The relationship between mother and daughter is often close, sometimes troubled, usually complex.
My mother and I operated like friends and many times I assumed the parental role. Our relationship was complicated by an odd emotional distance that I can only attribute through being separated for a time when I was two (I broke my leg and was in traction for weeks – my parents left me in the hospital because they had many mouths to feed and that was just the way things were done back then). In almost every family picture, I stand off to the side and rarely make physical contact with anyone (that’s me with my family above – standing to the side in that blue dress and pinafore).
My relationship with my daughter is very much like friends as well but it’s markedly different than the connection I shared with my mother. We are extremely close. Thick as thieves. We are on the phone with each other at least three times a day (and I’m not a phone person, mind you). We are also a package deal – you lose one of us, you lose us both so it’s best not to piss one of us off.
It’s probably the closest, deepest relationship I have ever had with any female. (PS sometimes I fear that we will one day be like the women in Grey Gardens.)
But don’t assume it was always that way. Like any relationship, we’ve had ups and downs with many communication hiccups. Our main issue: she’s very sensitive and needs a lot of support. I am very sensitive but tend to be a lone wolf. So usually it is a space thing. She needs less and I need more.
We’ve gotten over that for the most part. We’ve learned our boundaries and edges – and now operate with mutual respect.
In other words, our relationship has matured. Which means we don’t always like what the other does but we’ve gotten cool about it.
What about you? Do you struggle to understand your daughter? Or do you feel your mother just doesn’t get you?
Let’s take a little tarot spin with a simple spread that I like to use for relationships (not just family but also good for business partnerships). Shuffle the cards, focusing on the relationship. Fan the cards out and choose one for each position.
You – The Other Person – Advice
Using my relationship with my daughter as an example, here’s the spread in action:
Death – 7 of Wands – Temperance reversed
Me: Death – this represents transition. To me, this indicates that I am going through many changes in my life at this time. Other events may be causing the relationship with my daughter to evolve. Our old way of connecting is shifting. (Recently, my daughter got into a relationship so there has been a hint of transformation.)
Her: 7 of Wands – this shows a person on top of a hill in a commanding pose. This is a time in her life where she is learning to stand on her own two feet. This is all about personal independence. She may not need me as much and may perhaps feel a need to push me away as she figures out her own course in life.
Advice: Temperance reversed – it’s in flux so it is best that we both learn to go with the flow. This is a delicate time that requires patience on both sides. Because this card is reversed, it may be wise to revisit the card that precedes it. Temperance is 14 and Death is 13 (my card!). A clue that our relationship may be going through a definitive transformation ahead. And that says to me: be sensitive at this time and open to a new way of connecting. I need to be cool with a new version of us.
I think I can do that.
“A daughter is a mother’s gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters’ role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.” ~Victoria Secunda
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2013
I’d love to hear about your relationship with your mother/daughter – and even better, I’d love to see your example using the spread above. Please post your thoughts and results in the comment section below: