The mom-daughter saga....

I recently read a blog by a woman who is the mother of two girls. She talks about how she envies what the daughters have with their dad.

It made me start thinking about my own relationship with my dad, a father of two girls. I can only imagine how lonely it must have been for my dad to go without male bonding in the house as we were growing up. Girls are fun to watch grow, they can be pampered, spoiled , I suppose. And every dad is possessive of his daughters, in the sense of protecting them from the harsh adult and sometimes male-dominated world. Being a man himself, every dad feels like they know how the male psyche works, and hence are protective about their daughters.

My dad was different. I don't think I've ever seen him worried about any of our male companionships, even the ones we were interested in as more than friends. No, that was my mom's job - to worry. To worry about what we wore, how we spoke, who we talked to , who we would marry. In a way, that was, and is, a reflection on her. My sister and I didn't make the choices that my mom did. We are not stay at home wives, we don't dress the way she did, we wear make up, we have careers, we've lived away from home many years, travelled on our own, and we have male friends. Many of the restrictions that my mom had growing up did not apply to our household. And although she is proud of the women we have become, a part of her does feel rejected and hurt because we didn't make the choices she did. And she partly blames my dad for the missteps that were a part of our coming of age. I am married now, and my relationship with my mother-in-law, and even my husband is still all attributable and is a reflection of, the way she raised me. I can only imagine what kind of pressure my grandma put on my mom in those days.

I always think of my mom has a daddy's girl.When she was growing up, my granddad was quite strict in terms of what they could listen on the radio or what kind of clothes they had to wear. And yet, it was her relationship with her mom that was more complicated. The mom and daughter relationship, is very confusing. From a very early age, we look to moms to understand how to be a female. And with the rapidly changing gender equations of our generation, we are often on our own when it comes to figuring out what feminity means in today's world - work-life balance, how to be career woman in the outside world - assertive and confident, while still being the nurturer at home. I often think many of the strong opinions we have about our moms are often a reflection of our own fears - our insecurities and shortcomings mirrored in our mothers behaviour. It is unfair, as we don't put that kind of pressure on our dads.

My husband has it all figured out - If we have a girl child, she is not allowed to date until she's 25. I get the feeling he'll get away with such stuff, it's me she'll blame anyway :)

Complex, confusing,frustrating, fulfilling - it's what makes the mom-daughter bond enduring and enigmatic.