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Mother-Daughter Bliss Isn’t A Universal Truth

How two Muslim women reconciled their relationships with difficult mothers

For many people, Mother’s Day is an occasion for mimosa-soaked brunches and blue Tiffany boxes. For me, growing up in a family that didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day with any kind of faithfulness, it’s become an occasion for reflection on my notions of motherhood and the relationship I have with my own mother—which is fraught with a number of first-generation anxieties. I love my mother deeply, but our relationship has never been easy, and in recent years I’ve had to divest from it completely at some points.

I met Fariha Róisín on Twitter a few years ago, and from there we began a frank and tender email correspondence. As two Muslim, first-generation daughters, we bonded over our shared experiences. Fariha has written extensively about her own relationship with her mom, and how her mother’s mental illness has complicated their already difficult relationship. For Mother’s Day, we had a conversation about how we resolve and maintain our contentious relationships with our mothers.

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