Mother, mom, ma, mama, mommy… it is a privilege to be called anyone of these, by one or more children.
May is mother’s day month, when we as mother’s are celebrated. That is how I feel, it truly is a gift to be a mother to someone, to have been entrusted to care for, nurture, guide, support, love and encourage these little and big people.
It is also the hardest role in the world, I think. It’s not a job, it is so so so much more than that. The phrase “the good enough mother” was coined by the British pediatrician and psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott in his famous book ‘Playing and Reality’. Here are a few paraphrases from his valuable writing. Winnicotts ‘good enough mother’ is not a goddess, she is a gardener. She leans towards baby with love, patience, effort and care.
Winnicotts picture of a good enough mother is that she is three dimensional human being. She is a mother under pressure and strain. She is full of ambivalence about being a mother. She is both selfless and self interested. She turns towards her child and away from her. She is capable of great dedication, yet she is prone to resentment.
Winnicott even dares to say that a good enough mother loves her child but also has room to dislike her. She is not boundless, she is real.
Real mothers are the best kind of mothers (& the only kind), it takes an imperfect mother to raise a child well. Children need to learn about life through real experiences and real people they need to respect the needs and limitations of other people including their mothers.
If you have had a good enough mother, you are most fortunate. If you are a good enough mother, you are to be celebrated.
Motherhood is a most wonderful & dreadful thing.
It is a mixed bag, a wild ride.
A great adventure!
Rather than idealizing motherhood, we should honour the complexity, find reasons to be grateful, forgive the failures and use the disappointments to grow ourselves.