Resourcing your relationship: Daughtering from a place of provision A discussion w/ Kat Foster
The wait is finally over! What better way to launch season 2 of Hello Mother, Hello Daughter than by having Kat Foster on the podcast? Kat Foster (@iamkatfoster) is a profoundly versatile, classically-trained actor known for her leading roles in a wide range of film, television, and theater productions. Her recent creative endeavor, a short film, connected Kat to Allison and Michelle’s work through the term daughtering.
In their discussion, Kat describes the role and behaviors associated with daughtering through the notion of replenishing, or resourcing, oneself first in order to daughter effectively. This sense of individuation guides daughters in understanding their own needs, even if mothering cannot fulfill them. Sharing her personal experience as both a mother and a daughter, Kat explains how looking inwards makes visible the ways that one is resourced, both positively and negatively, in their mother-daughter relationship. In turn, this can help daughters recognize areas to be grateful for as well as those in need of repair.
Kat’s short film Daughtering–which she wrote, directed, and starred in–serves as an example of resourcing through creative means. She describes a sense of profound connection, which is portrayed in the film yet not found in her offscreen mother-daughter relationship. The short film’s relation to a longing for mothering serves as a way of processing complex relationships in which there is both compassion and resentment.
Allison and Kat reference the concept of "separating the being from the doing" when understanding daughtering. They discuss "daughtering and being" through identity, feelings, and thoughts, allowing daughters to make peace with themselves. In contrast, “doing daughtering” does not necessarily mean elder caregiving, as care can be shown through emotional support and acts of service. Consider how as daughters, we may desire for our mothers to live more fully, whether that be overcoming a fear or enjoying activities they love!
The podcast ends with a tip (or homework?!) from our hosts, Drs. Allison Alford and Michelle Miller-Day, to account for the ways one is resourced or needs resources in their mother-daughter relationship: Make a list of what you have in your mother-daughter relationship that strengthens connection, as well as what makes it difficult to engage in the relationship. Reflecting on the items on this list can bring awareness to your daughtering resources.
Memorable quote from Kat
“You can’t care for people if you are under resourced, yet giving your resources is a pleasure, like a wonderful symbiotic relationship.”
Memorable quote from Allison
“Being great daughters means being good to ourselves first.”
Hello, mother. Hello, daughter.
Just like any relationship, the adult mother daughter relationship takes work. I'm your host, Dr. Michelle Miller Day.
And I'm your host, Dr. Allison Alford. In this
podcast, we'll discuss the experience of mothering and daughtering in adulthood. We'll explore the topics that matter most to women using both a scientific perspective and an everyday relational lens.
Be sure to listen till the end of the podcast to hear our pro tips for both mothers and daughters. Our goal for this podcast is to help women have better relationships and better lives. And of
course, don't forget to like and follow us on social media.
Welcome back to season two, episode one of Hello Mother, Hello Daughter. The focus of this
season is to interview others on the topic of the adult
mother daughter relationship. Alison and Michelle will interview women separately. And then stay put to listen for our tips at the end of our episode. Let's go for it, Allison. I am
so excited today about the interview that we have for
our listeners. Me too. Oh,
okay. I can't keep it a secret. So I'm going to spill the beans a bit about our guest and then we can talk about some of the themes and content
and stuff. Okay.
Okay. Go for it. Hello, mother. Hello, daughter. Today's
podcast guest is the cat. Now, Kat Foster is a profoundly versatile, classically trained actor known for her leading roles in a wide range of film, television and theater productions. I'm a little starstruck people, so forgive me. Equally adept at both comedic and dramatic genres. Foster broke into mainstream television. What was it? In 2006 as Steph Woodcock on the Fox rom com series, Till Death. She starred in the sitcom, Your Family or Mine, had recurring roles. in a couple of series, including Royal Pains, Weeds, The Good Wife, Law and Order, Special Victims Unit.
Dun dun! Yeah, she's, she's kind of been everywhere, right? I know!
