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Not A Mother, But An Echidna - Self-development
Not A Mother, But An Echidna - Self-development

Video: Not A Mother, But An Echidna - Self-development

Video: Not A Mother, But An Echidna - Self-development
Video: The Point of Re:Zero - A Masterful Character Study 2023, March

The foundation on which motherhood is built is the childhood of the woman herself. Has contact with loved ones become a guideline for raising your own children? Often, modern mothers cannot rely on their childhood. And then the extremes begin. Behind a beautiful picture of a home fairy mother or a successful businesswoman you can't immediately see that, most likely, this is a forced position that allows a woman to survive in her own inner world.

The extremes of motherhood

Alina, 37 years old, married for five years, two children - a daughter four years old, a son two years old.

Alina is a former model. The husband did not want a “working wife,” and Alina, according to her, was glad to completely surrender herself to her family and children. When her daughter was born, Alina was “in a strange state” for the first year, and then everything worked out. The house of this family is a large dressing room for children's clothes. Alina comes up with outfits for children every day, arranges professional photo sessions for them. There is an au pair in the house - she is responsible for cooking and cleaning.

The expression "working mother" is redundant

Jane Sellman

The main thing is children

Dissolving in children is a very seductive strategy, it allows you to put off unresolved situations for a long time. Times are changing, and the role of the martyr mother is changing too.

Before it was an aunt in an old dressing gown, scolding a child for bad behavior somewhere between the washing machine and the stove, instilling guilt in the spirit of "I put my whole life on you."

And now the martyr mother is turning her life into a great children's show, endless holidays and educational trips. But this is only the scenery, the play is the same.

Mom doesn't take care of her life. And if you stop for a moment, ask yourself: "Why do my children need such a life?" - somewhere deep down there is an answer: “And this is not for them, I am doing this for myself! Otherwise, you can go crazy! Mom should be happy! " Mom devotes her whole life to children, but this life is not a dream of children, but her own, and even in some kind of tangled, confused form.

The "happy mom" trend spawns such stories in batches. For example, Alina did not know how to continue her career after the birth of children and the decision to "settle down". They won't take the model, but then what? The question is not easy, and it is connected with a change in figure, with the acceptance of one's age, with the acceptance of the status of a "domestic wife", with insufficient closeness with a spouse, with financial dependence … It is difficult to unravel such a tight tangle of problems.

And some psychoanalysts say that "if you do not take care of your subconscious mind, it will take over you" - the situation will be resolved automatically. There will be some way to build a fashionable script for a happy mother, and cleverly weave the children there, and from the outside - only delight and a bunch of likes.

Help VS meaning

The writer Jennifer Senior believes that modern mothers perceive the birth of children as a crisis due to a change in traditional roles in the family: offspring no longer work at home on an equal basis with adults, as in past centuries. And their new responsibilities (studies) are transferred to their parents. In the absence of the "economic benefit" of children, their active participation in everyday life, they become invaluable emotionally, acquiring the status of Meaning with a capital letter.

Classic martyr mothers still exist, but now there are more and more new formats:

  • mother-producer - organizes a career for children from birth, and most often as the embodiment of her own dream;
  • holiday mother - such birthdays, matinees, creative parties that all familiar adults want to become her children;
  • mom - kindergarten - it doesn't matter if one child or several, but the life of a family is built around the interests of children, parents are like attendants.

And what's wrong with that? Children are a very important meaning for any parent. But when it becomes pivotal, there is a danger for the child's future self-determination. It will be difficult for him to "separate" from his mother, to start his life.

Children who have grown up as a filler for parental life often get used to receiving everything at once, and in adolescence they may have problems with the emergence of their own meanings and desires - hence depression, apathy.

Maria, 39 years old, business owner, divorced. There is a daughter of 12 years old.

From the age of one, she lives with her grandmother, and sees her mother mostly on weekends. Maria says that she could not sit on maternity leave, "the temperament is not the same." The first year she tried to combine work and maternity leave, but then a divorce followed, and Maria transported her mother from the provinces to Moscow and went to work with her head. She says that she feels a sense of guilt towards her daughter, "but this is better for everyone, because she simply cannot be a kind home mother."

Is pause equal to crash?

Time goes by faster: "Be the first", "Follow your dream", "Become the best version of yourself." Only a few manage to get out of the endless cycle of achievements and improvements and seek their own meanings.

The decree is a pause. A terrible pause, because it seems that you will fall out of the cage - and then you will not return:

  • "Now there are clients, but while I am on maternity leave, everyone will run away."
  • “What will happen tomorrow - suddenly a war? You need to keep up with everything - in the family, and at work, and traveling! "
  • "I have a high position in the firm, but if I take the decree for more than two months, there will be no more place."

