Wednesday 31 January 2018

Mommy Diaries: Highs and Lows of Mother-Daughter Relationships


     Hi everyone.  This is the first of twelve installments of the Mommy Diaries here on the blog.  This idea has been  simmering  in my head for about a year and a half, maybe two, and over the holidays I had an opportunity to really think deeply about it.  I wanted my friends from all different walks of life, different stages of motherhood, and from different family structures to share their stories with others.  All of the individuals I reached out to are women, and mothers, that I respect and have in some way guided me into becoming a better mother.  They will share various bits and pieces of their lives the last Wednesday of each month.  I am installment number one.

    The Highs and Lows of Mother-Daughter Relationships

     I struggled with what to write about today, I have so many themes and topics in mind, but topic just poured out of me as I sat to write.  It really stemmed from the post I wrote celebrating my daughters 11th birthday, see here.  I wrote that post with such pride, joy and ease.  It reminded me of how our relationship has ebbed and flowed over the years, the highs and the lows.  I remember moments of the past, especially around the toddler years and then again when we were struggling with reading, that it felt like our relationship was threatened, that I wasn’t being a good mom, like we were drifting apart.  What I know now is that those moments are just little fragments of time, and though at the time they felt like eternity.  I am writing this post as honestly as I possibly can, exposing my highs and lows of motherhood. Before you continue I want to tell you that this is a happy story, in which I learn that the investment we make as mothers really does pay off over time and that the cloudy days will turn into clear and sunny ones. Let's go down memory lane.

My Dreams Come True 

     We were over the moon excitement that our first baby would be arriving in January 2007!!!!  I was 24 years old and fresh out of university.  I had been dreaming of being a mom for years and had full-on romanticized the role.  My little girl and I were going to be best friends.  We were going to spend endless hours laughing, acting silly, crafting, playing dress-up and dolls.  I would never be annoyed with this perfect little person.  We were going to grow to be just like the Gilmore Gils, Lorelai and Rory.


     The Good and The Hard

     For the most part that was true until Halie turned 2 1/2 years old and she became more and more difficult.  We thought we had escaped the "terrible twos" but the “*uckin' threes” were like a hurricane through our house.  She would kick, scream, hit, throw, etc. Looking back  at this now I know this was 

     a) totally normal and
b) just her way of trying to figure out how to deal with her own emotions. 
My perfect little girl had become extremely difficult to deal with and our special times often ended with both of us feeling depleted.   Baby #2 came just before Halie turned three and our relationship got harder as I struggled to communicate with her, to provide her with the time and guidance she needed and deserved.  Logan and Halie grew closer during the first few months after baby and I felt both jealous and relieved by their growing bond.   

After a few months we found our groove again and Halie began growing out of her tantrums.  We were able to return to spending quality time together by doing little things such as music classes, swimming lessons, library programs, crafting, etc.  During the  second half of my maternity leave, I once again felt like I was doing “mother-hood” pretty well and our relationship normalized (whatever that means).

 School Work

     Halie entered school as kind, generous, friendly, outgoing girl that enjoyed school, but then she began to struggle.  We switched from French to English at the end of grade 1 and naturally it became my job  to teach her to read.  She had become withdrawn and self-conscious throughout grade one about school work so working on reading put a strain on our relationship once again.  Coming home after school, both of us drained from the day, and then working on more "school" stuff was though on both of us.  It was a tough half a year, filled with tears, hardships and insecurity, but THE BEST TIME INVESTMENT.  With support from her teachers, our work at home, she began to regain her confidence and her love for learning.

 Don’t Give Up

     That was the last really difficult time we've had in our relationship. Since Halie has become a tween, it seems our relationship just keeps getting better and better.  We share many of the same interests such as our love for animals, enjoyment for reading and discussing our books, dancing around and crafting.   We’ve had many opportunities to enjoy new adventures together such as snowboarding, going on roller coasters, swimming with the dolphins, going shopping, coffee dates, etc.  I am excited, and a little apprehensive, about what awaits me as a mother of teenage girls but I know that our relationship can withstand any storm.  As the end of the day I always want my girls to know that I love them, that they can rely on me.


 Tips for Growing Your Relationship

1.      Say sorry.  If you do or say something you regret, make the first move and lead by example. 

2.     Communicate.  This goes with the above, but take time to communicate your feelings to your child by saying, “this made me feel….”.  Also remember to communicate those feelings all the time, when something is going perfectly and when you are struggling.

3.     Learn about their interests.  It’s easy to talk to a child that has similar interests  but learn about the things that they love.  Halie loves horses so I go to the stable with her and allow her to teach me.  It’s the greatest experience to be taught something new by your child, you will see them in a whole knew light.

4.     Quality Time.  I try to spend some special quality time with each child on their own.  I know this is often difficult but I just have it built into my calendar. Last year Halie and I had a coffee date once a month after I picked her up from dance.  This year we have decided that we would read a book together and discuss it.

5.     Check-in every day.  We do a family check-in every night at supper.  Something great, something difficult and a goal for the next day.

6.     Tell them you love them.  I make a point of looking right into their eyes, pausing and telling them I love them, so that it’s not just words but they know they have weight and meaning.  

I will leave you with a slideshow of some of my favorite photos of Halie and me.  Join my friend Heather for the next installment of Mommy Diaries on Wednesday, Feb. 28th.  


  1. Such a beautiful post! There is something so special about a mother and daughter relationship. I'm sure it won't all be easy and there will be some tough moments but I know my mom is one of my best friends and I appreciate her so much more now as I've gotten older. You have beautiful girls! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

    1. Sierra, your mom is a lucky lady to have a daughter that honors her in such a way. I am sure mother-son relationships have their own set of challenges but at the end of the day we all learn from our mistakes and we do better, when we know better. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words.