The holiday season is a stressful time for those engaged in the mommy vs. daughter wars.
These “mommy vs. daughter wars” are a phenomenon that I stumbled upon in a recent conversation with one of the Chicks.
Generally speaking, all is well until mommy gets a new husband, or a new boyfriend, or a new fling that’s moving into the homestead, one toothbrush, one sock, or one video game at a time.
This new man symbolizes a new chapter in mommy’s life, where the daughter is no longer the central focus of her world. The daughter may not take this demotion too lightly and will wreak havoc on her mother’s relationships. She’ll become vocal about her issues (real or imagined) all in an effort to undermine her mother’s significant other:
He wears too much cologne; it’s all over the house.
He never takes off his shoes, and tracks mud on the mopped kitchen floor.
He ate my last bagel, and never buys groceries.
If the complaints don’t cool down mommy’s relationship, the daughter may become vicious, and target her mother’s fragile ego.
Aren’t you a little old for that outfit?
You’re still doing the booty-call thing, mom? Geez.
You’re not bringing him to my school function, are you? How embarrassing.
Did you read his profile on Facebook? He has a lot of younger female friends mom.
Mommy loves her daughter, but she really likes her new man.
What’s a self-respecting mother to do? Perhaps, she’ll find a way to downgrade, downplay or completely dissolve her relationship, for the sake of peace in the home.
In this mommy vs. daughter war, daughter wins! Regretfully, one day, when the daughter is 21, and off in her own relationship, mommy is left to wonder what could have been with her long-lost man—and mommy loses.
Sometimes, in the mommy vs. daughter wars, the daughter is left out in the cold.
This is especially heartbreaking when the daughter is only doing the right thing—trying to protect herself.
In this scenario, the mommy’s new flame is a sexual predator. He whispers in the daughter’s ear, bursts into the bathroom “accidentally,” stumbles into her bedroom because he was too drunk, and so on and so on.
In the mommy’s eyes, this man is an angel, a provider, a wanna-be disciplinarian, and the man-of-the-house role is right in his reach.
Behind the mommy’s back, this man is a monster, waiting for the right moment to violate her child.
The end result is a frightened daughter who confides in her mother: “He makes me uncomfortable.”
At this point, the mommy can ask the man to leave her home, while she investigates the situation and involve the authorities if necessary. She wants her child to be safe; this mommy had no intent of bringing the boogeyman into their home.
Or, the mommy can draw a line in the sand, demand to know what the daughter did to provoke this unwanted attention, and, if push comes to shove, mommy can send her child packing.
Mommy’s ego is bruised due to: 1). Not wanting to admit that a man may have entered her home to prey on her child, or 2). Feeling the need to compete with her daughter, now considered as “a woman half her age.”
This mommy may get on the phone and warn other female relatives not to let her “slut” daughter into their home to prey on their boyfriends/husbands.
In this scenario, the daughter loses, is excommunicated from the family, and may grow to become an abandoned adult who has difficulty forming trusting relationships with other women. After all, if you can’t trust your own mother to protect you from the monster, whom can you trust?
The mommy vs. daughter wars are a sad reality that continue to plague our families. Mommies deserve to pursue their private lives without feeling guilty about it, and daughters deserve to rely on safety in their own homes.
So how can we end these wars? What do you think?