were you constantly bickering? If you are an adult, did your relationship change? Do you think the majority of literature, tv and movies accurately represent the complex relationships between mothers and daughters? What are some of your favorite mother/daughter relationships in literature/movie/tvs?
Here are some books to check out relating to mothers & daughters ( I’ve read most of these but the ones I haven’t are on my TBR list and have been highly recommended by friends). Feel free to give me any recs that you have as I’m always interested in reading more books about mother and daughter relationships.