But most recently, and this is absolutely what drew us to her, is she has written, directed, and starred in her first short film titled
Daughtering. Yeah, I, I just couldn't believe that this was out there in the world. Uh, funny enough, Kat actually found me through the word daughtering. You know, the internet brings people together. Uh, she found me more than a year ago and we, we kind of connected over our shared love of talking about mother daughter relationships. And she was generous enough to, and you know, get on an interview with me and talk to me today about mothers and daughters, media, Hollywood, culture, uh, you name it. Oh, this
could not be more appropriate for this podcast,
could it? Yeah, I know. So I, I have to say that I was lucky enough to get to see Cats short. And it's everything that it, uh, claimed to be, but what I enjoyed most about talking to Kat was hearing her personal story, uh, of her experiences of mothering and daughtering and her ideas about what it means to be a human, a mother, a daughter in relationship with people and doing all of that, even when it's difficult. Yeah, exactly. I don't know media
portrayals of mothers and daughters are
so impactful from
a cultural perspective. I've written some things about it, but we see these images of mothers and daughters, you know, as best friends as the, the angelic mother or the demonic mother. There's always these, these extremes, but the media portrayals are so impactful.
We see them. We model after them.
And we, the ideal mother, right, and the ideal daughter are portrayed, or the worst daughter, the worst mother. And
most of us are all in between that. Yeah, we're in between that, or we're lots of those all together at the same time. And you know it, yeah, in one day, in one hour, and, and it matters what's out there in the media for us to see, right? And so, I think you're going to like hearing what Kat has to say. On, on all of these topics too, her
film is about the autonomy of a daughter, the complexity, the anger, the love, the duty of a woman all bound up in, in
one space. And you know, what's, uh, what's really special about it is that it's, it's not a, um, it's not a picture perfect sort of sweet portrayal and it's not tidy, it's messy, but there's love there. It's, it's a messy kind of, uh, imperfect love, but it's not a saccharine sweet type of love. And ultimately Kat and I talk about her personal life and, and mine as well, and how those experiences play out in our full humanity. Awesome. Let's not waste any more time. Let's get to it. Okay. You got it. Okay. So I am here today with Kat Foster. Kat, uh, thanks so much for being here. My total pleasure. And we connected and started talking about our shared love of really just talking about mothers and daughters and mother daughter relationships. And that's kind of what we're here to talk about today. Mothers and daughters and the media and Hollywood and culture, you name it. Welcome to you, Kat.
I'm so glad to be speaking with you. And I think it's so cool that, uh, your research has overlapped with my creative endeavors.
Yeah, I was, I was just thrilled when you said that your short had exactly the same name as some of the work that I do, daughtering, because it's not. A common word, right? To be used. It's not a word that people are using in sort of everyday terminology. Have people said that
to you? Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, my, the original name of my short film was my mother and me or my mom and me. And I had a good friend who's an amazing producer say, I think, you know, I don't think the title of your film matches the tone of it. Because my phone's pretty crazy and like highly stylized. You saw it, right? I did. I watched it. It was great. Um, and so then I, I was like, yeah, I think you're right. And I thought of this word daughtering and I like looked it up and I couldn't find it. It's not on IMDb anywhere. It's like nowhere. And like, really the only thing I found on all of the internet, pretty much other than that, it's a chemistry term. That describes an aspect of radioactive decay, interestingly enough. Daughtering is, like, not really, it's not a used word. So I found you. You're who I found. Daughtering, daughtering. Oh, Alison, Alison Alford. There she is. Daughtering. Somebody else is doing something about daughtering. So that's how we connected.
I love that. Yeah. You know, that's, uh, I think one of the things that's so important when we think about daughtering, when we talk about daughtering, when you tell anybody what it's about, when you think of being a daughter and being in the role of daughter, everybody can get it so easily because it's like, it's like mothering, you know? But it just isn't something that most
people say. I'm curious about that actually, like how would you distinguish between mothering and daughtering other than the very obvious like doer of the thing?
