Mothering Sunday, is a day most daughters celebrate their mothers - that relationship can either be like a ribbon that ties a beautiful gift, or unfortunately for some, more like a tie that binds and imprisons them.
If you fall into the latter, I know from working with my clients in the Bringing Sparkle Back Clinic just how hard Sunday 11th March will be for you. You will be surrounded by posts on social media of women championing their mums.
This post is for you.
As a Mum myself, I have been blessed to have given birth to 2 beautiful girls (& Step Mum to another equally beautiful girl) and I know that there is no bond stronger than that between Mum and Daughter.
The Mother-Daughter relationship is significant, it's a little girls first experience of an intimate relationship, and it's through this relationship that we learn about trust, about separation and connection, about putting another's needs ahead of our own, and about who we are as individuals. Our Mothers shape and influence us from such a very young age - we are like sponges, soaking up what she believes is possible in life.
To achieve healthy adult relationships with ourselves and others, little girls need to internalise an accepting, unconditionally loving, nurturing and nourishing Mother so that we can relate from, and care for ourselves in this way.
If we haven’t for whatever reason internalised a nurturing Mother, we can get caught in a cycle of searching outside ourselves for others to meet our needs and to affirm our worth in the world. It's this reason that many women enter therapy with me, and whilst we work on symptom relief, a big chunk of their therapy is spent working through the cause.
For these women, it's essentially grief work, because it means letting go of the false identities we have internalised since being a little girl and also coming to terms with the realisation that we cannot change our Mother into the Mother we long for. It means accepting our Mother as she is.
It means growing up and re-mothering ourselves in a loving and nurturing way. It means looking inwards to meet our needs and realising our own self worth. It means becoming the Mum's we never had but very much needed growing up.
Motherhood can be tough, immensely so - ultimately mothers are human beings, sometimes broken ones who have suffered themselves. But, we need to recognise the profound impact that our sense of self and parenting style will ultimately have on our daughter’s sense of self and her ongoing emotional, psychological, social health & well being.
Catherine Asta Labbett is a Psychotherapist transforming women to achieve FULL ON DISCO BALL Sparkle and is also the Founder of Girl Tribe Gang.
Catherine works with women all over the UK and beyond in person and via Facetime/Skype from her clinic base in Yorkshire.
Recently featured on BBC Business, CNN Money and as an expert contributor in the Telegraph, Grazia, Female First, Virgin, Huff Post and BBC Radio