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Understanding the mother-daughter bond

March 30th is a special date that you should not forget. It marks the day that we celebrate one special woman in our lives: our mums. The UK is expected to be flooded with all sorts of blooms this Mother’s Day.

At £35.00, you can already get a gorgeous bouquet of Avalanche white roses, pink chrysanthemums and burgundy antirrhinums wrapped in tissue and clear frosted cellophane. A leading British retailer recently included Avalanche+ in its exclusive range of flower services. Simon Richards, flower guru at Marks & Spencer, calls Avalanche+ “one of the best roses in the world, at this moment.” In an advertisement, Richards also explains the roses are grown slowly so their big flower heads develop in their own time.

This Mother’s Day, instead of talking about our mothers specifically, we highlight on a special bond, one of the strongest in the world: the mother-daughter relationship. A research by Dr. Karen Fingerman of the Pennsylvania State University shows that most women (80 to 90 percent of the 48 pairs of mothers and daughters) say they have a good relationship with their mothers. These findings should not come as a shock to us since we all love our mums dearly but as any daughter with a mother or a mother with a daughter will tell you the mother and daughter relationship is not all rainbows and butterflies.

In her book, You’re Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation, Deborah Tannen says: “The relationship between mothers and daughters is probably both the most fruitful and the most fraught a woman ever has.”

Tannen, 61, who is also a professor of linguistics, explains that although your mum is the one person on earth who can share your delight even in the littlest things like having a new duvet, she can also be the most hypercritical. “Mothers notice our every flaw because they’re scrutinising us just as deeply as they do themselves. One woman told me it was the biggest surprise of her life to discover that her daughter didn’t turn out exactly like her. Sons would have to dye their hair blue and wear it down to their waist before they came in for the same level of attention,” explains Tannen.

Tannen also said that every woman she interviewed said she had a much better relationship with her daughter than with her mother and that they talk to their daughters in a much franker way than mothers did a generation ago.

It is just a matter of perspective. The relationship may not be perfect but no bond is stronger than that between mother and daughter. We can either regard it as a tie that binds or a tie that imprisons.


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Author: Polly Davies // Photography: This Enchanted Pixie
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