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sMothered: How to Strengthen the Mother-Daughter Relationship from the Reality TV Show!

Hi friend,

I am so glad you are listening in because we are having some fun today! 

My very special guests are Dawn & Cher Hubsure – who you may recognize as the Mother/Daughter duo from TLC’s hit reality tv show sMothered or MTV’s My Super Sweet 16.

They are so warm and real and fun. I would have loved to hang out with them all day. 

Dawn and Cher have also written the book, A Bond That Last Forever, How We Got This Close and You Can Too and they also are the hosts of the Chattermouth podcast.

 After the podcast, I was struck by how important it is to focus on the good stuff. As a mom of two daughters over the years, it’s been easy to worry and nag and want to control things versus focusing on the positives and thinking about the ways we can build that connection and a strong foundation.

You’ll love this fun conversation today as we talk about ways to strengthen the mother-daughter bond, tips from their book, and what it’s like to work together on a hit tv reality show. 

Scroll down to read the full episode transcribed.

What You Will Learn: 

  • How moms can be open to feedback from their teens.
  • Boundaries between moms and their adult children.
  • Tips from their book on strengthening the bond between moms and their kids.
  • What it’s like working together as a mother and daughter.
  • How they started in Reality TV, what it was like being on MTV’s super sweet 16, and more!

Where to find Dawn and Cher:

Find more encouragement, wisdom, and resources:

Sign up for our Moms of Tweens and Teens newsletter HERE

And here is the episode typed out!

Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. If some days you doubt yourself and don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve ugly cried alone in your bedroom because you felt like you were failing. Well, I just want to let you know you are not alone and you have come to the right place.

Raising tweens and teens in today’s world is not easy. And I’m on a mission to equip you to love well and to raise emotionally healthy, happy tweens and teens that thrive.

I believe that moms are heroes, and we have the power to transform our families and impact future generations. If you are looking for answers, encouragement, and becoming more of the mom and the woman that you want to be, welcome. I am Sheryl Gould. And I am so glad that you’re here.

SHERYL:  Well, Dawn and Cher, Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. I’m so grateful that you’re here and excited to talk to you. We’re going to have so much fun talking about the mother-daughter relationship. And we have such great energy. It will be a blast. I can’t wait. 

DAWN:  Thank you. We’re so excited to be here.

SHERYL: I’m excited for you to be here too. I have been having so much fun preparing for this and watching the two of you on TLC’s hit reality show, “sMothered .” And also listening to your podcast or watching you on YouTube. And reading your book about the mother-daughter relationship. This is going to be such a helpful episode for moms that are listening that are dealing with their daughters and how to navigate that relationship. So let’s start. Why don’t you each introduce yourself? So share what you want to say about it.

CHER:  Sure. My name is Cher. I am Don’s daughter, and I’m 32. I have a daughter of my own, who’s three years old. And she is just like the cutest thing ever. I’ve been married for nine years now, and my mom and I wrote a book. It’s called “The Bond That Lasts Forever.” 

Basically, it’s how my mom and I got so close and how others can too. And we have this really close relationship. But it wasn’t always this way. So we talk about that in a book and how we became even closer and how we are today. 

We also have a podcast. It’s called “Chattermouth Podcast.” And we talk about everything and anything, and nothing is off limits. We talk about relationships, sex, and our day-to-day life. And just really love having that open communication. 

We also interview amazing people along the way with such inspiring stories. I definitely hope you check that out as well. And my mom and I also have a brand-new clothing line coming out. It’s called Twinning with Dawn and Cher. My mom and I love twinning and matching outfits. But we don’t always like to do it the same. 

So we wanted a clothing line where it’s 100% sustainable, where moms and daughters both can have their own individuality, but then come together and have similar outfits with similar styles, but also with their own looks. So we’re super excited about that. And just so excited to be here and chatting with you now.

SHERYL:  Yeah, yeah. Congratulations on that new line. We’ll have to hear a little bit more about that as well.