And someone does not dare to start a family at all, because it interferes with a career.

The decree is, in a sense, a loss. The whole old life is turned upside down, and you need to build a new one, and now there will not be so much room for self-realization, for your interests. All family time and resources need to be redistributed and rebuilt.

Losing a high position, clients, earnings, self-realization, freedom is not an option for everyone. Maria, for example, suffered several losses at once - first, a sharp change in her lifestyle, a departure from the role of an active businesswoman, and then a divorce. And coping with such parallel psychological problems is not so easy, especially without support.

But Maria, it seems, was not used to asking for help, and the business helped her to switch, not to get depressed, not to go through the painful process of loss.

Wait, I'm busy

According to the Federal State Statistics Service, the employment rate of women aged 20–49 with preschool children (including information on the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol) has grown over the past year after stagnation:

Women with preschool children:

0-6 years old
2014 2015 2016
64.0 64.0 64.9

Including those with children aged:

0-2 years 3-6 years old
2014 2015 2016 2014 2015 2016
47.7 47.1 47.2 78.5 77.6 77.8

There is also such a moment. While a woman without children goes to work, she always knows exactly how much her working time is worth. Motherhood, on the other hand, is a gigantic activity - society is greatly underestimated in value, and a woman will be lucky if her work is appreciated at least by her relatives. For many women, this is a blow to self-esteem - to stop being a valuable part of society.

There is also a social trend “mom-orchestra” - a woman works, and the mobile sews on the bed herself. A typical businesswoman may succumb to the temptation and hold two fronts at once for a while, but then her nerves give way, and mom runs to work, to the familiar, familiar, where everything is clear. And with a child - all the time a bad investment. In this case, children are transferred to grandmothers, nannies - they have care, they have financial support, but in the future problems may arise with building close relationships, with trust. But the mother has a high social status, she “did not dissolve in children,” she is socially active, and society should appreciate this.

Mothers who find a middle ground - they spend time with their children, and work, and get self-realization - often also live with guilt. If the work is due to financial necessity, then I “do not give it to the child”, if it’s self-realization and a pleasant time for myself, then “selfishness” or “I run away from children”. There is no way to break out of this vicious circle until you look deep inside yourself.

Seven Steps to Balance

"Dissolving in children", "giving birth without a break in your career" and endless feelings of guilt are traps. A thoughtful parenting position comes to the rescue - an internal compass that helps you compare trends and enticing tricks with your true values.

How to get a mother's compass?

  • 1. Slow down. Stay. This is the hardest part. Allocate time, at least several times a week, to consciously build your personal parental position, to find balance in your situation.
  • 2. Analyze the social attitudes that affect you. In what way do they interfere and in what way do they help? For example, “all the best for children” or “mom-orchestra”. Do they lead you to balance or take you to extremes? Leave yourself only those that help.
  • 3. See a psychologist and work through your unlived traumas and situations. For example, a psychologist will help Alina learn to build her life without sharpening it entirely on children. A specialist will help Maria survive the trauma of divorce and learn how to combine the role of a mother and a businesswoman.
  • 4. Remember that there are no perfect moms. The famous psychotherapist Donald Winnicott coined the special term "a good enough mother." This is a woman who proceeds from the needs of the child, correlates them with her capabilities and then already determines her behavior. Not all children's needs can be met, and that's okay.
  • 5. For those who “dissolve in children” - learn to see their needs and desires. Don't kid yourself.
  • 6. Learn to fulfill your own needs in a direct way - not at the expense of children.
  • 7. For those who "went to work" - learn to postpone some of their ambitions, to pause projects and deeds, to expand the planning horizon.

Expert opinion

Mom from "Instagram"

Olga DYACHUK, psychologist, writer
Olga DYACHUK, psychologist, writer

Gadgets, phones, iPads are the same family members, like, say, pets.

How much time per day do you devote to electronic devices, and how much to living people? The lack of communication is one of the signs of our time. What about social media? Nothing - in terms of traditional interaction.

Let's go, for example, on Instagram. Wonder children, fairy moms, sheer beauty and sweetness!

And where is all this on the Moscow-Sochi flight? Already after 20 minutes, mom-instagram:

  • 1) trying to persuade the child to calm down;
  • 2) make an attempt to bribe: "If you shut up, I will buy …";
  • 3) blackmail the child;
  • 4) call for help from others: "Now my uncle is looking at you sternly …"

And when all the means have been tried, the coveted tablet appears: "Okay, play a little."

Dear mothers, take a break from virtual communication and just play with your child in family or school. Learning, socialization, and the assimilation of norms of behavior take place through play. Let's build a bridge between the virtual world and the real one.


psychologist, writer

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