One of the biggest things that we don’t talk about as a society, and that I cannot even emphasize how important it is, is: how your own mothering (how you were mothered by your own mother, or lack of mother or whatever that situation was) affects your own mothering now. Now, this topic is relevant not only for current moms, but also for women who do not wish to be moms or are thinking about becoming moms, but are concerned about the quality of mom they are going to be. This topic is actually one that really affects our whole society if we think about it and it is surprising how little we talk about it.
Let’s just focus today on how our own moms and how they mothered us (or did not mother us, or they gave us up in adoption, or whatever that situation is for us) affects the quality of how we show up in life.
So, one way that we can show up in life is that we can become rebellious, and we can say, “You know what, I am doing the opposite of what my mom did.” Typical psychological move: “I want to be as far away from anything that my mom ever did or was.”
I have had the privilege and honor of working with quite a few women now and this definitely happens.
One of the things that happens that we do not really think about it that, for example, if you had a really abusive mom, it can seem almost natural to want to be the opposite of that, right? The only thing is that then we miss out on perhaps those positive qualities that our moms/caretakers did have. So that when we do gravitate completely away from that mother/caretaker we had, we miss out on some of those positive qualities they may have had, too. We know that nobody is 100% perfect and nobody is 100% imperfect, so when we rebel 100% away or against our mother or caretaker that we had, then we also miss out on some of those positive nuggets that they had. Now, I understand that some of you may have very painful stories and may feel like there are no positive qualities your mom or caretaker had, or may not want to think about it. Bear with me. I get it, those stories can be so painful. However, I invite you to consider for this conversation, that perhaps there are elements that are good.
Some of you may have had less extreme stories in which your mom may have felt like the “weak” party, the one who did not have a say at home, and so you decided to be the one who is the leader, the moneymaker, and you don’t want anything to have to do with baking or cooking at home. Which actually, if you think about our society and the way that the mainstream feminist movement has gone, this is the way that most women in the Western world have gone: a lot of Western women in the USA have gravitated towards this stance of “ewww motherhood”. Basically, loving the sweet part of holding the cute baby for a moment, but then not wanting anything to do with domestic life, cooking at home, rather wanting to be out in the workforce, independent, making money, fierce, strong, because those feelings of staying at home, motherly, cooking, we associate with a weakness and a lack of power.
Just want to raise awareness to these things. I am NOT advocating that women or moms should stay at home—or not. I am simply bringing awareness to our wounds.
So the way we reject motherhood can be displayed also in the amount of daycares we have, even though daycare sometimes can cost the same amount that we earn in our jobs.
Second situation I want to talk about are women who fear having children or becoming a mom because they are afraid of becoming like their mom. And I addressed this above, because, as I said, then you may also be missing out on the positive qualities that may be there. There are also pros to the things that your mom did do well.
I am going to leave you with an action step. I invite you to take an inventory, one in which you explore:
How did I experience motherhood growing up? Was my mother there or not? How did she feel about motherhood? Did it make her feel weak? Did it make her feel strong? How happy was she to stay at home with me? Was she happy to or was she dreading it? Did she or not (stay home with me)? How did I feel about that? Feel free to go as far back as your own grandmother. You’re going to want to take an inventory about all of that, that’s going to be really helpful.
If you’re interested in these sorts of topics, you’re going to want to join my Feminine & Motherhood Empowerment Lounge, if you haven’t already. I am going to be hosting an un-challenge in there very soon touching on a lot of these related topics. The link to register for that is here (& the info page here).
I will be talking a lot about identifying our own wounds and how that affects our mothering.
I’ve spent years exploring these topics. Finally, when I became a mother, I had experiences that I could not read about in books. In fact, I realized that a lot of it was not even being talked about. So I created the Motherhood Empowerment Program, tailored for women with different backgrounds, yet, with similar topics to discuss, who learn and grow from listening to one another. And—one thing they all realize is that by taking the time to heal their own wounds and to take care of their own needs and nurture themselves, they all realize they become a better mom for their children or better prepared to have children. Asking for support is a sign of healing, and joining a supportive community is a step towards healing already, releasing shame, finding others whom to talk about these taboos with.
If you are ready to step into a life that is SUPPORTIVE to your emotional needs & desires, please allow me to support you with this free, 15-minute, obligation free, Motherhood Empowerment Assessment Call in which we will explore one aspect of your own mothering and how that shows up in your life, and how we can make simple, yet powerful & effective shifting. Schedule that call with me here.