My mother has always been my best friend. That happened by default. We look identical to each other and our personalities are identical as well.
But as we grow older as individuals, life happens to us and your rosy childhood morphs into complicated adulthood. Suddenly the similarities that bind you to your mother become challenges in your relationship. Conflict arises because she sees herself in you and sometimes that doesn't match your reality because who she was at 25 is only a version of who you are at 25.
I love my mother to death and I know she loves me too (because no one will ever love you the way Mom does). But my life choices turned out to be, things that were hard for her to swallow and only because of the weight of the generational gap between us. As hard as she tries to get into my head space of thinking to understand my decisions unfortunately there is still a big divide, because growing up in apartheid South Africa is substantially different from growing up in modern day South Africa.
In her defence she tries to understand the struggles of today but when she sees it play out in her daughter it becomes that much more difficult to accept. The struggles we face as young women in this age are wildly different from struggles of their time. The difference between two people that are fundamentally the same poses itself as a major obstacle.
I know to still listen to my mother because her advice is reinforced by experience, and that is the beauty of womanhood. We could be miles apart in thought or distance but as women our lives run similar parallels in more ways than we could ever imagine.
In that same breath, I do understand that there are two extreme ends of the spectrum, mother-daughter relationships that see no conflict and ones that are irreparable. I am in the middle but I feel the need to reinforce the idea that there are ways of resolving conflict in a healthy manner. Conflict is in fact a major growth point in all relationships.
The woman I am today is a result of the woman that raised me. My mother is an alpha female and so am I. I look up to her in so many ways but there is a dire need to carve out my own reality (that is unconventional because being a young black woman today is navigating your way through virgin territory). Quite frankly I still haven't carved out my path and solidified it yet but I am on my way there. As much as she fears for me I am certain of a bright future, there is no other way around it.
The best I can do with my situation is take full advantage of my mother because she is a wealth of knowledge, like all our Mothers. They have lived full lives and experience has taught them well. So even when I am frustrated by her incomprehension of what I want, I know to still listen because her advice is reinforced by experience, and that is the beauty of womanhood. We could be miles apart in thought or distance but as women our lives run similar parallels in more ways than we could ever imagine.
Age has taught me that some wars are won by losing battles. Life is a constant negotiation, you have to lose in order to win. It is possible to still stay true to yourself without compromising your Mother-Daughter relationship. The secret is understanding that relationships are a give and take.
Sisterhood and womanhood are so much more important to me than any other forms of relationships because we desperately need the presence of other woman in our lives, especially our Mothers. At the end of the day Mothers know best and She only wants the best for you.