Every now and then I see the relationship some girls have with their mothers and wish I could have that for myself. But then I remember two things.

  1. I can create that relationship, it’s never too late.
  2. I benefit differently from the type of relationship I have with my mother. Not everything is going to be perfect.

From what I know about my mother is that she has had a complicated life. Of my 22 years alive she has only recently opened up about what her relationship was like with her mother. From which I gathered there wasn’t really a mother daughter relationship until she reached her 20’s. At the age where it is crucial to have a strong black female presence in your life, she lived with her dad and a step-mom. The neglect, verbal abuse and controlled aspect of her life, only lead her to grasp her freedom early. In the process of figuring it all out, she birthed me at 20.

In my case having had the physical presence of my mother and emotional from my father, despite them being separated early in my childhood. I more or less had enough guidance and encouragement to do the right thing for me. Like many of my friends, our parents have provided a bed for us to lie in. Only to find out it came with a expiration date, once we reached a certain age. With that I had to adjust to a lot of changes in the roles played in my home, as the eldest. Watching my mothers marriage fall apart, I found myself becoming the second parent at home as I was relied upon more than the norm. Although my mom wanted to protect me from the kind of young adulthood she experienced, I don’t think she could have predicted how the rest of her life would turn out, and the struggles she would continue to face. To protect me from the verbal abuse she internalised and inability to really bond with me her first daughter.

Although she tried to prevent things from going the way they did for her, I see that we seem to have more in common than she may want to admit sometimes. Our mother daughter relationship isn’t as strong as the one I have with my dad. It got rocky when I started forming my own opinions and seeing shit hit the fan all the time. Does she know we’ve had the same experience?

My frustration lies in the fact that the line is constantly crossed. My level of freedom to explore and enjoy my own life (at my big age), is limited because I’m being relied upon like a co-parent. Cardi B said no press and honestly the double entendre trandcends the celeb world… why am I being pressed on. Should there be a limit?

Mother daughter relationships aren’t all rosey. It should be the norm for young girls to be able go to their mother for advice and guidance when it comes to boys, dating, sex and even clothes hair and makeup. Working in retail I’ve seen enough girls in fitting rooms with their mothers discussing and choosing clothes together for a night out. Not to compare, but I cannot imagine myself doing that. Me and mines have a type of relationship we’re we just compliment each other’s pieces, like fellow acquaintances. I have not once been able to talk to my mother about boys, sex or dating except hearing “all men want one thing”, “African men are trash”, “I rather you date a white man”. Which quite frankly isn’t responsible dating advice, especially with what I’ve had to put up with in my home, and the dating choices she has made. Mother daughter relationships are banter. As I’ve gotten older, I’m hearing “if you’re doing anything tell me” and “as long as you’re happy, i’m happy”, “who’s that you’re talking to, if he isn’t trying to marry you hang up”. A huge step from me pretending I don’t know what dating and sex is.

Mother daughter relationships aren’t all rosey. Since me my mother has given birth to boys only. All my childhood I only have memories of aunties pullling my edges left and right. My hair relaxed here and my mom touching my scalp less and and less. Until I decided to take care of my own hair. My natural hair journey has blossomed. Blossomed to the point, my mother recently decided to stop relaxing her own hair and looks online for natural hair treatments and to other young girls for advice… after cussing me about my expenses and how my much I spend on hair and beauty products. Mother daughter relationships are banter. 2 weeks ago my mom knocked on my door to ask me, if I knew what Shea Moisture was and why I never told her about how good it was?

Mother daughter relationships aren’t all rosey. I graduated a year ago, i’m still looking to make it as a writer, whilst maintaining a retail job that funds me in the mean time. I don’t know that my mother gave up any dreams while she had me except, I know that cooking was her passion. I cannot explain to you the amount of times I’ve been told what I’m doing is rubbish, if i’m not able to earn money and save it for a rainy day. Our opinions clash because, to me that is not what life is all about. Mother daughter relationships are banter. 3 weeks ago my mom belled my line to inform me about BBC Radio internships available, through a friend that knows a friend.

Is me getting used to my moms mean words part of my character development?

Are mothers teaching’s suffocating our personal experience and growth? My mother claims to want the best for me. It’s most often hard to see that past the verbal I get every now and then. Her advising is aggressive yet effective, you hate to see it, but it makes sense in the end. We all know mothers are talking from a place of experience, but actual communication is wear it’s at. Everyone has seen the clip of Tokyo Toni yellling at Blac Chyna because she repossessed the car she bought for her… we can all agree that ain’t it.

Should we be held responsible for, the decision our parents made when they had us during their young adulthood? If in your young adulthood you chose to have a child (that did not choose to be here), why would you blame them for the fact that you had to raise them. There is something about some mothers mentality that will never sit well with me. Children having to give back to their parents after raising them. And I don’t mean giving back in the normal way, but the resentment some mothers feel, you can see this where every disagreement between child and mother leads to “I carried you for 9 months”, “where was your father when I was raising you by myself”? My thought is ma maybe you’re toxic? Also Parents. If you chose to marry a bum and continue to have children with said bum, despite a gut feeling the marriage wasn’t going to work.. Why are your eldest sons and daughters being held responsible, for pulling the weight of a parent who chose to no longer be there.

Home is supposed to be your safe space why do I feel threatened? For the duration of my mother’s toxic relationship which was her first marriage, I had to step in 8/10 times to help my mom raise her children, which unfortunately for me, she has relied upon my presence ever since. To this day overstepping the boundaries of how much freedom I truly have. My home no longer feels like a place I can express myself in or be free to rest. I’m always on edge, pulling my weight and fulfilling the role of a second parent in the home. Me wanting space and time to myself is completely disregard, because “I’m only 22 and have no children therefore my fatigue and stress isn’t equal”… and if I think it so, I must find my own place. Mothers say the maddest thing when they’re going through it.

As traumatising as it was and can still be sometimes I have benefited differently from my mother daughter relationship. Today I know that I must communicate with my child, not interrogate or continuously grill them for the sake of taking out my anger on anything in the way. As an African yute and generational curse breaker, I know that I must try my best to build a solid foundation and build a home for my children to feel safe in. My growing up period of life, and the lessons my mother have taught me will come together in order to not fail them. Home is going to be a safe space where my yute shouldn’t feel a threat for being themselves in the enivronment that should be their own.

Not everything is going to be perfect, and I will never be able to create the perfect life before I embark on my own mother daughter relationship journey, because I have also internalised my mother’s toxic traits and verbal abusive behaviour. Which in turn has rubbished my communication skills, where I avoid talking about hurtful situations completely. But I can try to do 10x better with all the life/ survival skills I’ve been taught by my mother. Use all the emotional comfort I gained from my father to channel all the built up love, affection and guidance into my mother & daughter relationship.

UAL BA Journalism Grad: carlaaureliem@gmail.com

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