The Mother-Daughter Bond: Like Mother, Like Daughter

May 10, 2020 | Family, Today's Family Now

Springtime, and the month of May in particular, is a time when we think about mothers. As we walk through the park, we might spy a mother bird sitting on her nest or see a mama duck waddle to the pond with her ducklings following closely behind. Mother’s Day, which this year falls on May 10, is when we celebrate all of the mothers and “mother-figures” in our lives. There is a special bond between mothers and daughters, whether that relationship is only a few years old or many decades long. These mother-daughter pairs remind us of what makes that connection so unique.
A Young Mother/Daughter

Madison Durr and her husband, Dalton, live in Versailles, Kentucky, on a thoroughbred farm, which gives their almost 2-year-old daughter, Sadie Jane, lots of space to run around. “We have plenty of places to roam and explore,” Madison says, adding that there are horses literally in her front yard.

When Sadie Jane was born, Madison stayed home for four months before returning to work. However, in December 2019, Madison decided to be a stay-at-home mom, in part because she is expecting another baby (a boy) in late spring 2020. 

Madison says she always pictured herself as a “boy mom” so she was a little nervous in 2018 when she discovered she was having a daughter. However, like most mothers, she has been blown away by the love she has for her child. “Motherhood is the best and scariest thing I’ve ever done. Every single day comes with new challenges, but it’s so worth it,” she says. 

Seeing the world through a young child’s eyes is like seeing it for yourself for the first time, and it does feel magical. “Sadie has made my life so much more fun! Watching her learn and grow every day is, by far, my favorite thing I’ve ever done,” Madison says. Whether Sadie Jane is checking on the horses or watching Mickey Mouse on television, Madison enjoys watching her daughter’s personality bloom.

Working together, for some families, could jeopardize their close relationships, but Amanda says she and her mom are committed to keeping work at work. “If [working together] starts to impair our relationship as mother and daughter, we’re not willing to sacrifice that,” Amanda says.

The Mother-Daughter Work Partnership

Jean Schumm, the president and founder of Operation Parent, is the mother of five children and has the opportunity to work with her daughter, Amanda Gale, who is the director of community partnerships at the nonprofit. 

Jean founded the organization 14 years ago to support parents as they navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of raising children, especially pre-teens and teenagers. She and her husband faced their own parenting challenges.“The kids we were struggling with? One of them was Amanda,” she says with a laugh. 

About three years ago, Jean asked Amanda to join the organization. “I had seen so many miracles at work, and I wanted her to see them,” Jean says. Since joining Operation Parent, Amanda has brought her marketing skills and social media finesse to the office, which is very different from how Jean operates. While Amanda is paperless and likes to work from home, Jean carries a pen and notepad and likes to meet face-to-face with others. “These differences between us have shown us how our organization has to change to connect to today’s young parents,” Jean says. 

As a mother of two children ages three and five, Amanda has her finger on the pulse of what is happening to today’s parents but admits it took a long time for her to understand and appreciate Operation Parent. “I didn’t really understand it and the importance of it until I became a mom,” she says. 

Amanda appreciates her mom and is inspired by what she has done, both professionally and personally. Whether it is building her organization over the years or struggling two times with cancer, Amanda says, “I admire her resiliency and not taking no for an answer. She is persistent and so dang positive.” On top of that, Amanda says her mom is an amazing “Gigi” to her grandchildren.  

Working together, for some families, could jeopardize their close relationships, but Amanda says she and her mom are committed to keeping work at work. “If [working together] starts to impair our relationship as mother and daughter, we’re not willing to sacrifice that,” Amanda says. 

Kaneisha Hoosier-Gravelle (left) and her sister (not pictured)  share a love of cooking with their mother Cynthia (right) that goes beyond just the stove or oven. Their creativity comes in not only the preparation of the food but the decorating and display of the food on the table.

A “Model” Mom and Her Daughters

Cynthia Hoosier has had a life full of unique experiences. She worked as a model for many years, which allowed her to travel and work for some of the top European fashion designers. A love of travel deepened into an over three decade career as a flight attendant for American Airlines. She is also a published author of two books. With all this on her resume and under her belt, she might be an intimidating presence to her two daughters, Kaneisha Hoosier-Gravelle and Keyasia Hoosier. However, they have only ever seen their mother as an inspiration. “I just wanted to be like her,“ Kaneisha says. That feeling of pride goes both ways. “As a mother, I am so proud to witness the perseverance of each of my daughters as they continue to grow as young women. My heart is filled with so much pride,” Cynthia says.

Although the mother and daughters have different interests and personalities, the connection between the three has always been close. Kaneisha is a former dental assistant and current stay-at-home mother to her 2-year-old son Landyn, while Keyasia serves as a bus monitor for Jefferson County Public Schools. The three of them share a love of cooking that goes beyond just the stove or oven. Their creativity comes in not only the preparation of the food but the decorating and display of the food on the table. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for them since they’ve been unable to spend time together. While Keyasia lives with her parents in downtown Louisville, Kaneisha and her family live in Jeffersontown. Their exchanges have all been from the driveway, which Landyn doesn’t really understand. “He gets confused about why he can’t get out [of the car] and hug Nana and Pawpaw,” Kaneisha says. 

Cynthia and Keyasia even joined Kaneisha and her husband when she delivered Landyn. “Being in the delivery room with her, coaching her, and encouraging her through it was a feeling like none that I could have ever imagined,” Cynthia says. “To see one of your babies bringing life into the world and seeing my grandson be born was an exciting time.”

We photographed Denise and her daughter Kenedraa Richardson last year at Churchill Downs. Although Denise faced challenges as a young mother, her daughters understand how difficult that experience was for her. “We admire our mom’s strength; she always made sure we had the things we needed to succeed,” they say.
“Model” Daughters and Their Mom

When Denise Richardson thinks about what she wants for her daughters Chelsea and Kenedraa, she says, “I want them to make something of their lives that I wasn’t able to accomplish.” Denise says she had a child at a young age and lost her own mother soon after, which forced her to forge her own path. She is proud of what her daughters have accomplished in their young lives. Chelsea is a student at the University of Louisville and an Army reservist, while Kenedraa attends Jefferson Community and Technical College and models in magazines and fashion shows. Both young women are majoring in communications. 

Chelsea’s departure for Army boot camp was an overwhelming experience for these three women. It was the first time one of the girls had ever left Denise for a long period of time. However, that sadness was transformed into pride when Denise and Kenedraa attended Chelsea’s graduation from basic training. “I was very proud to see what she had become, [and] Kenedraa was emotional seeing her big sister in uniform for the first time,” Denise says. 

Although Denise faced challenges as a young mother, her daughters understand how difficult that experience was for her. “We admire our mom’s strength; she always made sure we had the things we needed to succeed,” they say. For her part, Denise admires her girls’ determination to get through college and accomplish the goals they set for themselves.

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