I’ve been spending many hours over the last weeks considering mother as an ideal as I shape the Inner Mother Inner Father program (see below).
What is the ideal of mother or your ideal mother?
Here are a couple of dictionary definitions of ideal to help you with the question:
1. satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable (suitable to you and your needs.)
2 existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality
3 a person or thing regarded as perfect:
4. a standard of perfection; a principle to be aimed at
Please do yourself a favor and write down your ideal of mother, then comeback and read the rest of this post. Do not describe your mother or yourself as mother. Just think of the ideal, the archetype.
Now review your list. You probably wrote a bunch of adjectives such as nurturing, sensitive, kind, wise, etc.
Now make a list of verbs! What are the actions of mothering?
Mother is the name for the woman who gave birth to you or adopted you. But did she mother you? This is where we run into our upsets and difficulties – not with “mother” but with the mothering.
Mother (father and parent) are nouns/names and VERBS!! Child is always and only a noun and is the object of mothering.
When you review your list of verbs, think of all the people, besides your mother, who mothered you. Make that list and fill your Mother’s Day heart with gratitude for each one.
I am having a special time with someone I mothered a lot when he was growing up and it is a joy for both of us. My son’s best friend has recently moved nearby and he comes over for dinner and long conversations every couple of weeks. I’ve known Michael since he was 7 and now he is thirty!
Is your best friend’s mother one of your other mothers?
Please share your verbs and pay tribute to your other mothers by leaving a comment below.
The concept of “other mothers”intrigued me, so decided to reply. My “other mothers” include my 9th grade English and homeroom teacher who loved us each as if we were her own children, and she gave heartfelt advice to my best friend and me at the end of the year (when we’d be heading to different high schools). The other is my best friend’s mother — so very different from my loving wonderful mom, yet my “2nd mom”. She was worldly, direct, and every so often yelled at me (as if I were one of her own kids :)… I loved it, having the benefit of knowing and being loved/loving them all.
Thanks for bringing up the topic, and helping me to reminisce and appreciate. I have a smile on my face that’s not going anywhere for a while!
Yes, Nancy, it is wonderful to remember our other mothers. I love that you recognize the “love” you were shown through the yelling that made you feel you were important. And who have been your “other” children?