CHER:  Thank you.

SHERYL:  So Dawn, why don’t you? We’d love to hear about you and what you’re up to.

DAWN: I’m a mother of three, I have two boys, and Cher is the youngest. And we’re all very, very close. I have a close relationship with all three. Of course, it’s easy to talk to my daughter all day. My sons don’t like speaking to me all day, and I get to speak to them once a day if I’m lucky. She speaks to me much more, or we text or FaceTime with her daughter Bell, my granddaughter. And we’re just excited to be on this podcast to show that it’s okay to be close to your mom. It’s not crazy. It’s good. 

Who knows you better than your mom or your daughter? And that’s why we even wrote a book to say other mothers and daughters can have their own great relationship. It doesn’t have to be like ours, but it’s nothing like having that special relationship with each other. 

And a mom wears a lot of hats. We have to navigate it all. But it’s great having these close relationships. And that’s what we love about it. 

And then we also have this podcast, which is wonderful: Chattermouth podcast. And the reason it’s called “Chattermouth” is that we chat all day. And we have a smile. And nothing is off-limits with that podcast. We talk about everything and get down to the nitty-gritty. And we have a 62-year-old woman, which is my point of view, and a 32-year-old woman, and sometimes we disagree. We agree to disagree. So it’s got different perspectives on it also.

SHERYL:  Yeah, I’d love that agree to disagree, which isn’t always easy. I know for the moms that are listening and that have tweens and teenagers, that can be hard when our daughters disagree with us. And what was that like for you when you were a teenager? You said it has not always been easy. Especially having been close. What was that like when you went into your teen years?

CHER:   So my mom and I always had a close relationship. But we’ve definitely had our ups and downs as well. I remember specifically when I was a teenager. Especially we definitely had a lot of rocky points. My mom always wanted to be very involved in my life. And sometimes, I felt like it was too much. It’s one thing to want to be involved. Another thing is to always want to give your opinion without fully hearing me. 

So we had to work a lot on our communication skills to make sure we really heard each other. So when I was a teenager, I remember I used to try to tell my mom what was wrong, and she would right away want to jump in and give her opinion or advice on it. And I didn’t feel she was truly hearing me. 

So what I used to do when I was a teenager was I would write my mom letters explaining what was bothering me. And the reason I would write these letters is that I felt that she wouldn’t have a chance to come out and tell me what was wrong. Or tell me what I was doing was incorrect or gave me advice. Just really, just sit there and listen.

This was her chance to sit down and listen to what I was saying. Because she doesn’t have any other choice, she has to read every single word. So this actually did really help get through to my mom because after writing those letters, I noticed our communication really got stronger. 

My mom was finally learning about me, hearing what I had to say. And it allowed her the next time we had these arguments to step back and say, “Listen, I don’t want to have you write me a letter. I’m going to sit back and hear what you’re saying. I’m not going to say anything. I’m just going to listen.” 

And that allowed our relationship to get stronger and stronger. And now my mom is my best friend. And I’m very I’m blessed for the hard times. The hard times are hard, but they get you stronger. They make you into the relationship that you have now, and I love our bond now.

DAWN:  Yes. Motherhood is a learning experience. We don’t learn with any manual how to be the perfect mom. You learn as you grow. I learned that I had to really hear what she had to say, and not just ramble on and give my opinion, but hear what she has to say and what’s really important to her. I think that’s a really crucial part, and getting a close relationship is not just thinking that you’re listening and hearing, but really hearing her and listening to her and seeing her feelings and hearing what is bothering her, and, that way, your communication gets better.

SHERYL:  Yeah, that is so true. That listening piece. And it is hard for us as moms to listen, especially when they’re teenagers. And they say things that we don’t want to hear. And they’re upset, and we want to jump in and fix it. And how they don’t want that. It’s hard to navigate. But sounds like Dawn you are open to hearing feedback that she wanted you to listen to,

DAWN:  I was, especially when she started to write me these letters and these notes. I realized that she was getting her feelings out that way and not expressing them verbally. So I said, “I want her to express it verbally. I need to really listen and take a step back.” 

