Monday, December 10, 2018

not your typical mother - daughter power struggle

a family portrait that took blood, sweat and tears to achieve, literally

It would be fair to say that my mother and I have had our fair share of power struggles, but a recent flick through our family album has brought memories of one of our more unusual battles to light. Childlike stubbornness was never outgrown by my mum, and of course I am a strong person myself - strong but wise on most occasions. I was always a little more dignified than my parents with a sophisticated way of expressing my opinions (that didn't need to resort to the passive aggressive play book favoured by mum)

Which is why I'm absolutely pissing myself laughing about the time I made my mum shave my arm pits.

Not so sophisticated now, right?

But how could a mother end up being forced to shave their daughter's underarms and could you ever lose power so much that this could happen to you? Nah, it won't happen to you, because you probably would have course corrected and come to an easier solution.

You probably aren't slaving over the making of "going out" outfits for your kids (although I must wave hello to my Etsy friends who may be the exception to this, although running your own businesses you probably dress everyone else's kids before your own) but had you slaved over a nice sleeveless dress for your daughter only to discover before a family party that said daughter had developed a small forest in their underarms you probably wouldn't try and force them to wear the dress, at least not after they turned their mortified face to you and said "I can't wear that"

Honestly I am quite fortunate to have buried this story in the darker recesses of my mind until now, when I am of course, pissing myself laughing about mum and I screaming at each other about whether or not I would wear that dress

I can recall the words "no one will care" and hey, free parenting advice, if your kid is really upset about something, saying no one cares, or no one will care, or no one will notice are all things that make them feel like they are no one because believe it or not they care, very much, and are telling you they do. From their little heart to yours, and I know you can't cater to your child's every whim, but at least don't say their feelings don't matter. But you knew that right?

So it won't be you that ends up losing a heated battle and having their daughter scream "shave my arm pits!" before driving a long way to a family party and having them never take their cardigan off the whole time (yep can't even see that dress huh?) and you won't spend your life feeling like you are their body servant, although I believe you may feel like that for the first few years of diapers, bathing, dressing, and bottom wiping. But that's why mum's drink isn't it?

And that's the story behind this family portrait of me holding my first niece, who is now a new mum of a beautiful little boy named Owen, and may their power struggles be few and far between, but may they be fantastic and hilarious and easy to forgive when they do come.