Tag Archives: relationship

The Complexity of Mother-Daughter Relationships and The Real Housewives of New York

8 Jul

The relationships between mothers and daughters are often complex.  The most recent episode of Real Housewives of New York illustrated this.  I’m sure many women can relate to LuAnn’s attempts at finding the right balance between being a friend and being a mother.  Ramona’s daughter, Avery, expressed frustration with her mom for not being home enough, but also demonstrated respect and admiration for her mother in a very touching way.  This type of mixed feelings is very common in parental relationships.  There is no such thing as a perfect parent, but an emphasis on what is wrong or missing in a parent is often most salient during the teen and young adult years.


It is clear that there is much love between Ramona and her daughter Avery, and it’s is very possible that Avery is what we called “parentified.”  To be parentified means that the family dynamics influence a child to take on an adult role before they are actually an adult.  This can happen when one or more parent has a substance abuse problem. The child ends up being the responsible one, and may take over some patent-like responsibilities, or may act or think like a “little adult.”  Becoming parentified can also occur when a child has many siblings and out of necessity must help to raise the younger children in the household, hence spending more time parenting than being a kid.  Avery demonstrates wisdom beyond her years.  She is reasonable in the advice she gives to her mom and Sonja as they shop for Burlesque clothing.  Yet, she also tells her mom that she doesn’t like being home alone at 9:30 at night when her mom and dad are out.  Although one could be quick to judge these mother daughter relationships, the one common theme is the presence of love.


Perhaps the take away message from watching the complex and interesting dynamics between the mothers and daughters of The Real Housewives of New York is that mothers are human, too.  They can make mistakes and still be good mothers.  They can disappoint us, anger us, or even betray us, but it doesn’t mean we stop loving them.  Mother and daughter relationships are complex and varied.  Although it’s possible that some mother daughter relationships are too damaging and may never be repaired, many women may find peace in accepting their mother for who she is.


Getting to a place of acceptance of your mother for who she is may not make for good television ratings, but it will allow you to have a more enjoyable and peaceful relationship with the person who will forever be your mother.