You, Me Girls:: The Beautiful Bond of Mothers and Daughters

A mother and a daughter holding hands at a beach at sunset.

There is something so special about mothers and their daughters, and oftentimes, it’s difficult to find the words to describe what that thing is. It is an unspoken bond, yet it speaks volumes about one of the most beautiful human connections that one can ever witness. It’s transmitted in-utero, and lasts even beyond the grave. Despite the fact that no relationship is ever perfect, we love our mothers inherently, and sometimes we love them even more because of their flaws. That is just how we are designed, and there is no amount of reasoning and justification that can convince our hearts otherwise.

Here is a glimpse into my world as a daughter, and ultimately, a mother of a daughter, and what these bonds all mean to me::

The Only Girl

The other day, I was having a conversation with the mom of one of my son’s newest friends. She was an only child – a common occurrence for kids growing up in Russia. She asked me what it was like growing up with three brothers, because she couldn’t even imagine what that would feel like. I told her it was actually pretty special. I loved being part of a big family, and usually no one wanted my girly toys so I didn’t have to share them. However, I remember desperately wanting a sister.

I used to ask my mom over and over again, “Can’t you have one more baby? Can you just make one more girl?” She was very nice about my incessant questioning, but the answer was always that she was done with that chapter of her life. And then, she would say something that made everything better:: “I’m a girl. You and me are girls. We have each other.” I would smile and say, “Yeah. You, me girls!” That expression has stuck to us like glue ever since, and we still say it to this day.

In the end, I liked being the only girl, and I LOVED having special girly days with my Mom. You name it, we’ve done it. We’ve done spa days together, shop ’til you drop days, cocktails and movies…the list goes on. I honestly couldn’t have felt more fulfilled in the “girl department” of life, sister or no sister.

A smiling daughter and mother.

 My Mom and me, circa 1986

Reflections of My Childhood

When I think about my mom and my childhood, there is really one thing that stands out the most. It’s the one thing we all want and need the most too:: Love. When I think about how she mothered me, I equate my childhood {and adulthood} to feeling so loved. Despite the fact that my mom had four children {including a set of twins}, worked from home every spare minute she could find, and chaperoned us to every single activity and game we were involved in, she made the effort to make us feel special.

Here’s one example out of thousands I could choose from:: after dinnertime, my mom used to spend several evenings on the phone for her business. I remember sometimes just wanting to be with her, or wanting to say goodnight. I would open her office door, and instead of shooing me away, she would gesture for me to come sit on her lap. And then, as she talked to whomever was on the other end, she would rub my back in such a calming and bliss-inducing way, that no one’s back rubs have ever compared to hers in my entire 36 years of life. She was busy and she was tired. But she always found a way to be there for me and make me feel good.

After Becoming a Mother

I have always told my mom that she is my hero. Especially now that I am also a mother, I am in awe of how she did it all – taking care of the four of us, and doing it so effortlessly. {My dad took great care of us too, just for the record}. I often think about the fact that I have half the amount of kids she does, and most of the time I feel so overwhelmed with very little energy at the end of the day. I also often find myself venting to her about my kids, asking for her advice on important matters regarding them, and yes, there have also been the desperate tear-filled calls when I felt like I was losing my mind. She has always been there for me, and always empathized with what I was going through.

Based off of all this, you can only imagine the amazing grandmother she is. So thoughtful, and loving and once again, making the children in her life feel so special. She comes to play with my kids weekly, and helps babysit regularly.

A year or two ago, I found this awesome framed statement that said, “It was from you that I learned to be me.” I instantly purchased it and gave it to her on Mother’s Day. It quite literally sums up my entire existence…a love-filled life with her as my core role model. I would not be the person I am today, nor the mother I am if it weren’t for her unconditional love and support.

Framed text states: It was from you that I learned to be me.

Winning the Mother-in-Law Jackpot

I would be remiss not to mention another mother who came into my life exactly 11 years ago…a woman who has also been a huge support and inspiration to me. When I talk about my mother-in-law to others, I usually get the feeling they want to smack me. Not because I’m being smug. But because I seriously lucked out. Our relationship is kind of like the proverbial “unicorn in the forest” sighting. We co-exist harmoniously, we support and help one another, and she treats me like I am her own daughter. Yet, we could not be more different people. She is an Israeli-born Houston artist, who is cordial, but also tells you like it is. There is no sugar-coating going on, and she doesn’t really have time for small talk.

It took some time to figure one another out, and yes, there have been some squabbles. No relationship is perfect. In our society, the whole mother-in-law/daughter-in-law dynamic tends to veer more on the rocky side of interpersonal relationships. If I could deduce what exactly it is about my mother-in-law and me that works, I would totally brand it and try to sell it because I know how rare it is.

When our house flooded after Hurricane Harvey, she graciously moved us to her home where we set up camp for six months as we worked to remodel our flooded house. Many people would ask me how I could live with my in-laws that long and not go crazy! I completely understood why they were asking that, but what they didn’t know was that our relationship is unique, and in the end, they seriously saved our butts.

The one thing about us that stands out the most to me is that we count on each other in a way that generates a certain respect. She is the closest thing I have to a nanny – she picks up one of my kids once a week from school and spends the entire afternoon with them. She also usually babysits once a week so my husband and I can go on a date. On the flip-side, I have become her unofficial in-house editor regarding all the articles, speeches, and bios that that come about in her profession.

Ultimately though, we listen to each other. We cheer each other on as we accomplish our goals. She clearly works hard to develop and keep independent, intimate relationships with each of her grandchildren. We love each other. And I could not be more lucky.

A photograph of a smiling woman and her mother in law.

My Mother-in-Law and Me, Passover 2019

Inspiration for my Future Self

It is with all this love and support in my life that I have thrived, and am now striving to perpetuate the same sentiments with my own children. Even though I happen to have a daughter of my own {which don’t get me wrong, I am super happy about!}, it doesn’t change my overall mission of trying to be the best mother I can be, and to make my children feel good and loved just as the women in my life have done for me.

My four-year-old daughter just so happens to be my biggest fan right now…something I am relishing to the max because I know it is just a phase. Every day she tells me that I am the “best mommy ever in the world,” and that we will be “best friends forever.” I sure hope so, my love. That would be my dream come true.

A photograph of a smiling mother and daughter.

Me and my daughter, Juliet, at Disney on Ice, Easter 2019


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You, Me Girls: The Beautiful Bond of Mothers and Daughters. A photograph of a smiling mother and daughter. Logo: Houston moms blog.

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Originally from Denver, Colorado, Emily moved to Sugar Land, Texas as a young girl. She studied journalism and psychology at UT Austin, and has experience in newspaper reporting, technical writing, and freelance writing. When she can, she works on writing her first-ever book. Somehow, Emily randomly ends up living abroad for short stints of time. In 2007, while attempting to heal a broken heart, she moved to Bilbao, Spain, and completed a six-month work-study program. Despite swearing off serious relationships, her husband, Oren, swooped in shortly after her return. They struggled with infertility, but were ultimately rewarded with their two precious children, Mayer {June 2013} and Juliet {April 2015}. In 2019, Emily’s family relocated to Montpellier, France, for Oren’s job. They managed to learn the language, forever spoiled their taste buds, and saw some really beautiful things. Now back in Houston, they are eating all the Tex-Mex and enjoying family.


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