Yeah, I mean, so great starting point. I mean, the first distinction is like who's the doer of the thing. And I think that's probably the most critical distinction. It's like. Um, you're in relationship and the, the mother and the daughter, or for daughters, obviously there's also, um, potentially fathers and daughters can have multiple mothers and fathers, right? So daughters actually have this kind of mold multiplicity of potential parent figures and the daughters are doing this sort of, um, upward tearing, uh, Uh, roll, right? And there's sort of, so there's some caring, but there's also potentially some, um, I don't know, pushing in order to be taken seriously or saying like, look at me or give me some space. And, and I don't know, you have really young daughters. Um, but I have a teenage daughter who's coming into her own and that's something she's been doing a little bit recently, she's been doing a little bit of like, well, Hey, I have a space here too, you know, and, uh, so sometimes she's thinking about me, she's taking care of me, she's looking out for me, she's considering me, but other times she's also. Individuating from me and, and kind of pointing out like, give me some space and recognize me as an individual. I don't know. What does that resonate
with you? Yeah, no, it totally resonates with me. I think, um, yeah, I think there's sort of that, you know, uh, the, the caregiving of daughter to mother. Um, and, and I also, I think, for me, I think the aspect of, uh, daughtering that's most interesting and distinguishes it most clearly from mothering. Um, like it's not just reverse mothering, right? Where like the, instead of the mother taking care of the daughter, it's the daughter taking care of the mother. It's not just reverse mothering. It's, it's, it's, it's its own thing in that, um, in order for the daughter, To daughter, the daughter has to mother herself a bit and, um, and in order to do that, she must do what your daughter, you just described your daughter doing, which is individuation. Um, we have to individuate so that we can know ourselves well enough to offer care to anyone, not just our mothers, but in this case, we're talking about our mothers that isn't based on. our unmet needs, but based on the actual real, real life, real moment, right now needs of the person that we're caring for. So for me, what I've found is that I'm not just trying to give my mother what I perceive. are the things that she didn't give me. What I'm doing is essentially giving myself the things that I feel maybe I didn't get from her so that I can then turn around and give her what actually she really needs. And that's quite, that's been quite a journey and taken quite A lot of years and a lot of introspection and self work to be able to do that because I don't always want to take care of my mom, you know, I still, if I'm being totally honest, even at 45, I have anger toward her and, um, I, you know, I still, sometimes I want her to take care of me. Right. But I'm like, sort of, um, I don't. You know, she actually, I've learned now that she actually really can't give me what I need in little ways. Maybe she can, and then that's my job to be able to accept that care from her. But generally my job is to give myself to meet my own needs, um, or have my needs met by my husband or have my needs met by my child or have my needs, you know, met by my friends or whatever it is so that I can be available and present with her so that someday on her deathbed I can say that we actually We're able to get past the very intense struggles that we had for so many years of my life and her life.
There's so many amazing things that you just articulated in there. And, and so, so, so one of those things was, you know, that you, you, you create a fullness in yourself, right? Where you replenish yourself first in order to then be able. To go out and daughter effectively. And that replenishment comes from somewhere else, right? It, whether it's through the relationships you have with others or maybe through reading a book, right. Or listening to this podcast, or maybe we go get therapy, you know, those of us who enjoy therapy or, um, you know, we, we have friend time that that's like therapy. Um, so we replenish ourselves in order to be. Someone who can then go daughter with our mothers or the parent who we need to daughter with.
Yes, that's a huge, yeah, that's it. I mean, you can't really care for people if you are under resourced, right? You're giving your resources, um, and, and it's a pleasure. It's like a wonderful symbiotic relationship. You know, like I'm exhausted. I don't really want to breastfeed at 4 a. m. Um, but I go in there and my daughter gives me a big smile and she, you know, her little tiny hands kind of strokes my chest and my oxytocin levels go through the roof and I'm like, Oh my God, this is the best thing, you know? Um, so there's a really nice symbiosis there. And similarly with my mom, you know, um, I don't really want to take care of my mom, you know, I don't want to, and she's like having a hard time or whatever, like I'm exhausted, right? But if I can offer her support in whatever way she needs, um, I feel resourced, frankly, when we got off the phone. I feel, you know, it's, it's, it's like that works with anything, you know, um, when you feel like you need to, to have something, if you give something instead, or. Simultaneously, you very often feel full and, you know, fuller than you did before you gave the thing. It's sort of a backward kind of relationship, but yeah, so, you know, I resource myself psychologically, I resource myself emotionally, I resource myself energetically, I resource myself on all the ways, nutritionally, spiritually, blah, you know, like I do all of the things essentially so that I can give. So that I can give to my kids, so I can give to my mom, so that I can give to myself. Um, and it kind of that's That's how, I mean, that if, if there is one job that is daughtering, I would say it's that is give to ourselves so that we can give to
