“Do me one better!” That’s what my mother would say.
As a new parent, I understand the desire to do better for your children. You want to give them more than you had growing up and you want them to desire more for themselves as well.
Outside of the material fancies of the world, I believe parents also want their children to be everything that they were not when they were at their worst and to reverse all of their mistakes through their children, especially when it comes to intimate relationships.
The term smother as defined in the Urban Dictionary is, “a mother or overbearing girlfriend that smothers their adult child/boyfriend with too much love…”
We all know those mothers who live vicariously through their daughters’ relationships, education, career choices, and social status. Daughters with smothers are bombarded with overprotective, judgmental, and extremely pushy behaviors when it comes to their life choices concerning love and relationships.
A smother feels that her daughters mate must looks, dress, behave, and maintain a certain social status, based on her standards, not her daughters.
I have friends with smothers, and often times, it causes them to seek an unhealthy perfection in men. It seems to also cause resentment toward their mother if they feel like they can’t meet a certain standard or expectation.
I believe that this behavior goes beyond the basic desire for a daughter to be better than her mother. The mother that is considered to be a smother, is given this title due to her deepest fear, herself.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson, from her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles.
This was a quote that my mother had framed for all three of her daughters, and I make sure that it is hanging up in my house.
When a woman becomes a mom, often times, she immediately becomes her best self, because she wants to be the best parent she can be.
Every family has generational curses, and if there is a history of infidelity, teenage pregnancy, or single-parenting in your family, it is only natural to fear that your daughter will struggle with these concerns as well. A mother wants her child to emulate her best behaviors, not her worst.
This may cause mothers to place high expectations and standards onto their daughters, and when the expectation is not met, a mother is faced with her deepest fear, seeing her true self in her daughter. Those mothers who have not forgiven themselves can become smothers and are projecting their own personal fears onto their daughters.
As a mother of a two month old baby girl, I find myself thinking about all the bad choices and decisions I have made in my journey towards LADYHOOD…
I think it is a realistic feeling to have fears that my daughter will make the same mistakes with men that I made. But, before I was a mother, I was a daughter, and it is important for me to remember who I was before I became a parent. Even though my mother taught me to always do her one better, I am certain that I made some of the bad choices she made, and more.
As a daughter, with a daughter, it is important for me to teach her about the mistakes I made in my relationships but to also understand that she may make similar mistakes as she gets older.
Mothers, do not fear seeing yourself in your daughter! You will, because she is a part of you. The more you smother her, the more difficult it will be to break those generational curses.
I desire so much for my daughter. I want her to see her value in life; to know that she is beautiful, talented, intelligent, and imperfect just like all of humankind. I want her to see me constantly trying to reach my goals so that she will see that she can obtain her own. I want her to embrace when she makes a mistake and when she succeeds. All lessons, are lessons learned, and even if she hits a barrier, I want her to be confident enough to create new ones.
When it comes to relationships, I want my daughter to know that she is worth the wait, and that no man is worth compromising her morals and values.
Even in my mistakes, my mother always uplifted me; a mother is always there to support her child. I always felt inspired and empowered by her, and this is the kind of mother that I want to be, not a smother. Forgiving myself for the mistakes that I made with men was the difficult part in my journey toward LADYHOOD. When it comes to motherhood, I know that I am not perfect; we all fall short, make mistakes, and struggle in our imperfections, and my daughter will to.
Just like my mother, I will be there to support my daughter along her LADYHOOD journey as well.
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