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Catherine and her mother

That’s me and Mother (a few years ago!)

In her review on Amazon.com of Journeys to Mother Love, Judy Pex* wrote, “I would recommend this book to any woman because even if we don’t all have daughters, we do all have mothers, and from my personal experience as well as women I speak with, those relationships can often be complicated.”

When it comes to complicated relationships, Judy knows of what she speaks. Growing up Jewish in America, living most of her adult life as a Messianic believer in Israel, raising her children to believe in Yeshua (Jesus) while they attended Israeli schools and then served in the Israeli army, hosting travelers from all over the world in the hostel she and her husband, John, run. Worshiping with and caring for people from many different cultural and language backgrounds. Working with refugees. All kinds of opportunities for complicated relationships (which she navigates with grace)!

Especially fraught with opportunities for complications is the mother/child relationship, and most especially the mother/daughter relationship. Why is that?

I’m going to list some thoughts off the top of my head about what might cause those complications:

1. Perhaps mothers try to re-live their lives through their daughters. And perhaps daughters see themselves or their potential selves in their mothers, and they may or may not like what they see.

2. Unrealistic expectations.

3. Emotional dependence.

4. The need to (and not always managing to) really listen and view your daughter – or mother – as a unique individual in her own right.

I’m sure there are many more contributing factors. Maybe our readers can add their thoughts about why this mother/daughter relationship can – and often does – become so complicated.

~ Catherine Lawton

*Judy (Judith Galblum Pex) is the author of Walk the Land: A Journey on Foot through Israel and A People Tall and Smooth: Stories of Escape from Sudan to Israel.