Mothering and Parenting – An Updated Understanding

Mothering and Parenting – An Updated Understanding

Mother and Child Hug

Loving and caring mother with baby

What is Mothering, anyway?

Mother's Day - How much you are loved?Mothers come with different designations: There are birth mothersadopted mothers, and mothers you choose (like a favorite older friend or mentor).

The act of mothering also means a variety of behaviors: Helper, spiritual advisor,  someone to call when you are sad or afraid – someone who listens.

Parenting is Like Picking Flowers

Who we are today is the culmination of a variety of our past experiences. Much like the flowers that make up a bouquet; it takes a variety of elements to create a beautifully balanced life.

Getting there involves working through an assortment of challenges. We need to know, and then grow through a series of relationships in order to develop healthy rules of engagement. And our parents are most often the first attempts we have at this process.

Because parents have already taken these developmental steps, they typically set the rules and provide the containers for us to explore ourselves and the world. The size of these containers is important. Should parents hover too closely, we can become sheltered from the realities of the world. Potentially leading to painful adjustments when we reach adulthood. Too little parental oversight can also adversely impact us; culminating in an inability to trust others, accept love, and cultivate healthy adult relationships.

Did you have a Brady Bunch mother or one with personal struggles?

Although not perfect (and who is perfect – other than Carol Brady) most mothers are effortful in their nurturing. So, perhaps it is time (just in time for Mother’s Day) to update our views of our childhoods and focus on “what is” when it comes to mom….

When we modify role expectations we have for our parents and accept them for the people they’ve become; we set down our own struggles and disappointments of the past. There is nothing we can do about yesteryear. Nevertheless, our forgiving parental missteps opens up the possibility for us to fully enjoy the interactions currently available to us.

Please remember that our parents were also engaged in the process of learning and growing as we were morphing from kid to teen to young adult. Your Mom at 25 was probably acting pretty differently than she behaves today. For e.g imagine navigating the nurturing of a child when you were new to adulthood.

Feel blessed that both of you have made it past your initial growth spurts and can now get to know and enjoy the updated versions of each other.

Let life bloom – see your mom for the beautiful rose that she has unfolded to become. Consider giving back some of the love and caring she instilled in you. And feel reassured that you are now a flowering adult capable of such nurturing. (thanks, mom)!