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The Mother-Daughter Makeover: Healing And Rediscovering Each Other In Midlife | CrunchyTales

The Mother-Daughter Makeover: Healing and Rediscovering Each Other in Midlife

3 min read

We all know the cliché: a strained relationship with your mother in your teenage years. But what happens when those tensions simmer on into midlife? For me, that’s exactly what happened.

My mom and I had always been on different wavelengths, and as I navigated the complexities of my own life as a midlife woman – career changes, empty nest syndrome, self-discovery – the gap between us seemed to widen.

Old arguments resurface, new frustrations simmer, and the connection that once felt effortless can feel distant.

Then, a lightbulb moment struck. We were both, in our own ways, going through a period of transformation. It was time to stop waiting for the other to change and start with ourselves. So, I proposed a radical idea: a mother-daughter makeover.

Now, this wasn’t just about a haircut and a spa day (although those were definitely included!). It was about a deeper makeover – a chance to heal old wounds and rediscover each other.

As Lindsey Glass,  an award-winning documentarian and co-author together with her mum Leslie Glass of the book The Mother-Daughter Relationship Makeovera four-step process that helped them understand each other, ease their conflicts, and rediscover their appreciation and love-, says: “If you take the time to figure out what’s at the root of these things and then find the compassion and the respect to treat this precious person a little bit better knowing what they’re going through, I think the relationship can be so much stronger“.

Healing and Rediscovering Each Other in Midlife

The good news? It’s never too late to mend fences. Here are some tips that helped me reconnect with my mother and build a stronger, more fulfilling relationship in midlife.

  • Step 1: Acknowledge the Past

Often, unresolved hurts and resentments fester beneath the surface. Take some time, individually, to reflect on past conflicts. What are your true feelings? Can you forgive past transgressions, or do you need to have an open and honest conversation with your mother?

We started with a heart-to-heart, something we hadn’t done in years. We set some ground rules – no blame games, just open communication. Tears were shed, apologies were exchanged. It wasn’t easy, but slowly, the buried hurts began to surface, allowing for empathy and understanding.

  • Step 2: Understanding Our Individuality

The makeover wasn’t about becoming twins but stepping into each other’s shoes. We looked at things from each other’s perspectives, realizing that some of our conflicts stemmed from misunderstandings. This brought a sense of forgiveness and a newfound appreciation for each other’s journeys.

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I’ve asked myself: What challenges did she face as a parent? What were her hopes and dreams for you? This perspective shift helped me foster understanding and compassion.

Open communication helped us a lot. Instead of accusatory outbursts, and rather than simply blaming each other, we’ve tried to express our feelings more constructively and learned to let things go.

  • Step 3: Cultivating Shared Experiences

I quickly realised dwelling on the past won’t heal anything. I decided to share my current joys and struggles, and actively listen to hers in order to create new memories. So, we’ve decided to start afresh and enrolled in a cooking class together, something we both enjoyed as kids. We even took a weekend trip to a place we’d always dreamed of visiting, Rome. These shared experiences fostered a sense of connection and allowed us to see each other in a new light.

Celebrating a New Mother-Daughter Bond

The journey wasn’t always smooth sailing. There were moments of frustration and old patterns that threatened to resurface. But with each hurdle, our bond grew stronger. We learned to communicate more effectively, celebrate each other’s successes, and offer support during challenges.

This wasn’t just a makeover; it was a transformation. We discovered that a healthy mother-daughter relationship in midlife isn’t about mirroring each other, but about celebrating our individuality. It’s about forgiveness, understanding, and creating new chapters filled with love and support.

What helped me at the beginning was writing her a letter expressing my love and appreciation. You can do the same and you don’t even have to give it to her – the act of putting your feelings into words can be incredibly cathartic.

So, if your relationship with your mother needs a refresh, don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith.

You might just discover a deeper connection that enriches both your lives. After all, it’s never too late to rewrite the narrative and create a mother-daughter bond that thrives in the vibrant tapestry of midlife. There will be setbacks, but with patience, understanding, and a willingness to grow, you and your mother can rebuild a stronger, more supportive relationship in your midlife years.

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