What Does Being a Mother Really Means?

by Khadija MAWHOUB

Children unconditionally love their mother the way they are. This is a great happiness, but also a responsibility: namely not to disappoint this love. 

Those who raise children feel that the essence of being a mother is not just baking chocolate muffins with smarties decorations for the birthday party or driving nine-years-old to football in time, although such practical things are also very important. To be a mother means to be facing, to empathize with the soul of a child, to protect it, and to be able to let go at the right moment and let the child go its own way. And being a mother means being a role model.

Mothers in The Delusion of Perfection

Every mother understands the “perfect mother” a little differently. Hamburg psychologist Angelika Faas says: “No mother offers everything to her child. That is not possible and is not necessary at all.” Therefore, no mother should have a guilty conscience when one or the other good intentions get lost in the hustle and bustle of children.”Every mother has her specialties” and is not an“ all-round machine ”that can do everything. “You should never forget that what is really great for another child does not necessarily have to be ideal for your own”. And, very important: If you ask a supposed super mother, you get the answer quite often: “Perfect? Nonsense! With us, things go haywire. ”From the outside, things often seem different than they really are.

mother and boy - being a mother

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Does A Mother Have To Be Perfect?

The question: “Does a mother have to be perfect?” Can, therefore, be answered simply: Of course not. Because being perfect is a claim that nobody can meet. A mother is probably just right as she is. And this includes that a mother is sometimes unjust, forgetful, in a bad mood, bribes her children with gummy bears, neglects the household and slams the doors.

But maybe as a mother you still fall into the perfection trap too often. Somehow you want to please everyone as a mother. No wonder: We constantly meet demands and ideas about how one should be as a woman and mother. Our image of being a mother is still inflated. And often we women have unconsciously internalized it strongly. We feel double responsibility for everything that concerns children and families. Much fewer demands are made of good fathers.
Her advice: “If you feel imperfect as a mother, first ask yourself, Where does this feeling come from? Is it even legitimate? And not immediately: How can I do it better? ”.

Does A Good Mother Enough?

“A good mother is not one who sacrifices herself for children and family. But one that lives in harmony with her own needs and those of the child, ”says Angelika Faas. “A mother who has found such a balance in everyday life is simply happier, and of course that is also good for the children. If you can never switch off internally, your batteries will soon be empty.” The psychologist, therefore, advises: “Organize enough time for yourself in everyday life; Time when your children are looked after by other people. Only then you will have the inner freedom to devote yourself to other things that are also important to you.”

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Mother Has a Great Influence on Children’s Lives

A study by the German Youth Institute found: “The social inclusion of the child is influenced by the mother’s education, not that of the father.” To be a mother means to be part of the creation of a new generation, and in many moments it is a creative and fulfilling process.  But that shouldn’t lead to the delusion of perfection!

Motherhood And Professional Life

being a mother and professional life

However, life with children is often in competition with the professional world. Even today it is not easy to reconcile being a mother with the fulfillment that comes with working life. Or just with the need to earn enough money for the family, but something else is interesting: Strangely enough, as a mother of society, you never seem to be able to do it right anyway. 

Some people look at a mother who decides to stay at home during the early years of her children’s life as if she were devoting herself to an exotic hobby. And a mother who works again shortly after birth is still sometimes accused of wanting to have a career at the expense of the children. One like the other is absurd. 

Studies have shown that children are happy and develop well when they have loving, reliable parents, whether the mother worked or not played a minor role in their happiness in life. 

Where Does Motherly Love Come From?

Scientists have researched how mother love arises, During the birth process and during breastfeeding, so-called “binding hormones” such as Oxytocin and Prolactin are released in the mother, which activates the binding system of mother and child in the brain. Oxytocin also makes people feel happy during sex. 

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During the “bonding”, the phase shortly after birth, the hormone reinforces the positive feelings. Some mother experiences these moments almost intoxicated. In the first weeks after birth, almost something like a “honeymoon” with the baby. But also sad feelings are quite normal in a freshly baked mother.

The so-called child pattern(Googly eyes, big head) also awakens the protective instinct in the mother. The need for help, the crying and especially the smile, awaken and maintain the parental care behavior of the mother. 

But the emergence of motherly love is not only a biological and instinctive process but also cultural. Psychologists have found that women who have had a loving mother are easier to treat their children in the same way.

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The Downsides of Being a Mother

Not everything is just perfect. After the birth of one or more children, the body changes. Some more, some less. And the partnership will be put to the test in the first few years. In addition, a family with several children has less money on average than a childless couple. And in the time until the darling’s graduation, there is simply little freedom for a mother. 

Being a mother is a gift and pure happiness. But there are also dark sides and stressful phases. Nevertheless, every mom should never forget to be proud of herself!

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