For some women, the idea of having their own daughter fills them with delight. That is until it doesn’t because you think of your own relationship with your mother. Then, the delight quickly turns to dread. Maybe you don’t have an ideal relationship with your mother. Or, maybe you’re estranged completely.
Either way, it’s daunting to think about being a mom when you don’t have positive experiences to inspire and motivate you.
But you’re not fated to have a negative mother-daughter relationship. There are things you can do. And by improving yourself and cultivating nine personality traits, you can create a mother-daughter relationship both you and your daughter will love.
Work on yourself
First things first. If you want to be a great mom, you need to work on yourself. We all carry a lot of emotional baggage, old hurts, and hidden triggers. It’s easy to go through life ignoring all this, but it actually makes life a lot more difficult, too.
That’s because pain can negatively impact the relationship you have with yourself, along with everyone else.
So, in order to create any good relationship – not least of which is your mother-daughter relationship – it’s crucial that women take a loving look at themselves to see what they need to heal.
There are so many ways to work on yourself, but here are some simple ways to get started:
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping
- Self-help and self-improvement books
Look at the relationship with your mom
Another great way to work on yourself is to come to terms with the relationship you have with your own mother, especially if it’s not a very good one.
The truth is, if you have a bad relationship with your mom, it can scare you about having your own daughter.
Another problem is that you desperately don’t want to be like your mom. So, you focus on not being her, rather than on being yourself. And this can hold you back and keep you feeling hurt.
Here are some suggestions to help you come to terms with the relationship you have with your own mother.
- Journal or try morning pages
- Create loving boundaries with your mom
- Meet with a counselor or coach to help you heal old hurts and let things go
- Read The Peaceful Daughter’s Guide to Separating from a Difficult Mother, by Karen C.L. Anderson
- Read Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown
9 personality traits to help create the perfect mother-daughter relationship
So far, we’ve talked about two important steps to create the perfect mother-daughter relationship. One is to work on yourself. The second is to heal the relationship you have with your own mother.
But there are also nine important personality traits that can be life-changing for your mother-daughter relationship.
And when you compare those first two steps and these nine personality traits, it’s hard to one which one comes first. It’s like, “What comes first: the chicken or the egg?” dilemma.
You may find that when you work to heal past hurts and reconcile the relationship you have with your own mother, you may cultivate the following nine personality traits naturally.
Or, you may cultivate these traits and find that it’s a lot easier to heal emotional baggage and look at your mother with new eyes.
Either way, the following nine personality traits will benefit both you and your daughter, and help to create a bond that will last for a long time.
When you have self-confidence, there’s little room for insecurity – or a whole lot less insecurity. And this means you’ll be a lot less likely to act out of fear and engage in controlling parenting.
Self-love cannot be stressed enough. After all, it’s hard to love someone when you don’t fully love yourself. And when you love yourself, you also don’t depend on others – especially your daughter – to please you and make you feel good about yourself.
When you make mistakes or fail to meet your own expectations or those of others, you can be really hard on yourself and engage in lots of negative self-talk – your inner mean girl, so to speak.
And you can project this lack of self-acceptance onto your daughter, too, if you’re not careful.
When she messes up, it can feel like your entire universe comes crashing down. But it doesn’t have to, and having self-acceptance for yourself can help you accept your daughter for who she is, too.
As a mother, you probably feel it’s your job to teach your daughter what she needs to know. But the truth is, some of the most important lessons are unspoken. And if you neglect self-care, your daughter will quietly learn that self-care isn’t important.
Maybe she’ll feel guilty for taking care of herself, standing up for herself or demanding respect from others. But that’s not a big surprise if she never saw you practice these things yourself.
Mothers often demand that their daughters respect them. But respect is a two-way street. And if you want respect, it’s necessary to give respect – yes, even to your daughter. Respect her emotions. Respect what she says. And respect who she becomes, day by day.
You have quite an advantage over your daughter. You’ve lived longer, accumulated more life experience and probably gathered up wisdom and insight along the way. Your daughter, on the other hand? Not so much. At least, not yet.
So, just be patient with her. She’ll learn and it’s crucial that you show her love and empathy along the way. Remember, you were a child, teenager and young adult, too.
When you develop patience, it’s easier to practice non-judgment. If your daughter does things that disappoint you, you can flare up and punish her.
Or, you can provide a safe, non-judgmental space where she can open up and get vulnerable with you.
Be fulfilled and have your own interests
Some mothers give up everything for their children. And while this might seem commendable, it’s actually a risky business. The truth is, if your daughter is your be-all-end-all, you place way too much pressure on her to make you happy and to fulfill you.
But that’s not her job. That’s your job. So, take it upon yourself to find your own passions and interests, and cultivate them.
Achieve what you want to achieve
It’s easy for mothers to lose themselves in their roles as parents. And to a certain degree, that’s understandable. After all, your children do need you. But your life is separate from your daughter’s, and you should really try to keep it that way.
How can you do this? One way is to work toward self-fulfillment. But another great way is to set your own personal goals – goals that have nothing to do with your daughter. Remember, being a mother is only one of your many roles.
The best part about cultivating these nine personality traits is that you silently empower your daughter to develop them, too. Talk about the power of women! And together, you and she can have a perfect mother-daughter relationship.