And that’s what I did. I mean, we have to accept criticism to grow. You have to accept criticism, even of yourself. And sometimes, it’s very hard to accept criticism. But if you do, you will grow from it and be a better person from it. And for myself, it made me a better mother prep.

SHERYL:  Such important words, I think that’s the hardest thing because we hear criticism and we want to be defensive. Did you find that it was helpful to share when your mom was willing to listen? 

CHER:  Yeah, definitely. As she said, there’s no manual to being a mom, and I get that now I have a daughter. You’re always learning, but I think having my mom step back and want to become closer, I could tell my mom wanted to be my best friend. She wanted to be involved in my life and everything. 

She said all of her opinions that she was throwing at me, even though I didn’t want to hear them. I knew they came from a place of love. So when she took a step back and was really trying to hear what I had to say, I could tell that she was really taking it all in and thinking about what advice she was going to give me after that. I knew that advice came with love, and I respected that, and I trusted her to respect me to make that my own decision as well.

SHERYL:  Yeah. Wow. And now you are on reality TV? To be quite honest, I usually don’t watch reality TV. I really like the show, I think. I’m like, “Oh, this is because I have two daughters and one son, and my son’s in the middle.” 

So I know I talked to the girls more. And he’s more independent, and he’s married. My daughters love their reality shows. And I’m like, this is what they’re talking about. So fun. I think it is because it’s about the mother-daughter relationship. So what is that like being on that show? How did that happen?

CHER:  Yeah. So, so funny. They were casting for mothers and daughters who were best friends. I was like, Well, my mom is my best friend. And you should apply. And we applied. And we got on the show before we ever knew the show was going to be named “sMothered.” 

So when we found out it’s called sMothered, we’re like, “oh, no, what did we get ourselves into?” But it’s been such a fun experience, and watching back so many amazing memories that we’ve had. I mean, the show showed me when I was pregnant. And then when I had my daughter, and now my daughter’s three, and we’ve been under four seasons, and it’s really been amazing. 

I think it is interesting people see some of the crazy times in our life. And sometimes our mom can be, smothering, as they say, but also everything comes from love, and my mom is my best friend. So I love having a platform where I can show that even though our relationship might seem over the top or too much for some, we have a strong relationship where we’re very happy in our relationship. 

And if we can inspire just one mom or one daughter to pick up the phone and call their mom or call their daughter to have a closer relationship, then I think everything we put out into this world is worth it.

DAWN: I always say it’s never too late to start a relationship. You can’t say, “Well, I didn’t have one. So that’s it.” You could start it at any age as long as you put in the effort.

SHERYL:  Yeah. So regarding that, what do you think makes your relationship work so well because there are moms who are listening, and their relationship is really strained and hurting? And so what do you think it would be in the book that you’ve written, The Bond That Lasts Forever?  

You give some tips in there. And I like the book too. I just want to say to our listeners it is a book where you have exercises that you can go through separately as a mom with your daughter. So you both can use it as a tool to be able to communicate. But what do you feel makes it work?

DAWN:  I think that a mom has to wear different hats. Sometimes you have to be a mom and tell her what’s right and wrong. Sometimes you should be a friend. And that’s good, too. I also feel you need to be able to communicate and not be selfish. I think you need to give your all to your daughter and not say it’s about you.

CHER: That’s what I think. Something that I love about my relationship with my mom is that I can always count on her. I think having someone that I know is reliable and always shows up for me. And she’s also my biggest fan. Like no matter what I do, she is telling me that I am just wonderful and I’m great. And it means so much. 

No matter if I’m feeling really down this day, I know I can call my mom, and she’s going to make me feel better. And having that person on your side is just such a blessing. I know I’ll get dressed up one day, and I’ll look okay, and my mom will say, “oh my gosh, Cher, you look just like a model.” 

