Mother-Daughter Lessons and Reflections

One way or another, mothers are our guides through life. They lead through example, lessons, simple acts of care, and sometimes the quiet support of letting us make our own mistakes. They spend their days teaching their children, in hopes that one day they will know everything they knew, and hopefully more. 

Motherhood is a challenging (and sometimes thankless) job, and more often than not we are learning alongside each other. “A mothers job is to teach her children to not need her anymore; the hardest part of that job is accepting success,” writes Rochelle B Weinstein in her memoir, Somebody’s Daughter. It’s a good reminder to give each other grace.

Whether your road is a little rocky, caregiver roles have shifted, or your mom is your truest friend, you likely learn from each other. And, for those whose moms have passed, you may continue to grow from them and pay forward the lessons you were taught. If there’s one thing we know, time together is precious.

Here are a few mother-daughter duos who inspire us to appreciate and support each other every step of the way! Plus, questions to ask your mom or daughter (or the family you chose), and reflect on over your next cup of tea.


Viola Davis & Mae Alice Davis


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“This is the woman who birthed me, loves me, and would die for me. Our bond runs deeper than anything man made or given. No one can love you like your mama loves you.”



Goldie Hawn & Kate Hudson


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“My mum gave me the floor to be able to feel confident enough to go out and feel like my life could be my own,” she said at the time. “Mum was my greatest cheerleader. And it just made me think about Rani … going, ‘I hope I give her that kind of confidence,’ you know? … She has challenged the toughest minds, stood tall for her worth, she blazed trails for us to walk a little easier through and cut a lot of those weeds that love to scratch at women’s ankles trying to get us to turn back, she follows through during the toughest moments and never takes no for an answer.”


“A mother-daughter bond is very different … As we grow older together, I can’t express the amount of love, joy, laughter, sadness we share. She understands me, I understand her. We’re girls. We share everything. She’s, like, the greatest.”



Amanda June Giannakos & Gabriela Schonbach



“She’s her own person with a unique perspective and her own clear vision about how to live her life. She taught me that my way is not the only way, which I think is the most difficult thing that a parent must learn from their child. I had to learn to accept that and to trust her to pursue her own path and to make her own mistakes without judging her. You really have to be good at biting your tongue. Which I did so much I’m surprised I still have one! But I have no doubt that she has made me a much better person. I love her unconditionally and would give my life for her.”


“My biggest lesson from being both a mother and a daughter? Time is short. Each day has both firsts and lasts. My baby will never coo the same way again; never see the ocean for the first time again. The next time my mom sees my toddler she will be older and different. This season where I am a mother, but can still call and hug and cry to my own mother is precious and finite. I try not to let this make me anxious. Instead, it helps me appreciate that each day is unique and invaluable; it is to be savoured, remembered, and experienced with presence, patience, and above all—love.”


Diana Ross & Tracee Ellis Ross


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“She’s a mom before she’s ‘Diana Ross.’ My childhood was very anchored in real family life. My mom was home, my mom came and woke me up for school. And what I will say is it looked the way it did for my friends.”



Trilby Goouch & Deborah Goouch



“I turned 40 on a beach in Australia and came to the conclusion that motherhood probably wasn’t going to be part of my life. Two years later, after beginning a relationship that was to become my second marriage, I found myself pregnant. At first I was totally surprised, but then realized this was something I had wanted for a very long time. I was ecstatic when Trilby was born. I was 43 years old and my gratitude for this beautiful gift has never waned.”


“Ever since I was little, my Mum has had a child-like sense of play, imagination and creativity that made growing up very special. She sewed me clothes for my dolls, made little beaded saddles for my toy horses, built me a doll house and helped me furnish it by driving around Ontario looking for dollhouse shops … oh, and she took me to American Girl Place in Chicago where we both had a really wonderful and fun-filled day (she almost brought home her own doll!) Through all of this, I sensed there was always genuine joy to be invested in my imagination. So much time and energy poured into making my childhood a magical one. I’m very grateful for these fond memories.”



Beyonce Knowles & Tina Knowles


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“I am always able to get back to myself because of you—and because of the profound woman that you are. It’s because of you. It is because of you.”


“I remember slumber parties after my divorce, when we watched old movies and ate a lot of ice cream. I felt so loved and supported. The roles were reversed, and it was ME who needed nurturing.”



Michelle & Claudia Pfeiffer


“I always knew I would adopt. I assumed I would give birth first and then adopt. But the time came to be a mother, and I just reversed the order … Boy, there’s nothing typical about my girl. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and an amazing human being. I wanted her to be a really independent, outspoken young woman, and I sure got that! She’s also very creative and inquisitive … She’s everything I’d hoped she would be.”



Saschie MacLean-Magbanua, Stella MacLean, & Vayle


“My mom didn’t give me this advice, but in watching her as a mother I am inspired to embrace every phase, allow the changes to bring joy and learnings, and to savour the deliciousness of parenthood as each moment passes before we even know it.”



8 Reflections for Moms & Daughters

  1. What three words would your mom use to describe you? 
  2. If you could go back to one day in your childhood, which day would that be? Why?
  3. How are we most alike? How are we different?
  4. What’s a song, movie, or book that is most meaningful to you?
  5. What was the hardest thing you went through in your life? How did you overcome it?
  6. Who has been your greatest inspiration in life and why?
  7. What’s the best piece of advice you ever got? 
  8. What are your proudest achievements that I might not know about?

Want more question prompts to ask the women in your life?

The Legacy Letters by Carrie Lloyd is a beautiful prompted journal for those that inspire us. 



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