Being a good mother – comfort or responsibility?

Is being a good mother about comfort or responsibility?

Being a good mother – comfort or responsibility?

Straight after the birth of each of my daughters I felt a strong responsibility to nurture, protect and encourage each child throughout her life.

This feeling was powerful, loving and true, however I can see as the years rolled on that I shifted the real meaning of those mothering qualities into something less by making things too comfortable for my daughters – a pattern that appears to be almost part of the motherhood blueprint for many women.

I realised that doing everything for them meant that they didn't need to take responsibility for themselves, which left me stepping in and making all the decisions and ultimately controlling what they did. In the process of being a ‘good mother’, our children weren’t able to make their own way and learn through their choices.

Upon reflecting on why I did this, I know that my goal was to prevent each of them from getting hurt, however what I was really doing was protecting myself from uncomfortable situations I thought I could not handle. I was ultimately being bossy in guiding their lives so that their behaviour and actions would not disappoint me or change the pictures and ideals I had for them.

It seems that every mother has a different picture of what a good mother is. So, what is good mothering? I thought it was about protection and directing them to have a life that I felt was right from all the experiences I had observed in life.

With the understanding I have now, I realise that good mothering is to be aware of any fear or expectations that I may impose on my daughters. I do this simply by being honest with myself and asking the question: is there something in it for me, or am I conversing with my daughters with an open heart and using my true and innate ability for mothering?

Recently, for example, when my daughter was arranging her wedding she had daily dilemmas and problems to solve with catering for 85 guests. She phoned me every time she could not make a decision and my response was to always ask her what was her first feeling to do? Before long she began to trust that she was able to make decisions on her own, but what was also beautiful was that she realised it was supportive of her to include others ideas which made for a wedding that included everyone.

When I am allowing my daughters to take full responsibility for their lives I witness myself naturally nurture, support and guide them to be, to have an open heart and feel their way through life instead of coming from the good mother ideal. The decisions they then make are far more claimed by them – that they deepen their own self-worth and develop true confidence in feeling equipped to live their lives and ultimately own all their choices, decisions, and consequences with all the effects that life presents.

I now realise our children are all knowing from the moment they are born. They hold all the same wisdom as we do and just because of the size of their body we feel we have to control this little person until they are able to take care of themselves, and often well beyond this point.

Yes, they need our care, love, and guidance but do they need our unresolved hurts, our worries or our unnecessary expectations? Do we need to impose our need for recognition for being a good mother on them?

We have a responsibility in bringing a child into this world and in doing so we have a greater responsibility in raising them for the whole of mankind and not from our lack or excesses.

Serge Benhayon Esoteric & Exoteric Philosophy 'The Sayings' Page 290

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  • By Anita Stanfield, Authorised Wedding & Funeral Celebrant, Personal & Décor Stylist and Cookbook Author

    Anita is a lover of people and celebrates relationships. Her wealth of life experiences as a Daughter, Wife, Mother and Friend allow her to support people genuinely and caringly.