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Moms and Their Young Adult Daughters: Generations in Conflict

According to research, the primary difference that separates mothers and daughters is the younger generation's "social and psychological freedom to defer motherhood" and develop their own potential.

A secondary difference among factions of younger women, depending on their upbringing, includes a rejection of the supermom format or the adoption of motherhood as their primary identity. The following sections explain this in detail.

Let's compare supermoms and their daughters.

Daughters' Points of View

Women now in their 20s and 30s who grew up with supermoms who worked hard to reap the rewards of feminist ideology and liberation aren't necessarily buying into their mom's lifestyle. In fact large numbers are rejecting it, much to their mothers' dismay and disapproval. These gals admire the success their moms worked hard to obtain but aren't buying into that model of motherhood and are lowering their career sights.

Here's why:

  1. Management psychologist, Harry Levison, told the media that many young women of supermoms today don't feel like they can fill her shoes and be as good at this role as she was.
  2. Many of those from the younger generation resented absentee moms who were never at home. Take 26-year-old Marda Herz, daughter of a psychologist. Here's what she told a Wall Street Journal reporter. "I grew up without a mom. I don't want to see my children go through what we had to go through."

Supermoms' Points of View

Those who have investigated this phenomenon found that mothers who worked hard to take advantage of new opportunities afforded as a result of the women's movement…

  1. Burn when daughters reject their ethics.
  2. Interpret their daughter's attitudes as a lack of ambition.
  3. Disapprove of their ability to be financially self-sufficient, particularly in light of the high divorce rate.
  4. See this rejection as a lack of validation of what supermoms were all about.
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mothers and Daughters © 2001 by Rosanne Rosen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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