Mothers and daughters
A portrait series taking a deeper look at the complex relationship.
Each set are being asked the same questions.
1. What is a quality or aspect of your personality you think you share?
2. What is an aspect of your personality you think is most different?
3. What is something you learned from your mother or daughter that you could not have learned from anyone else?
Helen, Genna and Marcy
Helen on her daughters, Genna and Marcy
1. Genna and I are both passionate about our values and beliefs. We have both chosen life paths that are dedicated to social justice and having an impact on the world.
Marcy and I both like to plan and organize events and our lives. Neither of us procrastinates. We take charge and start planning for trips, projects and events well in advance and cover all of the details.
2. Marcy is much braver and independent than I am. Marcy absolutely goes her own way and does not follow the crowd. She is sensitive to other people's feelings, but she does what she believes is right. I am not necessarily a follower but at her age, I cared far more for what others thought of me.
Genna is much more able to go with the flow and not over worry about what she can't control. I like to plan ahead likely because I am worried about outcomes and need to try and control them.
3. As my first daughter, Genna led the way in asserting her own personality and abilities. She taught me to celebrate who she is and not try to make her over in my image. She taught me that children are not a reflection of their parents, but rather of themselves.
Mothering Marcy has taught me the true meaning of being supportive. I have learned from her how to listen and encourage without giving unasked for advice or judgments. By asking for what she needs and wants from me, at an early age, she has helped teach me how to give it to her. She has helped me to be a better Mother and friend.
Genna on her mother, Helen
1. My mom and I are both very passionate about our work, and we both do work that we really care about. I think we are both people who want to give back and help people and both of us translated that not only to the way we relate to people but also to the work that we do every day.
2. I think I am less structured than my mother. I wish I could be as organized as she is (and I will say, she taught me to love a spreadsheet) but I think that I am more likely to deviate from a plan.
3. I learned how to welcome people into my life and my home from my mother. There is no one more welcoming, loving, or kind. She always impressed upon us that anyone that we welcome into our lives is welcome into hers as well and that means that I have been lucky to grow up with a large family made up of people related to me and not.
My mother is wonderful at making people feel welcome and I feel lucky that I learned that from her.
Marcy on her mother, Helen
1. One aspect that I think we all share is our ability to always think of other people. This is something that I think the three of us share but sometimes show in different ways. She has taught me to be kind, and not think of what other people have but what other people need and how you can help them achieve that. I really think the two go hand in hand because if you are thinking about how to help others get what they need you are thinking of them. I try to utilize this way of thinking in not just social justice ways but in my work and social life.
2. I am still learning to say 'No!" to commitments, not everything, but balancing my social life with my alone time as well as work life balance. I have never been good at saying no in that aspect and am used to overbooking myself thinking, oh I will have downtime later, and then that later never comes.
3. From both my parents, but specifically my mother, she taught me about honesty... This story involves my sister getting in trouble for not being honest (don't worry, she was young and it wasn't THAT bad), but she proved a lesson my mother always taught us. This was that it is better to be honest and get in trouble or try to fix what you did, then to lie and get in trouble while covering it up. I knew that as long as I was honest, telling the truth would be the hardest part of the situation. Where as if you lie, you have to make up for what you did wrong and the fact that you covered it up. I think that because of that lesson, people have trusted me to not only get things done but that if I don't I will be honest and work with them to fix it.