Tracey Jackson

May 8 2014 | Comments


This weekend is Mother’s Day and all the moms will hopefully get some TLC and recognition for their work on  what can sometimes be the battlefield known as mothering.

“You know mothers and daughters”  is often what you hear when mothers and or daughters are complaining about the other. Because as joyful as it is – it is full of real struggles.

I don’t know any other relationship that can go from totally full on high-octane anger and accusations to total and complete love. There is something that connects mothers and daughters that is like nothing else

I know from myself, I can go from being beyond furious at one of my daughters to within seconds being filled with such love it’s overwhelming.

Sometimes my younger daughter will ask how I can forgive her sister so quickly when I have been so mad and I say “I just love you guys so much. It’s a mom thing.”  Love usually wins out if you let it. And oddly you don’t have to work that hard to find it. It’s right there. It comes with the kid; Like a battery pack and a camera.

I don’t think you really understand what it means to be a mother until you are one.  Not a week goes by that I don’t say to one of my girls, “You will never get why I feel this way until you have a child of your own.”

I usually get the response “I will never behave like you do.” I just can’t wait to see them behave exactly as I do. As there are so many moments I behave just like my mother.

It’s not secret I have had issues with my mother. And she would tell you she has had issues with me.

But at the end of the day love won out. She can still push my buttons. And I know there are things about me that drive her crazy at times. But we have a shorthand, we can say one thing that takes us back to that place of affection, shared experience and some weird cord that is almost impossible to sever.

To be a mother and to be a daughter means you learn to forgive. You learn to forget. Words spoken in haste and anger can be taken back. Bad behavior is forgotten in a way it is not in many other connections.

I can write “xoxoSpoon” and I am back in my mother’s good graces. I can write NUG and I know Taylor instantly feels warmth towards me. I can send Lucy a picture of a puppy in the middle of the day and I get hearts back. We know the sweet spots as well as we know the trigger points.

I find joy in things my mother does now that I don’t think I would have before I was a mother, before she and I both started to age. She takes painting and makes baskets, and has her knitting group come to her house. When she says something that pushes my buttons ( which all mothers do to their daughters because it’s part of the relationship) I think about her painting in her kitchen or picking up pine needles at 85 to take to her basket weaving and I can’t do anything but love her.

My older daughter can drive me crazier than almost anyone ever has. But this morning before she left for work she came in and sat on our bed, all dressed up and full of enthusiasm for her day ahead and I just couldn’t do anything but love her to death.

My younger daughter is yet to cause me any of the moments of grief the other two have; partially because of where she comes in the order and partially because of who she is. But she can bark at me like a dog when I am loving and motherly and she wants her space . She hurts my feelings as all kids do, especially as they try and seperate. But then I walk in her room and see her playing her Harry Potter trivia, she wriggles her nose at me and my heart melts.

I think the older you get the more you value your parents. Some people don’t really understand how much they loved their mother until they are gone.

I see a love my mother has for her mother now that I never saw for years. It was clearly always there, but it really kicked in after she was gone.

Nothing makes me happier than when all the mother daughter relationships in my life are working.

I can have  success at something but if I’m fighting with my mother or there is some issue with one of my girls I am rendered miserable.

Sunday we celebrate mothers; but for those of us still lucky enough to have mothers we should remember to be good daughters and sons every day. And those of us who are mothers, we need to relish all the moments as it’s a totally evolutionary relationship.  Yet it is totally stuck forever in one place – the center of your heart.


My  mother and her mother in Paris.

My mother and her mother in Paris.

My first trip to Paris with my mother.

My first trip to Paris with my mother.

Me with my girls in Paris.

Me with my girls in Paris.

  • Awleib

    I LOVED this! Thanks for this very sweet post. Happy Mother’s Day and I’m sending this post to my daughter. Right now. x

  • Happy Mother’s Day Arlene – and I hope she appreciates you as I know how much you care about her.

  • Teresa

    The photos of the generations in Paris together are just fabulous! I’ll be there in two weeks. As the mother of two daughters, I agree that being a mother of daughters is the most difficult job in the world. Just like you, my oldest daughter was so much work and my other daughter was always easy. Now, the oldest is a fabulous mother of three and she and I are a fabulous team in loving her children. She is a wonderful wife, teacher, sister, and overall great and fun person. So, thank goodness I lived through those turbulent years of 12 through 21 so that I could reap the rewards of my persistent love. There were days and nights where I thought I would not survive. My mother died at a young age o 43 of a brain tumor. I had to mother without my mother. I am so happy that I am able to mother with my daughter and help to raise her wonderful children. She is now 29 years old and our relationship is so wonderful. My daughters are now my best friends. I miss my mother more than words can express. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  • Sorry about your mom. But happy to hear about the closeness you experience with your daughters.
    I certainly know those days and nights when you think you won’t make it through. But kids are like Gumby dolls they stretch then bounce back into shape.
    Happy Mother’s Day Teresa!
    Enjoy Paris.

  • Karen Nedler Quinn

    Happy Mother’s Day Tracey! I loved this post and loved seeing the pics of you and your mom in Paris, then you and your girls in Paris. I’m happily enjoying the weekend in Denver right now, celebrating Mother’s Day with my amazing mother, so grateful to have her in my life! Enjoy the weekend with your daughters.

  • michele

    I read this earlier in the weekend but didn’t have the chance to comment. I purposely came back to it today so that I could do so. Tracey, this was beautiful, insightful and brought me to the verge of tears. I just returned last night from the Niagara Falls area where I spent several days with my two girls. I watched with enormous love and pride as my older daughter introduced my younger one beautifully with a brief speech to an audience of more than 1400 people. I was astounded with the grace and ease that my 18 year old commanded the room while speaking for more than 10 minutes without notes. My heart swelled to the point that I thought it would burst with love for both of them. It took exactly 3 hours after that for my older one to throw me right over the edge! (I wonder if it’s a thing with older daughters?!) But, as you say, it passes, and in the end all that remains is a mother’s undying, unconditional love. A love that only a mother could understand. Thank you yet again for your wonderful words. I wish you not only a beautiful Mother’s day but a beautiful every day.