The Mother-Daughter relationship is the backbone of my health coaching practice because I believe that this cross-generational relationship affects all of us in very subtle and not so subtle ways. Whether it is your relationship with your mother or your relationship with your daughter. The common ground is you.
In my coaching calls with women, who are themselves mothers I hear an ache. I hear a voice that is sometimes extremely difficult for them to express since it is a taboo to speak badly or badmouth your mom. After all, this is the person who has given me life, how can I say something bad about her??
When I work with clients I walk them through a process called “healing the mother wound” which is basically healing, getting over, being at peace with or breaking free from any pain (physical or emotional) which was inflicted on you or perceived by you, by your mom.
Now, I want to be clear here. This is not about hating or stopping getting advice from your mom! Absolutely not! My mom and I are super close, I can’t imagine my life without her. What I am suggesting is to be OK with thinking differently than her. Being OK with doing life differently than her, choosing a different path for yourself and writing a different story with a different ending for yourself and your own daughter, if you are raising a girl.
A few years ago I struggled immensely with my own mother-wound. I love my mom so much but didn’t agree with how she does things (whether in her marriage with my dad, with regards to parenting and especially with regards to career choices or life’s work).
I remember myself as a little girl, constantly correcting and telling her that she is wrong. I have always been a talkative and an opinionated girl (I guess you can say I was a coach in the making) and that led me through a very dark hole of fearing that I will end up like my mom.
All this personal growth work that I do doesn’t mean anything because at the end of the day I am conditioned to be just like her. I have always been irritated by her thinking small, fear and lack of confidence. That’s how I perceived it through my limited lense. I constantly found myself literally “parenting” my own mom. Constantly fixing, correcting and teaching her how to do life. It was so inappropriate and also disrespectful. It became even worse as I became a mom myself, I was judgmental of how she looked after my kids, or how she raised us, felt like it’s her fault and she screwed me up. Long story short, it was nasty and a huge waste of my energy!
Bless my mom and her wisdom, she never gave me pushbacks, she merely allowed me to have my tantrum, be done with it and come back to her newer, wiser and with a new perspective.
This process had allowed me to connect with my own life’s purpose which I know now is to serve mothers and help them heal so that they can do the work that they are destined to do in a way that feels sustainable and nourishing to them. I raise mothers, that is my life’s purpose. Instead, I felt like I had to raise, fix, or parent my own mom. I guess that was a part of the process.
The salvation came to me after I’ve hired a coach who has taught me that it is not my job to parent my mom. That I have to learn to let go of forcing her to be who she’s not. Stop judging her, stop correcting her actions, stop expecting her to show in a way she can’t, stop feeling like I’m smarter than her. And instead, trust. Trust that as a woman she also has her own inner wisdom and guidance system that is leading her through her life.
We are all different, and even if she’s my mom, it doesn’t mean I have to be, think, act or choose like her. This is called separating or individuating from your mom, and that is a necessary step in becoming a healthy adult. I talk a lot about the process of adulting on this podcast, and I believe that in order to safely transition into adulthood, we must first heal our childhood wounds and love cracks. This doesn’t mean that we blame our parents, but instead we take full responsibility for our own lives, trust that we have got the right mom and dad for our unique soul purpose, and as we become parents ourselves we allow ourselves to stand free from their influence, while staying connected with them on a completely different level.
After doing my own work around healing my mother wound, my conversations with my mom have become much more vulnerable and much deeper. For the first time in my life, I see myself as a woman sitting next to her, not as her little girl or daughter. I allow myself to approach her with curiosity and compassion instead of judgment and resentment. I fully accept her fully as a human being, woman and yes, my birth mother. She has given me so much, and I am who I am thanks to her, but from here onwards I’m on my own, and I don’t have to live my life like she did. That is ok.
In my coaching calls with women, I hear fear, judgment and tabooing around cultural norms such as raising your kids in a certain way or feeling really bad about putting yourself at the sidelines while putting everyone else in your household ahead of your own needs.
