24 Apr 2012

What, no app for motherhood?

Motherhood apparently has no app yet. According to this article, mothers should stop the whining and... "woman it up". Mothers of the newer generation are portrayed as spoilt children who want an app for everything, motherhood included. I think this article really describes the essence of "deconstructing mummy" by refuting it. And although proof by induction is a fine mathematical concept, it is not very funny to still see the prevalence of the mother-image as "unsung hero" (-heroine if you allow me). Mind you, that is also the type of mother the media likes. The new "olympics" ad for pampers, is admittedly really touching, but hey, mother is again the unsung heroine that gets an "olympic" thank you at the end. Well, if your son or daughter is part of the olympics, then be proud, but should you be defined as a mother, is it a success, a huge bonus for your "job"?
  When I started "deconstructing mummy", I wanted to tell mothers that they matter. That they can whine, complain, ache, share, and "sing" themselves all that motherhood is for THEM. Culture and even our own internal representations of motherhood, treat mothers as a medium and not an end in themselves. Advice is given on "how to" do motherhood but very few ask "who is" doing motherhood.
Motherhood is not a job. I really don't care how a mother is defined. Is she stay-at-home, working, single, black, white, all I hear is blah, blah, blah. A mother is a mother and although we are biologically programmed to long for and expect mothering, a mother is not really a given. That is something that becomes consistently apparent in my practice as a psychotherapist, where mothers of all shapes and forms, ages and generations parade in my ears. Most mothers are far from being a "given" hence the survival of psychotherapists... Should a mother be a given? Yes, to her child, but not to anyone else. What I mean here is that providing good mothering needs help. No mother who respects herself as a person and as a mother expects a "pat on the back" or payment for services rendered. But she does expect to be treated as an entity. By the same token, no mother should be encouraged by society to live her life through her "olympian child". And I do believe that no mother would complain to be a "chauffeur", "entertainer", "cook" etc. if she also had her own space, time and way to just be herself without thinking of everybody else or worrying about what to do next. Some mothers forget about their children when working and really welcome the break, some pour themselves a gin and tonic before giving their loved ones their daily bath( if I am relaxed, they're relaxed- a friend once said) and some just ponder about motherhood by blogging late at night. I am privileged to closely experience a lot of mother stories through my work. In their meandering labyrinth of differences they all share one striking similarity. No mother wants to be a hero(ine), or acknowledged as one. They just want to be a person as well as a mother and combine the two in one singular normal self with needs, weaknesses, wants and sometimes well, "olympic" successes.

No comments:

Post a Comment