Taking time out for your daughter

  • Antonia Holder, pictured with her daughter, Layla, 4, is behind an event on Sunday aimed at strengthening relationships between mothers and daughters (Photograph supplied)

    Antonia Holder, pictured with her daughter, Layla, 4, is behind an event on Sunday aimed at strengthening relationships between mothers and daughters (Photograph supplied)

Antonia Holder is trying to build a community, one event at a time.

She laid her first brick last year, an empowerment tea for mothers and daughters that was so well received, she’s holding another this weekend.

Most important on Sunday is that a message gets across to the audience: don’t take your relationships for granted.

“The mother-daughter bond is innate, it’s organic, it’s something we don’t have to work at but, if we’re not intentional in strengthening a relationship, it won’t always work out,” said Mrs Holder, who feels the beauty of her enterprise, Mothers&Daughters Empowered, is the community it offers.

“I realise there are strained mother-daughter relationships across all ages — some mothers are detached, some are not totally involved — but my view is that we take the time to develop ourselves in all other areas. In our careers we go on courses to advance what we know, we study for professional designations; in sports we train; when we’re part of an event we do our research before we get in front of an audience.”

Mrs Holder was 12 when her mother, Susan Mills, died in a motorcycle accident. It wasn’t until she had her own children — Layla, 4, and Logan, 2 — that she began to come to grips with that loss. She’s grateful she had her husband, Lloyd, to help her through it.

“About two years ago, I was having a hard time personally. I realised I didn’t quite understand the implications of my mother dying.

“She died when I was 12 and I had never dealt with that or attempted to understand the actual impact on 12-year-old Antonia. If it wasn’t for the love and support of my husband during this journey, I don’t know where I would be.

“My daughter was growing older and I was pregnant with my son and I would have frequent flare-ups of grief. I wasn’t particularly happy in my career then and I started listening to motivational books and podcasts.

Oprah specifically suggested that [when troubled] find one problem and solve it. I started thinking about the connection between mom and daughter and the little girl that I was and what I didn’t have.”

From there came the idea of a “fun and interactive empowerment tea” for mothers with daughters between the ages of 10 and 14, to help strengthen their relationships. Mrs Holder partnered with a psychologist and a nutritionist for the event, and was thrilled by the reception to it.

“I was 12, an adolescent when my mom died, and adolescence is the most crucial stage. You’re going through so many changes: physically, socially and developmentally.

“I wanted to bring in a psychologist to help highlight some of the developmental changes that young girls go through.

“All the moms and daughters agreed it was awesome. They enjoyed the uninterrupted bonding time, listening to the psychologist and the nutritionist, who tapped into healthy eating habits and what we can do together. Based on their feedback, I expanded it this year — made it bigger and better.”

Sunday’s tea is billed as “a specially designed experience for mothers and daughters to connect and create lifelong memories”.

The afternoon includes “two unique bonding activities” and also talks just for moms and just for daughters. Patrina “Powergirl” Paynter will host the event, with expertise offered by clinical psychologist Sandy DeSilva, counsellor Jana Outerbridge and health and happiness coach Tania Kowalski.

“Participating in this type of event offers a community,” Mrs Holder said. “This year, I’ve incorporated a session for moms only and it gives them an opportunity to interact, the same with the girls. They have their own special session to highlight self-love, self-esteem boosting habits.

“I started thinking what tools can I pass on to moms to help them understand what their daughters may be going through and dealing with?

“With the mother-daughter relationship, we don’t always take the time to do that type of research and understand what’s happening with our daughters to help us make better decisions.”

Her hope is that others are empowered by all that Mothers&Daughters Empowered offers.

“It’s been amazing for many reasons and also been a part of my own personal healing. I feel like if I just touch one mother-daughter relationship in a positive way, I’m on the right track in fulfilling my purpose and contribution to my community. I’m not even sure that next year will be as big. It could be a series of smaller events as opposed to bigger, to maintain that intimacy, that opportunity to connect.

“I’m not sure what God has in store for me. I’m trying to embrace the visions He has in my spirit and hope they come to fruition.”

Mother&Daughter Empowerment Tea takes place Sunday in the CedarBridge Academy Cafeteria from 2pm to 5.30pm. Tickets, $79 per duo, are available at ptix.bm. For more information: antonia@mndempowered.com

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Published Feb 21, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 21, 2020 at 8:33 am)

Taking time out for your daughter

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