Patriarchy plays a huge part in mother-daughter relationships. The women of a century ago would have been more inclined to prioritize and focus on their relationship with men, marriage, and children. Right now, Nigerian women are throwing their middle fingers at such social conventions, and for many, all of those things are completely out of the picture. I fear that Nigerian mothers are not taking this development well and that this is manifesting itself in friction in many of today’s mother-daughter relationships. The kind of love and parenting we now demand from our mothers is unfamiliar to them. This is a territory they are unfamiliar with; it goes against everything they were taught a woman should be and aspire to be but with growth comes change, and the stubborn thing about change is that it does not require acceptance, it happens regardless. To sum up, Nigerian children are no longer content with “mediocre” parenting; they are also demanding acceptance and emotional support.
While these are generally true, as a second daughter, I cannot help but notice the peculiarity in my older sister and mom’s relationship – one that is absent in mine and my mom’s. The situation is more critical for first daughters who watched their mothers pour into the patriarchy until they had nothing left for themselves; daughters who are not going to cave under the demand of being a role model to younger siblings; daughters who know that being a good role model is in putting themselves first; daughters who know that love, in its purest form, is giving and taking. There’s an unspoken understanding that my older sister and mom have now come to. It is evident in the respect they have for one another, in the silent defiance and in their shared secrets. My mother now understands that my sister is her own individual, and not an extension of herself.
The situation is not all bad. Speaking with these 13 daughters, I am reminded of the saying “There is light at the end of the tunnel.” Sadly, some don’t manage to make it to the other side.
It’s more like the friendship you have with a wise, older person. You can talk about a lot of things, but you have to hold back a bit make you no go cast yourself. You bring problems to this person and they bring past questions. And the best thing about this is that all my mom wants from me is a clean house when she gets home. I have 2 sisters and while my mom doesn’t have a favorite, I feel like I bond the most with her. Being the first child and daughter, I have to always be with her to help her, sometimes in the kitchen, most of the time in her boutique. We’re besties, we gist a lot and gossip about other people. It’s very easy for us to get along because I understand why she behaves the way she does. We also relate on the subject of raising annoying children – she raised me and I am essentially raising my brother.
During my early teen years, she would always shout at me for being lazy. I grew wings and started shouting back, then she’d beat common sense into me before my dad came to my rescue. We would always settle sha, she’d bribe me with clothes and I’d make sure to bring her Green tea. Now I’m the assistant mummy of the house, my mum would just let me know the chores she wants done and I delegate them to my siblings. I can definitely say we got closer over the years. I just wish she didn’t beat me so much when I was younger. I was just a child. I sometimes forget that my mom is her own person, not just my mother. And motherhood is hard, being the first means that there was a lot of freestyling when it came to raising me.
As a child, I was very closed off and that put walls between us. My mother would want me to talk to her about everything going on in my life but I was too in my own head. She thought I only let my friends in, but I didn’t even have any friends to begin with.
Mine and my mother’s relationship is better off from afar. Whenever we stay together for as long as a month, we get into fights and arguments. However, when far apart, we become lovey dovey and understand each other well. I actually wouldn’t mind spending a couple of weeks with her, but that would be about all I can handle. I don’t have strength for wahala abeg.
My relationship with my mom was initially nonexistent. I was only the assistant mum whose job was to make sure the rest of my five siblings turned out well. My mum and I were not close and in fact, when I was 7, I asked my dad to show me who my real mother was because she expected perfection from me, while others were allowed to be mediocre, I felt she hated me. So I could be far away from her, I went to college as far away as possible. However, our relationship has greatly improved since then. I don’t dread being around her or talking to her on the phone as much as I used to. We communicate like adults and I generally feel comfortable sharing information with her. I won’t go as far as saying she is my best friend but we are cordial. We both respect and support each other. Recently, I spent over a month with her, and it remains one of the highlights of my year. To think that I was initially afraid of going home, expecting the worst would happen, but it was actually so much fun. We watched Riona together and went shopping. Surprisingly, she never shouted at me. I enjoyed seeing her as a regular person and she saw me the same way. It still feels weird being this close to her but we are committed to building our relationship. It helps that I have my own goals and work towards them, and that we don’t live together, but I do wish we could be closer. I can feel it happening already and I am very grateful. I also hope we get to spend more time together so that we can learn from each other.
