Learn more about the Mother Wound, examples of mother-daughter grief, and the importance of processing your Mother Wound so your unresolved grief does not affect your own children.
The mother-daughter relationship is a sublime and sacred gift. At one point, the two of you shared a heartbeat and you became the source of your mother’s greatest joy the moment you graced the world with your presence.
Unfortunately for many of us, the mother-daughter relationship is not always pink ribbons and rainbows, but actually quite tumultuous and in some cases, downright toxic.
Primitively, we are hardwired to want and need our mother’s love, which makes forming the necessary boundaries to protect our peace and sanity a momentous challenge. On the other hand, we are also hardwired to want to nurture and care for our children. But our own traumas, especially those that occur during childhood, can play a pivotal role in the type of mothers we become, and not always for the best – even despite our best efforts.
The mother-daughter relationship can be a source of grief for many. Whether you are a daughter who continues to feel the latent effects of grieving the mother you never had well into adulthood, you have daughters of your own and you’re trying to do “better” with them than your mother did with you, or both – identifying and processing the grief from your mother wound is critical to your own healing and ensuring your daughters blossom into well-rounded, healthy adults.
What is the Mother Wound?
The Mother Wound speaks to the generational pain, trauma, or wounds passed down from a mother to her children. This could manifest in a number of different ways, including not feeling loved by your mother, not feeling emotionally connected, being rejected, or even not feeling as loved as your siblings. It could look like an overall sense of uncertainty about your relationship with your mother, or never having her approval or acceptance. From the loss of self-esteem to feelings of worthlessness, the Mother Wound plays a big part in the challenges we face in adulthood and especially as parents of our own children.
Examples of Mother/Daughter Grief
Grief is any kind of emotional pain that takes place in your heart. When it comes to the mother-daughter relationship, in more cases than not, grief – in one way or another – is a likely experience. Knowing how to identify whether or not you have an unhealed Mother Wound is the first step to feeling whole again. Here are a just few examples of grief you may be feeling in the mother-daughter relationship:
- Saying “I’ll never be like my mother” and realizing in your adulthood you have similar qualities that you may not like
- Growing up thinking your mother was perfect and finding out the opposite was true
- Feeling rejected or as if you are unable to live up to your mother’s expectations (feeling as though you are not good enough)
- Growing up without a mother’s love
- An inability to practice self-care and ask for support
Healing from the Mother Wound
The bottom line is, the mother-daughter relationship dynamic is multi-faceted and complex. Just like any relationship, the mother-daughter relationship certainly has its challenges. The problem becomes when unidentified and unresolved Mother Wounds manifest in unhealthy ways in adulthood and affect your own parenting and other relationships.
The last thing any of us want to do is pass on the damage our mothers did to us, but without processing the grief and healing, we will ultimately do the same thing our mothers did – and leave our children with indescribable pain that affects them well into adulthood.
If you think you suffer from the effects of a Mother Wound, or you are worried about the damage your unresolved grief might be doing to your own children, you are not alone. We see you, we know you’re hurting, and want to offer you a safe place to share your story and feel supported in your healing journey. Contact us today to set up a free discovery call and spend some time with us – we’re here for you.
Sharon Brubaker is a certified Life Coach and credentialed Grief Specialist who, along with her team, teaches women who are grieving how to process their thoughts and emotions. To learn more about navigating grief within the family, listen to the full podcast episode here or download my free e-Book, The Griever’s Guide, which equips you with the tools to live life after grief; because no griever should have to navigate a broken heart on their own.