But she’s my biggest fan. She’s my biggest supporter, my rock, and I want that person. You want to be surrounded by people who make you feel good. She makes me feel good. So I want to be around her more. And so I think if there’s ever a strange relationship, showing that you come from a place of love, and sometimes you need to sit down and tell your daughter, “hey, listen, I love you. I think you’re amazing. I want to support you, and I want to be there for you.” 

Even if she wants to push you away at that moment, explaining your feelings and saying that it comes from love, it’s going to mean so much to your daughter or to your son because I know for me firsthand that even when I was a teenager, and I was going through hard times, knowing that even when my mom was too much, she was too pushy. She was, too, in my face, knowing still that it came from a place of love. Like she’s now my best friend. And I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

DAWN:  I always taught my children to speak from their hearts. You can’t go wrong if you speak from your heart. I always speak from my heart. I tell them my utmost feelings, and she’ll understand it. Maybe not agree with it all the time, but she understands it because I’m really speaking from my heart.

SHERYL:  Yeah, yeah. Speak from your heart. That’s such words of wisdom. I can see between the two of you that you have a lot of fun. I think that is something that we forget. Maybe you never did, Dawn, because you’re so much fun. 

I think sometimes one of the hats we may need to take off is that we get weighed down. And we do take it personally. And we do see our kid’s choices as a reflection of us whether we’re doing a good job or not a good job. If our kid makes mistakes or our daughters make mistakes, we tend to take that personally and think we’re failing in some way. Versus this is their growth process. And taking that hat off and thinking maybe we need to spend a little bit more time focusing on the positive and having fun together. Because that seems to be it, you both radiate positivity and fun. 

DAWN:  Thank you so much. I bet every mother and daughter should find something that they enjoy doing together. And that will even bring you closer. Like we love talking. So we’ve decided to have to create a podcast, the “Chatterbox” podcast, together. So that it becomes our special time to just talk, have a cup of coffee, and talk about everything on it. Nothing is off-limits. And it’s nice because it’s our special thing. So I think if mothers find this special thing, it’ll even bring them closer.

SHERYL:  Yes. So I have to comment. That’s funny that “sMothered” you didn’t know the name of it before you agreed to be on it. I did watch the one with Jared. Jared. And how you were telling him you were going to stay for two weeks, and you had to bring the news to him. And so, how do you deal with that? Does she feel like she’s smothering you? How do you have those boundaries? And what does that feel like to you, Dawn? Speak to the whole boundary of smothering? 

DAWN: It’s funny; we don’t see each other like we’re smothering. Other people do, and sometimes they go, Oh, well, maybe I was a little overbearing or something. But we are happy in our relationship. And they feel I shouldn’t come for an extra week and that if she tells me, I will then step back if that really bothers her, but I make fun when we’re together. So she kind of enjoys it. 

CHER:  Every time I’m with my mom, I always say I have the most fun. She’s my best shopping partner. It just makes it more fun because it’s like you have your best friend around. But when it comes to boundaries, it is sometimes hard figuring out your boundaries. 

My mom and I now have a rule. We had to set some boundaries. Because sometimes my mom and I don’t always sit down and have a full hour-long conversation every day. We’ll talk five minutes here, five minutes there, a minute here a minute there throughout the day. We are very involved in each other’s life. I’ll call her up and ask her a question. I hang up. 

It’s over and like throughout the whole day, so we now have a rule where we can’t call each other during dinner. And so always before I go to dinner, and I was sitting down with my husband, I’ll text my mom, “hey, I’m about to have dinner,” or my mom will text me, “hey, I’m about to have dinner. Don’t call me.” 

We don’t call each other when we’re with our own family time because we know there has to be a boundary. We can’t be talking while my husband’s eating. I want to be engaged with my husband, and she wants to be engaged with hers; who’s my dad? So we did have to put up some boundaries but having that communication, we were able to talk about that. Like “hey, we feel our relationship with our significant others might start to become strained because of our relationship. What can we do to fix that?” 