I hear women fearing to voice themselves fully, expressing their inner fears that many times whisper to them NOT THIS. I don’t want to be like my mom, I don’t want to approach my health, life, marriage, parenting, life, work, friendships or anything else like my mom. I have my way. is that ok?
So I am here to give you a huge hug and whisper in your ear YES! It is OK!
You are not your mom. You are a different person, you are your own unique version of you.
You are allowed to design your life the way you want to. You are the creator of your life and I want to give you the permission to individuate and separate from being “the daughter”, from feeling like you are stuck under your mom’s wings because the only person who’s keeping you there is you. You are the one who’s buying the story that you have to be just like your mom.
If your mom did not model self-care for you, then allow yourself to be the one holding the baton for generations to come. This is especially important if you are raising daughters. Choose yourself first always, communicate to her that you matter, that you are a person too and that you deserve to eat a full, warm meal and not only your her scraps.
I can’t tell you how many times, in my coaching calls, as we work on balancing hormones, all women eat is their kids’ scraps, forget to drink water and even sometimes suppress their urge to pee so much that over time they lose the attunement to the body. By doing this you are not getting more done, believe me, I’ve been there too. Instead, you are burning yourself out, putting more burden on your adrenal glands and are not living in alignment with your human design as a female and woman.
Think about the message we communicate to our kids. Think about what you, as a little girl, picked up from your own mom. Is this how she plowed through life? Look at your mom and ask yourself, is she healthy? Is she happy? Is she joyful? Is she thriving? Is she living up to her potential human potential?
These questions are important. Here’s why.
Have you ever found yourself confused about which career path to choose? Or where to focus your gifts and talents? If yes, surely you’ve had someone recommend you to try working at a company that makes the product or offers the service that you want to offer too. This is important because you will see how they work, and how far you can go up the rank and it is imperative to ask yourself do I want to be like my boss? Do I want to end up like him/her? Because if I stay here, that is where I’m heading.
This is the same with regards to our health and wellness. Our moms are like these “bosses”. Your mom, in most cases, is your first example of womanhood, motherhood, and wifehood. Without noticing, you’ve been learning from her your entire life, registering in your brain imprints and making notes like “when I’m at this situation, this is what to do”. And many women do exactly that.
But what if your soul feels like all of this social and cultural conditioning is wrong?
What if you’ve tried to be like your mom and as a result got sick?
What if your mom, without noticing too, was just repeating what she has seen when she was a little girl?
This is your chance to break the generational pattern and learn how to respond to your female body in the way it was designed. With grace, compassion, nourishment, understanding, and reverence.
This is important because you are no longer a child. You are a mom now.
If all you eat is their scraps and protein bars, you scream in your kids’ face that you don’t matter. That eating well is not a priority for you. That the body is like sewage, and you can basically throw in it anything and everything.
That is not true. Your body is a temple and you have only one body. so you must learn to love it, nourish it, care for it and have respect for it. It is your best friend. Forever.
So many women live from the chin up, completely disconnected from their bodies. This leads to all sorts of ailments such as fibroids, hormonal imbalances, cancers, aches and pains, and much much more. For the most part, this pain and suffering is unnecessary and could be easily avoided.
So today’s message is that I am giving you the permission to take care of yourself differently. To care for yourself like you’ve never experienced or learned before.
You are allowed to have help around the house. You are allowed to leave the kids and have a nourishing evening out with your girlfriends.
You are allowed to travel alone.
You are allowed to skip PTA’s, volunteering in their school if that is in conflict with your schedule.
You are allowed to cut back on their activities.
You are allowed to have quiet in the morning to center to wake up without chaos, crying and everyone’s needs pulling at you.
YOU ARE ALLOWED!
I am giving you this permission.
If you find it extremely hard to separate or individuate from your mother-line or the script that has been written for the women and girls in your life, try writing a letter to your mom that you will never send. This is very healing and cathartic and will help you to express yourself, and say that which you never dared to say.
I dare you to try this.
Now I would love to hear from you! Reach out to me and let me know what are the cultural and societal norms you feel are not in alignment with, and what are you going to do about it? I’d love to hear from you, you can send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on FB.
I’m sending you much love and healing, until next time.