others. And that's, that's so profound and beautiful because we as a society haven't spent enough time discussing or deciding what daughtering is and therefore. It's pretty invisible what it might take to do daughtering, right? If we need to go run a marathon, I can look that up. I watch YouTube videos and, and there's going to be a blog. So there's going to be books, manuals, every training thing I need to do. To run a marathon and particularly like you're saying to get resourced to run the marathon. So it's the resourcing is part of the doing. I feel like that's the metaphor of kind of what you're sharing with us here is that first the resourcing, then the doing. And I mean, that's so first
the being, and then the doing. So we're in a society, right, that says like the doing is what matters. We're very focused on the doing. We got to do the do. We got to do the thing. We got to get the thing done. We got to act the thing. It's all action, a lot of doing. And we spend very relatively much less time thinking about the being, or we make the very common mistake of thinking that in order to be, you have to do right in order to be happy. You have to. Lose a hundred pounds. You have to get the boyfriend. You have to get the girlfriend. You have to get the, you know, you have to, so we're, we think that it starts with the doing the doings, the important thing. And then there's the having, right? But that's like a whole other, we can talk about that another time, but it actually, it is the being, and I think, or it starts with the being. In order to do the thing, actually, you have to be the thing that does the thing. In order to, you know, take care of people with a lot of generosity, we have to be resourced and feel cared for. In order to throw the great party, you actually have to be quite joyful and feel pretty stoked. You know, um, but we think that we ought to throw the party and then we'll feel stoked. Right. It's just, we, we were confused about that. Just widely confused about that. Um, and I think the thing that separates daughtering from, let's say, sonning, right. Or like kidding or, uh, you know, or mothering to some degree. Although I guess you could make the case that mothering is in fact, just sort of, uh, uh, A different and advanced version of daughtering, or I don't know, we could talk about that. But the thing that would definitely differentiate daughtering from sonning or kidding or just doing, I think is this being piece that actually it's an inward journey. It's an inner journey. So we have so many examples of like, Oh, you, the hero's journey, right? You start out kind of. Bummed or failing or upset in some way and you fight the dragons and then you prevail at the end whereas with daughtering You you actually start by going in inward you start with the inner journey And by the time you reach the dragon the dragons actually already disappeared There's really not much doing required the doing kind of takes care of itself The being is, is where our focus lies in this quest here. I love,
I love hearing about that and, uh, and hearing you describe that the things that you're saying are that a lot of daughtering work. And this is going to be really helpful for a lot of our listeners who are tired or thinking, I can't do daughtering because it's across the world, or I'm tired of doing daughtering because it is hard with my mom. What, what I'm hearing you say is that a lot of daughtering can be done. In our cognitions inside of ourselves in our identity, and that when we do that work 1st, when, when we work on that work 1st, then the other parts of the work, uh, can can happen more naturally, or perhaps more easily or more fluidly. And if we're not doing the inner work, then that could perhaps be why the doing work. Is so tough a thousand percent.
Yeah, that's wow. Yeah. The other thing I would add to that, and this is like where it gets really fun and like really special is that, um, you could do the work of daughtering, right? Which like you could do this inner work. You could, you could come to a place of, you know, being fully resourced and quite happy and peaceful and, um, have a lot of energy and. You can do all of that and still not care for your mom and still not care for your kids. And that work is still in and of itself worthwhile because you're going to be a better human on the planet and you're going to be happy. And like, we're here to be happy. We're here to enjoy our lives. And make a difference and like do all these things, right? But it starts with a basic sense of equanimity, joy, peace, love, wisdom. This is what we're doing here. And from there we can care for people and create and do all the other cool, amazing things about being human. Um, the point is that the reward is the being. You don't even need to do the doing. That's like a fun outcropping that will probably happen very spontaneously and with lots of ease. But the reward of the being, and the reward of doing all of the things that it takes to be the being, like the, the, the intense amount of work is, is in itself a reward. It will, you will grow, you will feel better, you will, Have more of a chance of happiness and peace and a great life. It doesn't even ultimately matter if you decide to turn around and give some of that to your mom. Mm-hmm. Ideally, you come to a place where you do, but maybe you don't and it's still a rewarding and process just for you in your human hood.
And what's so, what's so, so valuable, so, so special about separating these two things. Being and doing is we're recognizing a lot of people have a lot of different types of moms and dads, you know, and stepmoms and adoptive moms and, um, you know, bonus, bonus moms or grandmoms who were moms, um, or a lot of people don't have their moms anymore. And. We can separate the being of being a daughter and the persistence of that over time and the parts of that that are part of our identity and they're part of our, um, thinking and about, you know, how we want to feel about those things and, and how we want to prepare ourselves or how we want to think about those with upcoming generations. We can separate that thinking, identity, feeling stuff. From the doing, and that's really, really helpful, especially if you have, you know, maybe you have a toxic mom who at least right now, maybe today you can't you can't be. In communication with that mom, but maybe in a year or a couple of years, you will be able to, but not today, or your mom is gone. Um, and, and, and there's no longer an ability to do the doing, but you could still be the being. And so the separating of those two things becomes really helpful for conceiving daughtering in a different way and meet so many daughters where they're at.