And so we said hey, let’s give our husbands our time without any outside bothers. And that’s when we decided to have this boundary.

SHERYL:  Yeah. Dawn, what is that like for you? When you hear, “Okay, I don’t want you to come for two weeks or come for one week?” Because you mentioned what that was like for you to hear it.

DAWN:  Well, of course, I would want to come for two weeks. What mother wouldn’t? But it’s all about hearing what she wants and ensuring she’s happy. With her relationship, I don’t want to do anything to hurt the relationship. So if it’s important to her, then, of course, I’m going to step back and then just come for a week. That’s what it is.

SHERYL:  Yeah, I think that is key; as a mom, you’re able to take in that feedback and not get all angry and bent out of shape around it.

DAWN: It’s really important. I can’t say it enough to really take that feedback. Listen to what your child really wants. Hear them because it will bring you closer if you do. And if you don’t just keep a closed ear and say, “Well, this is this, and this is what I want to do,” that’s just going to separate you more.

CHER:  I was gonna say I think being on the show, people might say that our relationship is too much, or my mom’s too overbearing, but I think something that everyone who watches the show can agree on is that we do have a very close relationship. And so I do think that is a positive. So you might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I think we just have. We’re our own cup of tea. So we are happy with at least that we do have a close relationship. 

DAWN:  We are happy within our relationships. That’s what I’ve done. And I’d like to say to other mothers to have a relationship and create their own special relationship.

SHERYL:  Well, what I noticed between the two of you, is you’re both defining your relationship based on what works for you. It’s like you can tell your mom how you feel. And she’s going to respect you and mutual respect there. And it would be very different if you were inserting yourself, Dawn, into Cher’s life, and Cher was telling you, please don’t. And you aren’t respecting that. It just seems like, for both of you, the lines of communication are very open. 

So talk about the show. Are you having your grand finale this week?

CHER:  Yes. I can’t believe that it’s already coming to an end. So season four. And now it is the finale. So, I’m excited. It’s been such a wonderful and fun experience where they get to follow us along the journey of our past year. And so there’s still so much that we have coming up this year, which is really exciting. 

DAWN:  I was so excited. Not only do we do the “Chattermouth” podcast, but we now have a clothing line, as she has said before, and we actually designed all the clothing ourselves. And we went back and forth. I love shopping. I love buying clothes. And oh, let’s do this together. And it’s just one more thing that we could check off that we do together. And that’s what’s fun.

SHERYL:  While I’m in love with how you both dress. I love how you have on your beautiful blue outfit, but it was a little different, right off the shoulder. And then I think one of you has like a little lace and the blue. 

DAWN: It’s always a little different because we want to show our individuality on it. So it’s never exactly the same.

CHER:  And so yes, our twinning line is called “Twinning with Dawn and Cher,” and it’s all it’s very similar. It’s something fun we enjoy. Sometimes we’ll enjoy twinning and matching outfits, something I’ve been doing with my mom since I was a little girl, but we don’t want it to be the same for us. We’re not. We’re not actually twins. We are mother and daughter. We want our own individuality. But so but similar. 

So having your own line, being able to actually draw it together and go back and forth for months. And now, being able to see the clothes come to life and have a line where moms and daughters can shop together and have fun with their relationship because it’s about having fun and creating memories. So we’re very excited about it. And it’s launching on our Instagram pages. And we’re just we’re super excited. It’s only a four-day launch. So we’re putting it out into the world and seeing what comes our way from there.

DAWN:  So, for instance, I have a gym top that’s loose and a bra that’s attached to a loose top because I didn’t want my belly, and Cher has one that’s a crop top, and, and her belly is showing and so it’s good for all ages, which is great.

