Photo Credit: T. Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images
Angelina Jolie is known for butt-kicking bad guys onscreen, successfully raising a brood of six young children and keeping things steamy with mega-hunk partner Brad Pitt. She's clearly one tough chick, which is exactly why our jaws flew open when she choked up talking about her self-professed “soft spot” during Sunday night’s 60 Minutes interview: her Mom.
And in a candid moment of humility, she admitted she feels she doesn’t quite stack up to mom in the parenting department. “I will never be as good a mother as she was. I will try my best, but I don't think I ever will be," Jolie said of Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 of ovarian cancer. “She was the most generous, loving woman. She’s better than me.”
Mother/daughter relationships are a minefield, often filled with love, resentment (or both!), and in the case of Jolie, even feelings of inadequacy. For most of us, our feelings about our moms typically become more intense after we become mothers ourselves. Or at least they did for me. Like zillions of women, I have a complicated relationship with my mother. Do I love her? Very much. Do I wish she had some done things a bit differently in raising me? Heck, yeah. But deep down I know she tried her best, and now as a mom myself I work hard to try and emulate my mother’s best qualities and to not repeat the same mistakes.
Several iVillagers related to Jolie’s comments, too, and shared how it shaped their approach to motherhood.
"My four-year-old once asked me, ‘Who was a better Mommy -- you or Grammy?’ Without thinking, I immediately said that Grammy was. She was a stay-at-home mom, and as a working mom, I almost always feel like I’m doing a half-baked job at work and a half-baked job as a Mom. But I also know a lot of moms who stay at home who miss the jobs they had before they had a kid or who struggle financially to make it work. I wish there were a better formula for trying to balance it all." -- Sam
"My mom for me is my role model. She managed to raise three of us and while we were young she went back to school to pursue her masters degree. She also worked part-time and then eventually full-time as we got older. I strive to be like her but also feel that I definitely am and will be a great mom! I learned how to be generous, loving and patient from her." -- Gretchen
"Unfortunately, I tend to dwell on what my Mom's shortcomings were with raising me. But after a great phone conversation with my mother where she gives me sage advice or after a rough time with my MIL, is when I really appreciate her as a mom and think about what a void I'll have in my life when she's gone." -- Marcia
"My mom had a rough childhood and made it her life goal to create a strong, cohesive family environment. Hats off to her -- she succeeded -- but it was also such her core, her life mission, that it's been a struggle for her to have an identity outside of her kids. I don't have doubts that I'm loving and generous, but I’ve also made a conscious decision not to lose my identity. Easier said than done sometimes.” -- Marianna
"As much as I might try to avoid the mothering mistakes my mom made, I'll probably make a separate set of mistakes! I can only expect and hope my parental errors won't be as drastic as my mom's were. But as long as my son always knows I love him, that will anchor our relationship, just as I always had that knowledge of my mom loving me to help me cope." -- Emily
"My mom is an amazing role model -- she showed me how to be a successful working mother, and demonstrated firsthand that you can be a strong breadwinner and a loving family caretaker. Throughout my life she’s always been supportive and encouraging, never pushy or overly critical. I hope I can give my kids the same feeling of love and security that she still to this day gives me." -- Erika
Find other moms like you, and talk about your parenting highs and lows here.