There Are Loads Of Different Types Of Daughter - Which One Are You At The Moment?
The Debrief: As you navigate the big scary, massively shitty, world you'll probably be a shit daughter at some point. Here's how to deal with it.
According to new book The Daughterhood by Natasha Fennell, there are nine different types of daughter - having found this out after setting up a support group where guilty daughters could talk through, and work on, their tricky mother-daughter relationships - but we reckon the sort of daughter we are changes with time. From sitting walking into your first independent flat right through to breaking up with The One in your late 20s and calling your mum nine times a day, I've certainly been all of these daughters. So I've also thrown in some advice on how you can improve the situation...
The social media guilt-daughter
You never see your mum, even though you're only a couple of hours away on the train, so overdo the Facebooking to compensate. From changing your profile picture to a pic of her when it's Mother's Day (and you forgot to send flowers), to putting up collages of pics of you and her together on her birthday (because you forgot to send flowers), your mum is pretty much solely on Facebook just to receive your gushing statuses with their near-tangible undercurrent of hysteria.
Solution: Block out a couple of weekends and go see her. Go on. Jeez.
The regression daughter
We've all been this daughter, please tell me we've all been this daughter. It usually comes during a horrible life event, such as a breakup, getting fired, getting chucked out of your home or getting really sick, and you find yourself going back home for an extended period of time to become 16 again. I moved back home for a month after I broke up with my boyfriend, had left my dead end job, and had no money to afford to rent another flat in the city so sorted everything out from my sofa. There was food in the kitchen that I didn't need to agonise over in supermarkets. We would sit and have dinner every night in a warm house and watch films. My dad took me shopping to help him buy shoes.
Solution: Embrace it unless it drags on for longer than a couple of months, and use the time to reboot. Don't wear makeup, and only wear clothes you left behind when you left home. It's sort of liberating.
The busy daughter
Your mum always wanted you to go out and make something of yerself so now you have, and you've become totally independent, there should be lots of cheering. But this means you just don't have time to call, or visit, or email, or anything because you're so busy on the hamster wheel of life AKA you're so busy having a shit work/life balance. Flowers are sent, you always manage to get down for special occasions, but you often lose touch as to what's happening with her and the last time you spoke on the phone it turned out she'd bought a new car and been on holiday to Florence and you'd had no idea.
Solution: Set an alarm, call her weekly. Could be on your commute, could be while you're walking to grab lunch, could be while you're waiting to get into that hot event (or whatever busy working grown-up business people do)
The overly-dependant daughter
The car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and you call your mum before calling AA in the midst of hysterics. See also: your mum still pays your phone bill even though you have a proper job. While the odd panic-call is totally fine (breaking up with someone, getting fired, having a horrible day and just wanting to vent, getting into an argument with another family member etc) there's no point in calling your mum up if it's a practical situation that she can do nothing about. It'll only make her feel bad. And if you can be financially independent then, erm, probably do that.
Solution: Cancel any direct debits between your mum and you. And next time something goes wrong, tell yourself you're not calling your mum. You're going to sort this out like the woman you are. Then call your best mate and cry at her instead.
The daughter who is a clone of her mother
You know this because words come out of your mouth that sound familiar, but you've never said them before. Also, when something goes wrong, you find yourself reacting in exactly the same way. You may also have fallen out with your mum a lot (two similar personalities can lock horns) or clashed, but have intense moments where you're both incredibly in sync - usually about random stuff. Like you are only in harmony while cooking together. Or playing chess.
Solution: Embrace it if you like your mum. If you don't, use her as an example of what not to do.
The selfish daughter
Think back to a time you went out of your way to do something for your mum that wasn't a birthday thing or a mother's day thing. We're not talking basic stuff like calling her, texting her or sorting out her laptop when she can't find the Google Chrome icon (other browsers are available), but something really genuinely nice. My sister is great at this, and often will draw pictures for our mum, or suggest an impromptu trip home, or send a parcel of fun stuff just because it occured to her. I do not do this, and prefer to metaphorically sit in a dark corner consumed at the guilt I feel for having not suggested anything nice because 'Oh y'know I'm really busy writing articles about daughters'.
Solution: Make a list of things you reckon your mum would love to do/receive/have/experience and, every couple of months, try and tick one off the list. They don't have to be big things, but they do have to be special.
The city dick daughter
You moved away to the bright lights and now, when you come back home, won't shut up about how cheap everything is, how slow your mum's wifi is, how great the new bar is and how exhausting the city lifestyle can be. You find all her stories incredibly boring smalltown shit that nobody needs to know about. You say 'hashtag [insert a thing] a lot. You insist on cooking for everyone, and complain about the lack of healthy takeaway options when trying to order in. You go along to the local pub and laugh about how shit it is.
Solution: It's really quiet, and there is no smog, and you have a full fridge. Stop being a dick and appreciate it while it's still there. Also nobody cares about how expensive an Oyster card in London is, or what an Oyster card even is.
The perfect daughter
This doesn't exist. And your mother knows this, as well as the fact that she's not the perfect mother. Unless you're Blue Ivy (Bey's baby), in which case sorry love, there's nothing much we can do for you...
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