SHERYL:  Yeah, that’s great. I know that’s key for me. I love so many shirts now. But they’re cropped and buried as long as my arms are down, but then I go like this, then it’s all going up. Don’t want to wear that if I’m doing a yoga class. So this so it is for what age girls? Does it start younger and go up? Tell me what’s the age group.

CHER: It’s for teens into adulthood.

SHERYL:  And it sounds like you have a fun mission behind it. Connection. What I hear is the why behind everything you’re doing. It’s to create a connection between moms and daughters.

CHER:  Yes, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

SHERYL:  Having fun in the process. Well, this has been so great. Is there anything else that you want to add encouragement for moms, anything else that you want our listeners to know about?

CHER:  I think if you get anything from this, just pick up the phone, call your mom, or if you’re a mom, go sit down today, grab a cup of coffee with your daughter and just talk, really listen, and get that communication really going. And just showing that it always comes from a place of love and that you’re your child’s biggest fan. I think for me, that was just the most rewarding thing, just knowing that my mom’s biggest fan and that she’s always there for me. And so I think today, go grab yourself a cup of coffee with your daughter or go grab yourself a piece of cake or ice cream with your daughter and or son and just start chatting. 

SHERYL:  I love that

DAWN:  I feel the same way. She knows I always have her back. And I know she always has my back. And also I say that, as moms, you could also do other things too. We’re not perfect. And hear their point of view on something and show them that we’re human, we make mistakes, and we understand your mistakes also. And that’s great.

CHER:  I actually love that point, Mom. Just because I think for me growing up, knowing that you would come to me and ask me for my advice shows me that, like you trust my opinion, my I feel validated. And so I feel that you respect me as an individual, not just as a child. Even when I was a child, my mom would come to me and ask me what my thoughts on this were and ask me even for advice. I just felt like, “wow, my mom respects me that much. I’m just a kid.” Just me her opinion. And it made me build this real trust and friendship with her. So I love that you said that because I think that’s just so true.

SHERYL:  Yeah, that she believes in you, and I think that’s part of wanting to give our daughters advice. What do you think you want to do about that? Or what is your opinion on this situation that I’m in that it’s not just us as moms way up here speaking down to our daughter? It’s like we can learn from them too.

DAWN:  And positive words of affirmation, build your child up today, keep growing and have wings and have confidence in themselves. Never enough words of affirmation. 

CHER:  I started that with my daughter already. She’s three, and every night before she goes to bed will say her words of affirmation together. Because I want her to grow up always knowing how loved, she is, how beautiful and how smart she is, and just for her to truly believe in herself. And I think that’s something that I learned from my mom as well.

SHERYL:  Yeah, you’re passing it down through the generations that positivity and that passion. That’s a beautiful thing. And like you said, Dawn, it’s never too late. Never too late. I know that with having two daughters that are out of the house now, it’s never too late. So, tell them one last time. Where to find your website? You have a lot there. 

CHER:  Yeah, yeah, definitely. If you go to https://www.abondthatlastsforever.com/, or if you check out our book, it’s called, The Bond That Lasts Forever. And it’s how we got so close. That is our book. 

Our podcast is called the “Chattermouth” podcast. We hope you come over to the podcast and just start chatting with us and we love to communicate with our listeners. So that’s called the “Chattermouth” podcast. And you can watch it on YouTube, Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

And if you follow us on Instagram, I’m at Cher, Hampshire. My mom is at https://www.instagram.com/dawn.hubsher/, and on Instagram, we’ll launch our big clothing line, which we’re so excited about: Twinning with Dawn and Cher. So definitely check that out. 

And on TikTok, we have lots of mother-daughter content, and we have so much fun just having fun with our relationships. So we hope that you all join the fun with us.

SHERYL:  Yes. Love it. We’ll listen and laugh out loud. I was laughing out loud. You’re both so much fun. Thank you so much for coming on.

CHER:  Thank you. So fun. We love what you’re doing and inspiring so many people to have a closer relationship and navigate those hard years. I love that. So thanks for all that you do as well.

SHERYL:  Thank you

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