When you don’t have your mum around, you notice strong mother daughter relationships everywhere you look. They smack you in the face, whether it’s in Costa, at the cinema, in a shopping centre or more recently people mentioning their mums babysitting or offering parenting help.
My own mother died when I was 15, before I really had a chance to know her as a person and not just my mum. It is only now that I see how difficult it is to still be your own person when you are parenting, you willingly give up so much of yourself to raise these tiny human beings that are so dependent on you and sometimes you get a little lost in the process. It would have been nice to have reached a point in our relationship where I got to see what she liked, disliked, ranted and raved about. You don’t tend to show those things to your kids often enough because you are too busy trying not to impress your opinions on to them to allow them to form their own.
With the revival of The Gilmore Girls coming to Netflix tomorrow, it got me thinking about the relationship between Lorelai and Rory and just how bloody perfect it is. I mean, it is seriously something to aspire to. One of the many quotes from Gilmore Girls that made me reevaluate how I want to parent my daughter is from Rory’s valedictorian speech where she says:
‘…my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life’s blood, Lorelai Gilmore … My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her … Thank you, Mom. You are my guidepost for everything.’
I don’t pretend to be reading Jane Austen to Isabelle as a bedtime story every evening and I know that this is just a fictional show we are discussing here, but this quote gives me ‘all the feels’. I want to find that perfect balance we all strive for between parent and friend. I completely disagree with all those people who say we cant be friends with our kids. We can’t just be friends with our kids in the absence of being a parent, that is the difference.
I want to be Lorelai to Isabelle’s Rory and I hope that she will want that too. You can miss what you’ve never had. I’m testament to that. I would love to be going for a coffee with my mum, asking her advice and telling her she’s seriously too old to be wearing skinny jeans but I can’t. She wasn’t mother of the bride at my wedding, she wasn’t there to meet my baby, she wasn’t there to see me do any of the things I am proud of in life.
It is really really hard to be a mother without a mother. Motherless daughters is the coined phrase I believe and it is a difficult thing to truly understand unless you have lived it. I know that losing any parent at any age is tough, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like it has got so much harder since I became a mother myself because I get it. I get the tough calls she had to make, the times she shouted and cried and got mad. I do all of those things all the time and I hope one day Isabelle understands why. Because mothering, well parenting in general, is bloody hard work.
I think Lorelai has got it right though by muddling her way through with plenty of coffee, humour and a healthy dose of sarcasm. I cannot wait to see how they have grown up and I plan on watching it with a large glass of red, something chocolatey and snuggles with my daughter who can stay up a little later this weekend.