Treasuring healthy relationships between mothers and daughters


Tribune Features Writer


THE relationship that exists between a mother and her daughter is a very special one. If it’s a healthy, loving one, it creates an unbreakable bond. However, if it’s a problematic, or even toxic relationship, it can cause lasting emotional damage.

With Mother’s Day approaching this Sunday, Tribune Woman has spoke to a number of our female readers about the importance of healthy mother-daughter relationships.

“While I have an amazingly beautiful relationship with my mom, there are some persons out there whose stories aren’t the same,” said Melissa Forbes.

“I had a friend who suffered greatly by the decisions made by her mother. And in a case like that you get a tug-of-war with forgiveness. Even though the stories she told me were sad, I always encouraged them both to treat each other better. I was raised on love and I know the importance of that relationship. A person I can call my friend as an adult, a person who I can always turn to - that is my mom,” she said.

Edith Jones said her mother always made sure that she knew she could come to her and talk about anything; that their conversations were a safe space for both of them.

“No matter how uncomfortable the topic was, she never turned me away. My issues were never taken lightly. She listens to me, allows me to vent and tries her best to see me though solutions - never crossing the line. And this has been my reality all my life,”

Edith said this is something she hopes to provide her future kids with as well.

“I don’t have children yet, but I always brag about having such am amazing blueprint in my mother, and my aunt as well, who’s just like a second mommy to me. My mom was strict with me as a child, but never mean or vile. She just knew the boundaries to have as a child and adult. But in my adult years I can finally joke and say, ‘Look you now; you are finally one of my best friends.’ I love her so much and if I can give her the world of good things this very day, I would,” she said.

Vanessa Smith said she is blessed to have a great relationship with her daughters and the families they have created for themselves as adults.

“They both have children, and to be able to spend holidays and vacation time with them all is such a blessing. Watching my daughters with their kids and their husbands brings me such joy. Raising children at a young age on the island wasn’t easy for me, but I thank God for holding us through it all. I love my girls. I can call on them for anything, just like they called on me as kids. But all I want is for them to be healthy, happy and keep their faith in God,” she said.

For Whitney Thompson, having a great relationship with her mom is on the top list of things she counts as life’s blessings.

“You have to realise there are some persons out there who have difficult relationships with their parents. Some women were raped as kids, beaten - may have told their mom about it - and relationships may have deteriorated from there on. Trust me, I have heard some horrific stories involving the treatment between mothers and daughters. There are daughters who grew up seeing their mom beaten also, and may have cut ties because it was an ‘either him or me’ situation. It is very rough for some people. These things aren’t always on only television; it’s real life for some people. Count yourself as not just lucky, but blessed, to have healthy relationships with your parents,” said Whitney.

Carey Smith said she is one of the unlucky people who doesn’t really have a relationship with her mother in adulthood due to incidents in her childhood.

“My mom was a single mom with on-and-off relationships with various men. She didn’t have it easy; I know that. She struggled financially and emotionally, and she often took it out on me. And then, as I got older and made something of myself and was ready to forgive her and renew our relationship, she ruined everything with her bitterness and jealousy,” said Carey.

“I’ve ultimately forgiven her in my heart, but it’s been healthier for me to go no-contact with me. Thankfully, I have an aunt in my life who fulfils that precious mother role for me.”

Laurilyn Roberts said while she is delighted to call her mom her best friend now that she’s over 30, she feels it’s important that the line between being a parent and being a friend should be clearly defined during the childhood years.

“I could always tell my mom anything and we had so much fun together while I was growing up, but I always knew where the boundaries were and I knew she could be strict and the responsible adult when necessary. I’ve had female friends that were almost too buddy-buddy with their moms growing up. I always disliked how those lines were blurred and how there was almost a lack of respect; I also felt it forced my friends to grow up faster than they maybe should have,” she said.


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