Congratulations…it’s a girl
The mother-daughter relationship is at its best, one of the most precious, at its worst, fraught with haunting pain.
I don’t have sons. I have two daughters. Being a Leo, pride is one of the strongest emotions I feel when describing my girls. When they were young, the innate closeness we felt came from being able to avoid that psychological phenomenon little boys go through around the age of three – the “not-mother phase”. Girls glide right over that early on, with the “yeah, I’m separate from Mom, but we’re both girls after all.”
But doesn’t it hit them hard during the teen years? They get so durned defiant. Part of me is proud of them (Leo default) and part just wants to growl and pounce. The struggle to redefine the adult mother-daughter relationship is a theme in my own work and in the work I’m attracted to.
Competition is an issue that haunts me to this day with my own Mom. And of course, as owner of my pov, I see it all coming from her. I was an emotional late bloomer, and despite escaping home at 19 for school, it took me an inordinately long time to defy my own mother. Although, she would probably disagree.
Which leads me to my question for you:
From Cinderella’s absent-by-death mom to Sleeping Beauty’s mom whose invitation screw-up led to her daughter’s demise; mothers are grist for the mill in romance novel heroines, are they not?
In Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Glitter Baby, the heroine’s mother Belinda Britton is an atrocious mother, but heroine Fleur Savage is able to separate herself from Mom, while initiating probably the healthiest relationship one could hope to achieve with a near sociopath. More innocuous, but still irritating is Min Dobb’s mom in Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me, who keeps trying to put her curvy daughter on a diet. And did you not literally bristle on behalf of Eva whenever her controlling mom in Sylvia Day’s Entwined With You took over a scene?
I’m trying to think of strong, nurturing mothers in romance novels I’ve read, but only seem to be coming up with either problematic ones or window-dressing Moms, like Daisy in Kristan Higgin’s The Next Best Thing.
What about you? Any mother-daughter issues you care to share? Or have been inspired or helped by in books?