We're all born with this capacity. To look inside and we do it. This is what we're here in my opinion to actually learn how to do. We don't all have to go and use that for the same thing in the same way. We're not all going to be mothers. This is not going to happen for all of us. And to your point. Yeah, we don't all want, you know, some mothers are very abusive or mothers have died. Some others have died in childbirth. We don't know what the circumstances are ever with mothers living or dead. We don't know what those relationships are. There's nothing that dictates some, you know, um, necessary or right, uh, course of action in terms of how you relate with your mother. But there is a lot of benefit to relating with yourself as a daughter.
Now you said something else that I, in your daughtering description that I thought was really special and it was about, uh, uh, caring or the doing and the providing care. And so one of the issues or areas that. Often trips people up when I talk about daughtering is people's minds jump to caregiving. That's like for elder care, right? Like driving someone to the hospital when somebody's sick or when their parent is, you know, elderly aging and a good portion of what we're attempting to get people to think about through, um, some of my research through the podcast, through things you're talking about today are non. Elder care, illness, um, topics, right? And so you are using these terms like care and support. What are, what do those look like when you say like giving care or support to your mom? Or you're thinking of women who are in midlife, you know, they're in their, Um, maybe their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, they don't live with their mom. They're not financially supporting their mom. Their moms are not sick. What is that that you're talking about that is care or
support? I mean, in the dynamic that I have with my mom and now I'm fortunate my mom has, my mom does suffer physically with her health, um, but she not to the degree where she's needed elder care. Um, and. Um, so in, in, in fact, like even if she did just based on the dynamics of my family, um, it's really my brother who would probably step in and provide more of that. He's, he lives slightly closer to her and they've just always had a better relationship in that way. Um, so for me, that, that said, I think I do, I provide, I don't even think I know that I provide my mom with a lot of support and, and for our, in our relationship, that support. Um, I guess I would say spiritual, although we're not very religious, um, but, but, you know, my mom's, you know, I think a lot of daughters can look at their mothers and go, Oh, if my mom would only do this, if my mom was only just like this, if my mom, uh, can you see mom that blah, blah, blah. If you do that thing that, you know, um. Your life would be so much better. You'd be so much happier if you blah, blah, blah, blah. Um, and you know, we do that from a place of caring, um, and, and frustration. And I mean, it's, it's all of the things, right? Like, if she just could take care of herself in that way, then maybe she could take care of me. I think that's sort of the unconscious underpinning. Um, but you. Wherever it stems from, I think it's a very, um, in my experience, it's a very common experience for daughters to want their moms to live better in some way. And, and that's what I offer my mom, you know, like I, you know, just the other day, her husband was. Um, she's sick and, uh, she had this brunch on the books. For months she's had this brunch. She's really been looking forward to it. With three girlfriends that she grew up with. Whom she hadn't seen in like 20 years. Um, and it was 11 AM, but now her husband is needing care. He's like having a heart thing and she's scared to leave him. And I said, Mom, You are going to that brunch. You are going to that brunch. You have to go to that brunch. You've been talking about that brunch for months. You have to go to the brunch. And she did and it was amazing. And she sent me this picture after the brunch that in truth made me cry. Cause she does her face. She just seemed so happy. So lit up, you know, and in that moment, she really needed that encouragement. And in truth, I don't know if she would have gone to the brunch had I not pushed her. And there was another similar thing where she really wanted to take this class. And she'd been talking about taking this class and she couldn't find the right class. And of course I go on my phone and I find exactly the kind of class she needs and the location. And I'm like, here, look. There's the class, there's the class. And then she was like, well, now I don't know, should I sign up? Should I not sign up? It's a lot, blah, blah, blah. You're signing up. And I just signed her up. You know, you're signing up for the class. You're doing the thing. Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend this behavior. I mean, it's pretty, you know, like it's pretty directive, right? But in our relationship, that's one aspect. And now of course, she's like over the moon. She's taking the class. She has this thing to look forward to. She's so happy. She can't wait. She's going. This is one way in which I've really been of service to her, um, is really encouraging her to do these things that I know she wants to do. She's just trepidatious for whatever reason. Like, I'm helping her get past her fear. Um, so I think that's, you know, I think stuff like that. I think, um. You know, acts of service, right? Like just like, uh, like solid acts of service, not elder care, but like, you know, your mom feels sad. Take her to take her to lunch, take her to think in art for us. It's really like, I'm able to lend wisdom. You know, my mom hasn't done all the inner work. that I've done. She hasn't been in the many, many years of therapy. She doesn't meditate every single day, even though I introduced her to my meditation teacher and she learned how she doesn't, you know, she's not in, she's not reading all the books that I'm reading. She's not doing all the work that I'm doing now. Is that generational? Maybe. Is that cause she's I think she's she's she's a lazy lady. Maybe is that because she doesn't find the same value in it? Maybe. Who knows why? Right. Is it infuriating? Absolutely. But I still. Can offer her the wisdom that I've cultivated, um, in a very, and then it's up to me to go like, okay, well, I'm not jamming this down her throat. I'm not, you know, like, I have to really assess, am I doing this for her? Am I doing this for me? Am I doing this? Cause I have some fantasy that if that she'll change. Probably. Yeah. Well, is that fantasy real? No. Like, does it feel good to help her? Yeah, it does to some degree. And when it doesn't feel good, I stop. So that's, you know, I, then I set that boundary. If she needs more than I can give, I set a boundary and that's valuable for me to do in my life. Not only with my mom, with my husband, with my kids, with my friends. So it's all a source of learning, whether it's elder care or not. It's all, it's all an opportunity for growth. We. are in relationship with challenging people because they're here to teach us something. And if our mothers present challenges, like in some sense, depending on the challenge, right? Uh, we're, we're quite fortunate to have that.
I love that, that description and for you to share so generously with us about your, uh, the details of your relationship, because I think it's so helpful for people to hear, you know, what, what are the dynamics of, what are the dynamics of daughtering? And how, how can we talk about the juxtaposition of really, really intensely loving someone while also being frustrated or annoyed. What about wanting to help someone while also thinking, why don't they do this for themselves? You know, and, um, you made this beautiful. short film. Um, it's nine minutes long. I watched it like you said it was chaotic, but in the best way. And it has these, this wonderful depiction of, uh, you as a daughter in it, you star in it. Um, the, the, the imagery is so beautiful. The, the, The colors and, um, the sounds I would, I wish I could just describe it for all of our listeners, but I'm going to go ahead and read the short description of it for everyone. Uh, so determined to finally repair her strained relationship with her mother before becoming one herself, a pregnant daughter battles with her naysaying inner voices and a lifetime of anger, fear, and disappointment. Ultimately stumbling into a moment of profound healing, highly stylized, and deeply personal. Daughtering is a cathartic discussion of the universal journey toward finding intimacy between parent and adult child, reminding us that connection is often literally within our reach. And this has Kat Foster in it and also co stars Laura Innes. So what Made you want to do this
project. It's funny. It's like, I've like lived and breathed this film for so long. I mean, yeah, I still work with it. And just hearing you read the description makes me cry because the truth is like, I haven't reached where I get to in my movie, this real profound connection with my mom, who's played by Laura Ennis in the movie. I have not gotten to with my mother and I, and I may not. I may not. That's the truth. This longing that I have for my mom is still very intense and um, you know, we have a totally fine relationship, but I'll never have, um, you know, in my imagination, what hopefully maybe one day I'll have with my daughters, right? Which is, um, like I'll never really be able to go to my mom and collapse into her arms and get a big hug and. Um, I'll never have that intimacy, um, physical, emotional intimacy that I imagine, quote unquote, healthy mother, mothers and daughters have, um, my mom had a lot of trauma, um, a lot of trauma growing up in her childhood. And I have, of course, so much compassion for my mom and that, and also I have a lot of resentment. Like I wish that she could have done the work that I might've taken to attune to me. As a kid, um, and as an infant and as a baby and to really, uh, be able to hold me like I want it to be held. And, um, when you get that kind of attunement from your mother between the ages of zero and five, when you get that kind of holding and containment and love and seeing and hearing, um, it sets you up for a lifetime of, of being able to not only care for yourself, but also to be cared for. Um, by others and also to care for others and it's just in my imagination, you know, I could like go to my mom's house and curl up on her couch and she'd feed me and I'd tell her about all my problems and she'd tell me, you know, how to help, like she'd help me fix them. And I'd feel this intense, like kind of safety and groundedness and caring from her. Um, or I'd be