On being a good mother

From the day mothers have existed, there is one ideal way we could thought of mother that is all sacrifice, love and compassion which is completely selfless and compromise be it career, be it self care or any other need of self.

Which probably has created lot of disturbances and has led to lot of stress in women in nowadays.

Not every mother want to be the good enough mother or have willingness to invest that much of energy but are bound with the ideals of good enough mother as shared by Winnicott. The complete surrender to another life is a higher level challenge and for which no pre-levels are mentioned anywhere.

The good enough mother.. start off with an almost complete adaption to her infant’s needs, and as time proceeds she adapt less and less completely, gradually, according the infant’s growing ability to deal with her failure.

D.W. Winnicott

Not just this image of good mother creates stress and emotional disturbance but also create mistrust in own ability of mother as a potential human, to do anything but rear a child as suggested by the ideals.

If mothers are told to do this or that or the other,… they lose touch with their own ability to act…. Only too easily they feel incompetent. If they must look up everything in a book, they are always too late even when they do the right things, because the right things have to be done immediately. It is only possible to act at exactly the right point when the action is intuitive or by instinct, as we say. The mind can be brought to bear on the problem afterwards.

D.W. Winnicott

We all know that every kind of job has its frustration and if see motherhood as full time job it is all the more frustrating and boring and one should always be empathetic to a woman who choose to be a mother and motherhood should a choice from the woman’s conscious.

It’s only too easy to idealise a mother’s job. We know well that every job has its frustrations and its boring routines and its times of being the last thing anyone would choose to do. Well, why shouldn’t the care of babies and children be thought of that way too?

D.W. Winnicott

Dear women,

when you choose to be mother, make sure you love yourself enough, make sure you know that you have the potential to be anything but you choose to be mother, not because it happened to you. Love yourself because your emotional wellbeing is equally important as your child’s. You need necessarily fit into the ideal mother framework but be yourself so that your child can learn how to love themselves and respect themselves.

About beingaware

Counseling specialist focusing on bringing a new perspective to our understanding with sharing thoughts and reading from others.

9 Responses

  1. tiffanysjohnon

    I love what you are saying here about being a mother. These are things I have thought about for fleeting seconds at a time, almost like I was really close to having words to explain it but never really quite grasped it enough to be able to sum it up like this.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The irony is, that being selfless is actually the most selfish thing one can do. It is our job as mothers and fathers to give our children a stable and loved sense of self so they can grow within the value systems we assume as there parents. I truly enjoyed your take on the Good Enough Parent.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Being Aware, Always interesting to read explorations of Winnicott’s thinking. Can we say that his “good enough” is bit of a paradox (or ruse?) because being a good enough parent is not easy! And I would stress “parent” (not just mother); nowadays fathers can, and some do, provide or help provide the absolute security and attention Winnicott recommends. As a father who played this role, I would also note the next phase (in Winnicottian thinking): allowing the slightly older child to experience some frustration. In my experience, if you’re good at the first “complete adaptation” phase, you may have difficulty standing back to allow for the second phase (with its frustrations). And the problem deepens with only children. With thanks, William Eaton, Montaigbakhtinian

    Liked by 1 person

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