My relationship with my mother is a middle ground kind of situation. We are neither close nor distant. In everything, I know she loves me; I think that’s all that matters. There has been a slight change in our relationship as I have gotten older. I would maybe like us to be closer. Just maybe. I think building a strong relationship with one’s child is very essential. There’s nothing like a daughter having a friend in her mom, and vice versa.
My mother is imposing – her will is next to law – and it is very tiring. I used to be terrified of her as a child; I was either being beaten or yelled at. I remember this one time she kept me at home for about a week because she found me sketching. “Artists aren’t people who need schooling and it’s not a real career” she said.
I’ve been traumatized so much that it no longer bothers me. One time, she came at me with a knife and all I could think about was if the knife was clean.
I haven’t seen her in three years, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason our relationship is civil. I wish she would see that I’m a whole person, living a separate life and capable of making her own decisions.
I would describe my mom as sweet, patient, adultly naive, a gossip (when she’s with me), very funny (but thinks she’s not), a support system, content (but never fails to stylishly complain to me), a lover, imperfect but perfect. We are practically best friends. We are all we both have. We have had a few fallouts left and right, but we are good.
Not going to lie, my mum used to be really scary and harsh, but as I grew older I realized how alike we are and how I may have misunderstood her. She and I now talk about everything, I can’t even recall the last time I kept a secret from her. She used to be mean to me, but now we are friends. I even call her “my babe”. I think this is the best relationship you can ever share with someone, especially a mother. It actually takes joint effort, especially to desensitize the whole African mother-child relationship. We worked hard to build our relationship and it paid off.
It is sad that my mom is no longer with us. Our relationship was excellent. I was free to discuss any and everything with her, and she was always willing to listen. We related like sisters – she talked to me about certain issues and asked for my opinion on them.
I’d say we get along well. My dad isn’t in the picture, and before my brother started living with us permanently, it was just me and my mum. She overreacts a lot of the time, and she has a lot of expectations from me, but she’s great. I can always count on her, and she doesn’t like it when I’m not around. I’m in school right now, but we talk everyday and I get the biggest hug from her when I come home. She’s not like those strict parents who choke life out of you, she lets me make my own decisions.
When I was a kid, she wasn’t as kind as she is now. I suspect it had something to do with how things ended between her and my dad. Now that she’s older, more comfortable financially and finally seeing other people, she’s sort of over it. She’s a lot more kinder and considerate now. However, I wish she wouldn’t let what others think affect her. She doesn’t have any issue with the things I do or what I wear until someone points it out to her. She guilt trips me a lot when she knows that she’s losing an argument and I hate it. I also would like her to stop cutting my brother more slack than me just because he’s male. Other than those, we’re good. I don’t want kids, and I’m not particularly interested in getting married, but for some reason, these things are important to my mother, in fact she’s already making plans. I have no idea how to break it to her. It would be easier if I had more siblings, but it’s just me and my brother. She believes I’m her revenge against my father. She raised me all by herself, so she says when I get married, she will collect a portion of what she spent on me from my father if he wants to be involved. I hate him, and I want nothing to do with him. In fact, If I were to have my way and I someday want to get married, I would delay it until he is dead, just so that he won’t get to be a father on such an important day. But how can I deny my mum this one thing she desires, after all the sacrifices she made for me?
I have a terrible relationship with my mother. A long distance relationship is better between us because I sometimes just can’t stand her and we get on each other’s nerves. My other female siblings actually have a great relationship with their mom, and I am jealous of them. When I was a child, I remember her being the best mom. I don’t remember when it changed, but when I was 10 I realized that we didn’t agree on many things. She treated me like shit for years and I thought I was adopted (I still think so). If I could, I wouldn’t change anything about our relationship; it would just be awkward. All I need is for her to stop being nasty.
I was a loner growing up and barely connected to anyone, but now I wish I could go back in time to build a relationship with my mom. Over time, I have become fond of her and I love it! She’s like Mother Earth herself. She’s peaceful and filled with love and compassion. She is a good mother – to me, my siblings and to society. My mother is my everything.
I love my mom so much. She’s the best. She is my go-to person and has always been there for me. We are very close and I tell her almost everything. It’s like we’re sisters.
My mom is cool, although sometimes she can be annoying. She is not perfect and has many flaws, but she is really cool. We have a fantastic relationship. We discuss almost everything; God, school, work, boys, finances and so on. We rarely talk about sex, but we are good – until she tells me to “bring a husband home”.