able to find that in her presence and I can't, so that's not how my mom and me are. I don't have that relationship with my mom, um, and I, and I, and I long for it. I still long for it. I feel sad. I mean, I, it really, it still moves me to tears. So this is a lifelong sort of, I guess you could call it like a wound gift, right? It's like both a gift and a wound. It's the source of like so much of my work on this. Um, how do I find this? How do I find that sense of peace and caring when I didn't have that from my mom? And so the movie basically, you know, when I was pregnant with my daughter, with my first daughter, who's now four and a half. Um, I became terrified. I thought I was going to have a boy because all these psychics and astrologers, because you know, you're at psychics and astrologers, everyone's that I was having a boy. They are, by the way, I I'm, I'm into all that stuff. Um, but in this case they were all wrong. And they said I was having a boy and there I was having a girl and I was horrified because I was like, Oh my God, how, what, you know, what if my daughter and I suffer in the same way that my mom and I do. And quite likely we will, because that's how it goes. It's generational trauma, you know? I mean, my grandmother's mom was a terrible mom too. And, you know, my grandma's grandma's mom. I mean, just on down the line, really difficult, strained mother daughter relationships. And so how do I break the cycle? Um, and I kind of, uh, you know, I was terrified, I was terrified of having a daughter because I don't, I want a connection, a connected, loving relationship with my kid. I want her to feel safe with me. I want her to feel all of the things that I wish I felt with my mom. So, um, it really got me thinking about how I could. Do this differently and, um, you know, um, I've always thought about that. I mean, I've been in therapy since I was 15. I've done so much work and all this stuff, but like, now that like, this was ground zero. Like I was pregnant, I was about to have a daughter. I was about to be a mom to a daughter like this. So, and when I sort of really understood. Is that this short film is really was sort of a way of making art out of this, or, or, or it was a way of processing it was like sort of the thing that came out of, um, this moment where I realized that. If someone was gonna, if this dynamic had any hope of changing, I had to change myself. My mom's not going to change, um, if we have any hope of coming together in this lifetime, it's totally up to me. And, um, that's what this movie is about. It's about me deciding to like, take it into my own hands. And it's like, it's not, it can't be about her anymore. It's about me. And I make this choice. And if I change, if I change in the way that I relate with her, then maybe we have some hope of our dynamic changing in a way that I want it to maybe. Um, and I don't, yeah, so anyway, that's what the movie is about, is like, how do I change myself? How can I do this inner journey to find this relationship with my mom before it's too late? Um, we haven't done it in real life, but in the film I do manage to do it.
You do, you're doing what we said earlier. You're also resourcing, you're, you're resourcing yourself, right? So the daughter has to start by resourcing herself as a daughter before she can do dering. And you noticed a thing that you didn't have that wasn't gonna come to you through mothering, and so you resourced it a different way. Um, and, and ultimately what you did was create a resource that can then live on to resource other daughters. So it's kind of meta in that way. Right. Um, what would you want people, women to take away from this project for themselves?
In my fantasy in the world here, um, we could all put our differences aside. And realize how connected we are. So, you know, in my fantasy, this movie really shows that as much rupture as there is, we can always repair if we dig deep enough. We can be in a state of repair. We actually can. At any moment. We can imagine ourselves there. Now it takes a lot of work to do that. Sometimes, sometimes spontaneously we can just go into repair. That's a, that's a human possibility for us. Um, and so I guess my dream is that this movie certainly helps mothers and daughters who may have lived with a lot of rupture, but also just humans and humans. Like how do we. Find connection with, in relationships that have been challenging for us. Mm-hmm. how
do we do that? Can we do that? What I like about your film, Kat, is it's not, um, it's, it's, it's not just a magical representation of mothers and daughters that, that everything is perfect or fine. Um, or that all is lost forever. Right. It is the complexity of humanity and most, uh, or all of the mother relationship, mother daughter relationships that I've seen exhibit that complexity. How do you specifically with mother and daughter hold those roles at the same time and decide how much do I give to my mom? You know, what's the responsibility that I have. To, to, to giving as a daughter. I think that's a, that's a really tough struggle for a lot of daughters. Um, some of whom feel like stretched due to obligation and not feeling like this is just really, you know, I'm really enjoying this. Um, and obviously some do some really enjoy it. But what, what do you, where do you lean in deciding how much to give and how you hold those roles simultaneously?
