Ah, motherhood -- probably the most revered role a woman can ever have. From feeling tiny kicks in the womb to having latte with your adult daughter, motherhood, especially mothering a daughter, holds joys unmatched by anything else. Unconditional love can motivate a mom to jump in front of a truck for her daughter when she would not do that a friend. Loving your daughter is a choice and you choose to love her unconditionally as much as you can, says Susan Morris Shaffer, co-author of “Too Close for Comfort? Questioning the Intimacy of Today's New Mother-Daughter Relationship" by Linda Perlman Gordon and Susan Morris Shaffer, in an interview on Oprah.com.
You carried this daughter in your body for 40 weeks, feeling her first kicks and flutters, listening to her heartbeat at prenatal visits and praying that everything you did while pregnant would produce a child who could grow into a competent and healthy adult. You pushed this child from your body into the outside world and waited with anticipation to hear her first cries. You shared everything for those first months, from air to food to space in your body. This daughter was once a part of you earned a special place in your heart just by being.
You in Her
Fathers have an easier time of seeing themselves separate from daughters than mothers do, according to Linda Perlman Gordon. Many moms look at their daughters and see themselves at that stage of life. She might have your nose or look so much like you in baby pictures that some confuse pictures of the two of you. You want her to have the best life and you sacrifice so much to give it to her. If she has a boo-boo, you kiss it and make it better or see that she gets prompt medical care whether she wants it or not. She allows you a small opportunity to re-parent yourself by being the best parent you can be, according to California registered marriage and family therapist intern Meredith Hines.
The Early Years
You were and continue to be your daughter’s teacher and role model. As a baby and young child, she watched you with adoring eyes, seeking you when you were out of sight and crying when she could not find you. You cuddled her, perhaps suckled her at your breast, changed her diapers, watched her grow and change almost daily and made sure she had what she needed to the best of your ability. Oxytocin, a nurturing hormone produced when you were in labor, continues production when you hug, kiss, cuddle and breastfeed your daughter. It continues to help build a loving relationship as you share affection every day.
Inspiring Your Best
Your daughter can inspire you to be your best. Your concern for your child can motivate you to improve your personal habits and practices so your child has a safer place to live or so you are a better role model. You know your daughter watches what you do and patterns her life after yours. She will someday mother and nurture her own kids based on the pattern you teach, so you strive to be the best parent you can be. You might not always succeed, but she inspires you to try and you love her for it.