Mothers and Daughters Article
Moms and Daughters, Oye!
I was watching The View the other day and they were talking about the ongoing rift between Tori and Candy Spelling. For those of you who live in a hole, Candy Spelling is the wife of the late Aaron Spelling who created and/or produced some of the most famous and popular shows in television history such as Charlie’s Angels and Beverly Hills 90210 (which most of you reading this already know Tori starred in. Of course, the widely reported story goes, she auditioned for the role and the casting director didn’t know she was Aaron’s daughter. Right, how stupid are we, really?).
Apparently, Candy and Tori are not communicating because. That’s right, because. When I saw Candy being
interviewed by the ladies on The View they pointedly asked her what the problem between them is. Her answer was, “I don’t know.” Barbara pressed, asking, (and I paraphrase) “Candy, she’s your daughter, you have no idea why this is going on, you must have some idea?” Candy: “No, no idea.” Really, Candy, no idea? Well, I don’t know Candy or Tori and I don’t claim to know that much about their situation other than the little I have read. The differences between the Spellings and me, and frankly most people, are vast. To give you an example, Candy is currently selling her 57,000 sq. foot home for $150,000,000. How many of your friends are putting in a bid? None? Me neither. But I’d like to take a stab at helping these two out anyway. Generally speaking, moms and daughters, no matter how different our statuses are, have a complicated relationship and many of our conflicts probably stem from some basic principals. Again, C-O-M-P-L-I-C-A-T-E-D relationship.
So I want to start with a few questions for Candy that might enlighten her about why she and Tori are on the outs. Sort of like a Cosmo Quiz, if you will. Candy, if you can answer half of these questions, Tori might just be the spoiled little rich kid that many of us think she is. And if you can’t, mommy, you might want to look at yourself in your gold plated mirror a little closer.
1) What’s Tori’s birthday?
2) In your house, while Tori was growing up, what wing was her bedroom in? Bonus credit if you can name the color of her walls.
3) What was Tori’s pediatrician’s name?
4) Did Tori have a pet? Bonus credit for knowing it’s type and double bonus if you can cough up it’s name.
5) Do you remember if Tori went away for seven weeks every summer for sleep away camp?
6) Can you name five of Tori’s friends from K-12? Bonus if you can name her best friend.
7) Did you have the sex talk with her, or did you leave that to the nanny?
8) Did you read in The National Enquirer, like the rest of us, about what she was doing on Saturday nights when she was in high school?
9) Were you ever homeroom mother to her class in school OR did you ever go on a field trip? (this question could stump you with the school jargon but, I’m hoping it doesn’t)
10) What was Tori’s first husband’s name? Bonus if you can tell us how long they were married.
I am obviously having a little fun at poor Candy and Tori’s expense, but my quiz isn’t totally far fetched. If you’re a daughter or the mother of a daughter, more than likely you’ve had your fair share of tears over your relationship with one or both. No matter who you are, the fundamentals play a role in our relationship building with our kids. Our generation is the one in between for the most part. Dealing with our mothers and raising young daughters is often times a struggle.
My relationship with my mother is, well…miserable. That’s right, I said it, miserable. Most of us sort of tip toe around this topic when a friend asks, “How is your mom?” The answer you get back is frequently, “Fine.” My answer is, “Fine, I imagine, I am trying my best to limit our conversations so I don’t slip and give her any sort of information that she might use against me later.” “Fine” is probably the best answer I can give so I don’t seem like a raging maniac and it’s obviously more popular than my response.None of us want to be the only one who has a troubled relationship with her mother. Well, guess what my candid answer has revealed over my adult life…I’m, by far, in the majority of women who keep the dirty little secret that our relationship with our mother is strained, at best, most of the time (and I’m being very generous with this adjective, strained). Why, why, why is this??
This woman who gave birth to me. She changed my diapers. Went back-to-school shopping with me every year. Was there when I graduated high school (sort of, after we had a knock down drag out fight about an hour before graduation started). Why do I want to strangle her now from time to time? Are love and hate so closely intertwined that it’s as simple as that? I love this woman so much that she has the power to get under my skin faster and more deeply than anyone else, so the hate part is unleashed? Is that really it? Or is it that she just can’t stay out of my business? Is it because she has a running commentary on my life choices? Is it because we were once attached by an umbilical cord and therefore she feels that entitles her to certain liberties in my life forever? Wow, slow down there mom hater, we’re not all in your boat!! I agree. I think that in the majority of women I spoke with who are at odds with their mothers, I’m in a select club of women who are constantly at odds with our moms. We know who we are and it is a sad day when we realize that our relationships with our mothers will never be like the relationships we have watched some of our friends have with their moms. We all have at least friend who is really close with her mom. They have lunch once a week, they go shopping all the time, they never fight, they ask each others opinions, they don’t criticize each other and most of all, truly enjoy each other’s company. Those of us who don’t have that relationship with our moms are incredibly jealous and you are incredibly fortunate.
So I want to change the tide with my daughter. Break the cycle. Give my daughter the mother she will want to hang out with when she is a grown up. But how do I do that? Really, how? I love my daughter more than the air I breathe and it stops my heart from beating just thinking of us having a relationship like I have with my mother. My mom certainly didn’t set out to alienate me, so what makes me think I’m doing anything differently with my daughter?
First of all, I think being acutely aware of what might happen is a start. Being able to answer all 10 questions
I posed for Candy might help. You laugh, but I think being there, or not being there, is at the core of most of the problems between moms and daughters. Telling our daughters that we love them every day. Listening to what they have to say, allowing them to have a voice and help them develop their roles in our relationships with them. There’s a time to be involved in our daughters’ lives and then there comes a time to allow the relationship to develop on their terms, not ours. I’m not saying when she’s 14, but I think it’s hard for moms to let the mother-daughter relationships evolve.
My daughter is only eight and she would still rather spend the day with me than almost anyone. She isn’t embarrassed to hold my hand around her friends. She wants to play games with me. And every day when she comes home from school I get a big, genuinely happy smile when she sees me. I know I have years to go before we really hit the skids, so I want to use this time now to develop our relationship. It’s my job as a mom to raise this little girl, and hopefully one day she’ll ask me how to raise her little girl. OK, I might have just gone too far, we all know she’s going to ask her friends how to raise her little girl.
Now, back to Candy and Tori. Candy, first off, you should probably stop telling the press that Tori killed her dad by breaking his heart by not talking to him toward the end of his life. That’s probably not going to get Tori to text you anytime soon. Tori, your mom actually seems reasonable by rejecting your invitation to your kid’s birthday party when she realized this fake reconciliation was going to be filmed for your reality show. It’s not unreasonable for her to want your first meeting to be private. On second thought, there’s no better gift to your daughter than skyrocketing ratings (not to mention great TV for the rest of us).
It’s hard to point a finger in this twosome. Candy, Tori, Tori, Candy…who is crazier? We’ll probably never really know, but as long as you two are feuding it somehow makes me feel a little bit better about myself.
Author: Shari Dabby
Shari is the mom of an eight-year-old girl and two boys who are three and two years old. She has worked in advertising for over ten years, negotiating celebrity endorsement deals. Little did she know working with celebrities would be more helpful than any book she could ever read to help prepare her for managing her own kids. The similarities between the two groups are endless. Shari, her husband and kids live in New Jersey, and she misses living in Manhattan every day.
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