It’s lucky our mothers love us no matter whether we’re smartass teens or touchy new moms.
‘But Mo-om, you don’t understand! It’s not the Dark Ages anymore, things have changed!’
‘What do you think I am, an idiot? I know what I’m doing!’
‘It’s none of your business, butt out.’
‘Back off Mom and stop interfering.’
Sound familiar? Of course it does! It could be your smartass teen who thinks she knows it all and rejects all your attempts at help or guidance. When you CLEARLY
know better. She’d save herself a lot of grief if she just listened right? Indeed.
We were pigheaded teens too, remember. Cringe a little, while you remember slammed doors and grisly Nobody Understands Me poetry scrawled in maths books.
Ugly, not so?
eventually grow up. A truce is declared. Mothers and daughters miraculously begin to see each other’s point of view. They learn to get along and might even find themselves becoming friends. There may be a brief, blissful period of coffee mornings and spa days.Daughter becomes mom
Then daughter has a child. You’d think that this would give mother and daughter even more common ground, bring them closer, all that good stuff. Often, it does work that way. Mother revels in sharing the wisdom garnered during years in the messy mothering trenches. Daughter delights in having somebody close who gets just how prodigiously awesome her new baby is and – BONUS – knows the difference between green and yellow poop
Regrettably, some of us deliver a new, trollish version of ourselves at the same time as our precious babies – the Momzilla. Short-tempered, defensive, guilt-ridden in ways that make no sense and overflowing with more demented hormones than a fair-sized Justin Bieber audience. Not the most rational or friendly of combinations. And new Grandma seems to get it in the neck more often than most.
Convinced that she’s the first woman ever to give birth, Momzilla doesn’t want, need or hear advice. She hears criticism though, in every word out of Grandma’s mouth, even when it’s not there.
When Grandma musters the nerve to offer a quiet, tentative opinion on anything more controversial than the weather, Momzilla hears: ’YOU SUCK, BAD MOTHER!’
Momzilla thinks Grandma is interfering, she doesn’t get it, she won’t give me space, why does she insist on knitting those fecking matinee jackets? Etcetera.
In short, Ol’ Smartass is back. Capable, informed 21st century mother regresses back to prickly 14-year- old, determined to learn the hard way.
Grandma despairs. Surely, not again? Didn’t we just get over this? It takes a special kind of patience to survive this stage and not morph into domineering Granny-zillas
themselves. It’s a precarious tightrope, somehow finding the balance between support and perceived interference, complicated by a daughter who hears something completely different than what you said.
But they do it, as they’ve done it for every new and bewildering stage in our lives. Because they love us, their difficult daughters, even when we’re so obnoxious nobody else possibly could.
And mostly because they know the wheel turns, dearies. We’ll get our turn too. Twice. *Evil cackle*.
Which phases of the mother-daughter relationship are the trickiest?