Solid mother-daughter relationships are the dream of many moms and their offspring but sometimes building that close bond isn’t as easy as movies make it out to be.
Speaking to Move! a young woman shares her mother-daughter relationship journey and what she has learnt from her mom over the years.
Twenty-one-year-old final-year retail management student Samnkelwa Yibe says her relationship with her mom hasn’t always been great.
“Growing up my mother did everything for me, she would bend over backwards to ensure that I had everything I needed. She never compromised.”
However, as she moved into her teenage years, cracks started to appear on the image she had of her mother.
“When I was thirteen and entering my teenage years my relationship with my mom became rocky. My mother is very strict and very protective, but she doesn’t know how to show that in a healthy way,” Samnkelwa shares.
She says her mother gave her tough love.
“When she would speak to me or reprimand me, she never used the nicest words and at times I felt as though she hated me based off the things she said.”
When she was 14 years old, Samnkelwa says, she struggled with her mental health because of the unpleasant relationship she had with her mom.
“I felt like my mother didn’t love me, I became suicidal and started self-harming. There were a lot of things happening in my surroundings and I was trying to get used to the changes happening to my body because of my teenage years.
“I remember at one point my mom would say mean things to me because she noticed I had stopped carrying my lunch to school. What she didn’t know is that I was being bullied, some kids at school would take my lunch and I didn’t how to tell her because of the person she was. She got the impression that I was trying to paint her as a bad mother,” she shares.
Because of the nature of their relationship at the time, Samnkelwa says she started resenting her mom because there were many things she could not share.
“I started hating my mom. I remember there was an incident where I was nearly raped and I didn’t tell my mom and at the time I also had a transport driver who would leave me at school and I would have to ask teachers for money to go back home,” she adds.
The communication barrier was the ultimate reason why their relationship fell apart, until Samnkelwa’s matric year when things changed for the better.
“When I got to my matric year, we had just moved into a new house and she made sure my room was a haven for me. She fixed it up and decorated it, she started being affectionate towards me and I started warming up to her too. She celebrated my matric pass by buying me cake and champagne, and we celebrated together.”
“From there I started to understand the type of person my mom is. She started loosening up and being open with me when I started my first year at university, and our relationship grew tighter as we started sharing things and opening up to each other,” Samnkelwa adds.
As she’s become an adult her relationship with her mother has become solid and healthy. And the lesson she has learnt is that mother-daughter relationships take an equal amount of effort from each side to become successful.
“I talk to my mom about everything, from relationships and even discussing toxic friends and she would advise me as to how I should handle them. My mother has become my best friend.”