The mother-daughter relationship is considered the most significant of all inter generational relationships. Estrangement between a mother and a daughter is a combination of individual, familial, and societal factors and the reasons why mothers and daughters become estranged can be varied and complex.
The mother’s generation may have included social aspects such as economic depression, nuclear families, early marriage, and basic education. However, as society changes and evolves, the daughter may grow up in a completely different culture, in a robust economy, varied family structures, delayed marriage, immediate focus on a career, and higher education.
Euro-American women want to do fun activities with their mothers, but also want to maintain certain boundaries. Asian-Indian and African-American women generally turn to their mothers for support, wisdom, and advice. Mexican-American women want to be dutiful daughters and help their mothers. All women want respect and trust in their relationship with their mothers.
Mother-daughter relationships will suffer when a single mother tries to find a way for a new partner to enter the family system. The daughter will experience a sense of betrayal, and will worry that she is losing her mother to someone else.
Daughters always need their mothers to be parents. They need their mothers to take some of the steps in mending the relationship. Mothers, on the other hand, need great understanding and forgiveness from their daughters given the inequities in some of society’s expectations.
Society expects women to be good mothers and if they fail, they are considered as bad women. Mothers, rather than fathers, are held responsible for good parenting. Some women are not prepared for parenting responsibilities.