So I feel like this response is going to be maybe unpopular and definitely controversial. Um, and I also recognize, um, cultural difference when I say this, because I don't, I don't, I. I don't, I don't feel obligated to take care of my mom. Um, now, of course, as, as a human, as a human, I, I feel obligated to not have my mom be on the street, you know, like it, she needs help just as human to human. I feel some obligation just to, as like a, just as a decent human. Um, I am very, I have a lot of boundaries. Um, with my friends, with my kids, with my husband, with my mom, all, everyone, um, I, I know that I can't be a good human if I'm not well resourced. I know that I can't be, if I'm just worn way too thin, then I am not a good mom and I'm not a good daughter and I'm not a good friend and I'm not a good wife. Um, and so I. I will do almost anything to preserve my sanity, my energy, my joy, my sense of peace. Um, and I'm like a very, very giving person. I spend hours on the phone with people when they really have a hard time. I make a lot of time for my friends in need. I talk to my mom when she's having a hard time. I... Go to the hospital if she needs that, you know, like I'll do, I'll do a lot of stuff for a lot of people, but I just don't, um, I steer clear of any sense of obligation. It's all choice. It's all choice. And I trust that the people who, uh, I surround myself with, um, want me to be happy and want the best of me. And I'm very clear. If what they're needing or wanting, um, is in conflict with me feeling good. And that's up to all of us as adult women to take care of ourselves in that way. It's like a requirement. Let me
wrap us up there, Kat. Thank you so much for your time, for your wisdom, for the permission to put boundaries in, to resource ourselves, to be great daughters by being good to ourselves first. Thank you for what you've created in the world for us to better understand daughtering. Uh, we're grateful for sharing that.
Thank you for the Thank you for doing all this cool research and for, you know, having this platform and for bringing this further into the world and it's really such a valuable topic and, um, your work is really, really awesome. I'm so glad we overlapped and I'm so glad you asked me to do this and please keep in touch and let me know how I can help in any way or. I'm so happy to have met you and to you.
Same. Same. All right. Thank you so much, Kat. All right. We'll be talking to you again soon. Take care.
you're right. There is a lot to sit with and think about for a while.
Yeah, uh, you know, for me, something that Kat said that really stood out was how she described resourcing yourself in order to resource those around you.
Oh, gosh, I really like that language. There's a lot of other forms of imagery others have used like filling your cup, et cetera. But resourcing is much less tight and folksy. Instead, it sounds, I don't know, like a battery pack or a minimum requirement that is, I don't know, it's not in any way cutesy or gendered.
Right, you know, it's, it's much more economic based, the language and, um, I don't know for better or worse, maybe we shouldn't be economic based in our descriptions of relationships, but. I think it helps us picture work and labor in a different way. You know, a project can't be implemented without being funded and a relationship can't function. So that kind of brings us here at the end of our podcast to what we like to do, which is to share something with our listeners and we have a homework item for our listeners to try. Okay. So
pay attention. Hello, mothers. Hello, daughters. So here it is. We suggest listeners make an accounting of the way that they are resourced or need resources in their mother-daughter relationship.
Oh, okay. So simplify that for us. What, what do, what would that look like? Okay. So
make a list. Make a list of what you have in your relationship that makes it possible for you to connect and be together, and also list what you are missing or low on. What makes it difficult for you to be in a relationship? For example, you might be positively resourced in child care because your kids are at school, or you have someone to watch them, or, like in my case, they are all
grown up and away from the house. On the
other hand, you may be low on, what, time, energy,
patience. Okay, so making a list of the ways you're resourced positively, negatively. The ways that you need resources that can help you understand what it is that you need to achieve a stronger connection can help you see the ways that you can be grateful in your relationship because you are in the plus side. Of being resourced, or it can allow you to notice the areas that need some attention in order for your relationship to thrive as a mother daughter pair. I'm all
about getting it out of your head and onto a piece of paper, because when it's in your head, it swirls and swirls and swirls, and it's really hard to see the forest through the trees. So getting it out onto paper, sometimes you can step back and take a look at it. So give that homework a try. Let us know what you come up with. Are you adequately resourced for the relationship that you want to have with your
mother or your daughter? Yeah. I hope they'll let us know on the Instagram, right? Join us in the comments and come back and find us for our next episode. So on that note, we'll sign off until next time. Bye.