WHAT DOES "BEING A GOOD MOM" MEANS?
Do you know Marshall B. Rosenberg? He's the “father” of Non Violent Communication and asks something quiet interesting and illuminating to every human being:
If you could choose only one of these two options, would you prefer to be right or to be happy?
Well, this is the same question I'll ask now to a more precise group of human beings: parents, and more specifically, mothers (and I'm going to clarify why).
Since the very first moment where we discover that, yes, we are pregnant, that our body will be house, shelter, source of life for a small agglomeration of cells, which in few month will transform to a complete and perfectly working whole human being, we start wondering how we would like raise this child, and how will our life change, when we'll have to care about someone who's going to be completely dependant on us.
Considering biology and evolution, a newborn baby survival relies on the adults members of her familiy. This aspect can already be a shock. Especially nowadays, in our western society of nuclear families.
You might probably start figuring out why I want so much to focus on mothers: more and more often society asks to women who become mothers to be 100% efficient on all levels: job, family, social life. But what has gone worse in the last decades is that, a woman who becomes a mother can't rely on the support of a net of people (and professionals) who are close to her, able to be by her side, to nourish, nurture and kindly inform her in her brand new life, which is what used to happen when the regular aspect of families was the extended one, where different generations coexisted and lived together and where a newborn mom could easily see the example of other women and mothers, raising children, breastfeeding, taking care of babies.
Moreover, let's also assume that we don't simply want our baby to survive, but we want her to be fine, to grow healthy, respectful of life, other living beings and environment. Let's say that we want to be good parents, good moms, raising future good adults.
And here we are, the trap of definitions is activated, and it can open under our feet any moment now, leading us out of our personal and healthy path.
Who can really say who is a good mom? Doctors? Midwives and nannies? Our own moms? Teachers and educators? Psychologists? Books? Our granmothers? Our ancestors? Religion?
How many voices do we listen to, before listening to our own (with both heart and mind)?
Would you prefer to be right or to be happy?
Every time we give birth to our baby, even if she's not the first, we are new mothers. And every time we are going to be doubtful and worried. We'll be wondering if we are making mistakes, big mistakes who can affect the entire life of our kids. The truth is that there is no magic spell that works for sure and for every child, for every mother, for all couple of parents (no matter if they are man and woman, two women, two men), for all families.
It's not about being good mothers. It's about being happy, satisfied, aware of their desires and needs (and of the baby desires and needs) moms. It's about being mothers able to be there, conscious, non-judged, free to be themselves on their own personal and unique path.
As Alison Gopnik says in The Gardener and the Carpenter, being a parent is not something you do, like a job, like being a carpenter. It's something you are, it's more like being a gardener, enjoying the marvelous beauty of nature, helping her showing her best, but not struggling against her. Not trying to force her.
Being a mother, a parent is about being together with our children, true even if imperfect. It's about being with our kids on the path we choose for us and them.
My name is Linda, and I'm a Doula, a holistic operator for mother and child, a babywearing educator, a Il Parto Positivo (hypnobirthing and neurosciences) and Babybrains (parenting with science and love) trainer, and a translator. But first of all I'm Rachele and Elena mother and with my daughters and my husband Stefano (with whom I share this great trip), every day, I learn, discover new resources, make mistakes, laugh and grow.
I work by women side through their experience of motherhood and families side through their most intense phases of transformation and parenthood. I'm by their side to help them live the most positive, aware, trustful, loving and kind experience of motherhood and parenthood. Together we look for what is true, respectful and right for them, not for what is perfect.
The point is not to be good mothers, but peaceful mothers. And absolutely we cannot forget that a mother who's not supported, who does not have a net of trustful and trusted people around her, could live her motherhood with a sense of tiredness, loneliness, frustration.
If we are not supported, informed, nurtured and nourished, how are we supposed to do the same to someone else, our baby?
If our choices are constantly judged, if we don't receive real information but simply advices about what others, who might know nothing about us, think is right, how could we feel like good, or better, serene mothers?
If we don't start to respect and nurture the bonding between the baby and both parents and between parents themselves, how could we change the culture around birth and parenthood?