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Perfect Motherhood, Characteristics, Myth, and the Dangerous Cult of the Making Goddess

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Perfect Motherhood, Characteristics, Myth, and the Dangerous Cult of the Making Goddess

Perfect Motherhood

The study unveiled five distinct facets of perfect motherhood,” each with complexities and gender-biased implications. Raising children has significant challenges. It is anticipated that we will be responsible for completing all tasks.

 And execute them proficiently! However, what are the defining attributes of an exemplary mother? Furthermore, what are the methods employed to acquire such attributes? Being a mother may be challenging, particularly while experiencing parental insecurities. However, it has been observed that great mothers possess specific commendable qualities.

What is a Perfect Motherhood?

Every individual embarks on the journey of motherhood with a preexisting set of convictions or anticipations around the concept of being a competent mother. These views are formed due to the influence exerted by our communities and society, our personal experiences with our parents, and the expectations imposed by friends, family, and media. 

The impact of external factors can be substantial, exerting significant control over individuals to the extent that, upon assuming the role of motherhood, it becomes exceedingly challenging to adhere to one’s notions of what constitutes an ideal mother. A mother who meets the minimum requirements or standards of adequacy. 

I would like to recount a concise anecdote of a mother I encountered at work during the summer season. The woman in question has granted me consent to disclose her approach to the subject of effective motherhood, as it serves as a notable illustration of how perfectionist ideation and unrealistic standards may result in emotional turmoil. 

Celia visited my clinic when her infant was around four months of age. The individual in question possessed aesthetically pleasing qualities and demonstrated effective communication skills. However, she also experienced significant distress due to distressing thoughts and fears that emerged after the birth of her child.

Child Wants From a Parent

 Celia articulated her experiences of experiencing sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, apprehension, and vulnerability about caring for her infant, as well as the profound anguish that accompanied the initial stages of motherhood. In a state of emotional distress and with evident remorse, she communicated to me her experience of distressing ideations involving the infliction of harm onto her infant or herself. 

These ideas evoked profound fear inside her, as she expressed a strong aversion towards the notion of causing harm to either her child or herself. Celia had a sense of cognitive and emotional instability, perceiving her mental state as being in a state of disarray and exhibiting characteristics commonly associated with a state of psychological distress. 

The individual recounted a distressing childbirth experience characterized by an urgent cesarean section procedure, during which she harbored concerns for her survival. The individual expressed the recognition that they had to demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice their own life for the sake of their child. 

Upon implementing a treatment regimen consisting of both pharmacological intervention and therapeutic assistance, we started the endeavor of discerning any maternal-related beliefs that may potentially contribute to Celia’s psychological anguish. I facilitate an activity in my professional setting wherein mothers are prompted to compile a comprehensive list encompassing their perceptions of the many components that contribute to fulfilling the role of a “sufficiently competent” mother. 

Perfect Motherhood

The initial list created by Celia exhibited the following format:

  1. The mother exhibits unwavering affection towards her child.
  2.  The act of causing harm to one’s kid is never justified.
  3.  Consistently prioritizes the child’s best interests. 
  4. The individual consistently prioritizes the kid’s well-being over their demands.
  5.  The mother consistently wants to be near her offspring. 
  6. It is imperative for a mother to consistently prioritize her child as the utmost significant entity in her life.
  7.  It is imperative for a mother to consistently demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice any personal possession or endeavor for the betterment and welfare of her offspring. 
  8. It is said that finding contentment in being at home during the day to care for one’s children is desirable.
  9.  The mother consistently demonstrates a lack of resentment towards her child. 
  10. The perception that an individual’s sole source of happiness is in the presence of their kid is a prevailing sentiment. 
  11. One should consider defining oneself holistically as an individual, considering motherhood’s multifaceted role. 
  12. One should feel energized when engaging in activities with their child. 
  13. The mother should have feelings of happiness and overwhelming delight whenever she gazes upon her offspring. 
  14. One should refrain from contemplating the enjoyment experienced in one’s life before the arrival of children. 
  15. One should be able to manage children throughout the day without necessitating respite intervals (a privilege).
  16.  One should not have negative emotions during nighttime when attending to her child. 

Consequently, one can only surmise the emotional impact experienced by Celia upon perceiving these elements as important components of the maternal role. The concept of “shoulds” and The prohibitions of “always” create difficulty in respiration. 

Assisting her in seeing this fact took little time. Celia promptly acknowledged that these anticipations appeared lofty upon documenting these convictions about parenthood. When questioned about the source of her knowledge, she stated that her understanding was rooted in her perception of her mother’s emotions and beliefs throughout her formative years.

 Do you know Celia’s mother’s response upon being presented with the mentioned earlier “good mother” checklist? 

It is uncommon for mothers to experience such emotions. We completed this task. Celia encountered challenges in formulating a comprehensive, satisfactory, and equitable compilation delineating the attributes of a “sufficiently competent” mother. 

Tantrums and Meltdowns

However, thoroughly introspecting her convictions, she devised the following list.

  1.  A mother considered good, sometimes referred strives to: Instruct the youngster on the principles and practices necessary for embracing a fulfilling existence. 
  2. Ensure her presence and support for her children at times of need. 
  3. Instructing one’s offspring on the significance of self-esteem 
  4. Providing sustenance, accommodation, and affection Exemplifies positive behavior for her children. 
  5. It is important to allocate sufficient time for engaging in recreational activities with one’s children. 
  6. Creating an environment that allows youngsters to commit errors and acquire knowledge from these experiences is important.
  7.  Instructing her offspring in unconditional love 
  8. There is a significant disparity, correct? 

The use of imperative statements, such as “shoulds,” “shouldn’t

Perfect Motherhood

 The concept of perfection is not attainable. Celia’s condition has significantly improved. There has been a notable absence of panic attacks in her recent history, and the frequency of distressing thoughts has seen a decline. 

The individual has an enhanced capacity to engage with emotions of hope and optimism, resulting in a heightened sense of enjoyment in her interactions with her infant. The administration of medicine has been effective in addressing the physiological imbalances that contributed to her manifestations of postpartum anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

Additionally, her revised perception of maternal competence has alleviated some of the associated stressors. This behavior is commonly observed among individuals. Every individual embarks on the journey of motherhood with preconceived notions about the expectations and responsibilities associated with this transformative and sometimes daunting position, as well as their perception of an idealized maternal figure.

 While some elements may be deemed suitable, a significant proportion may need to be more attainable. I encourage individuals to introspect and contemplate the essential components they associate with fulfilling the role of a competent mother to their children and subsequently document their inventory. 

It is important to pay attention to the presence of imperatives such as “shoulds” and “always,” as well as to distinguish between concepts that are genuinely one’s own and those that may belong to others (for instance, the decision to nurse one’s kid vs. the provision of healthy food whenever feasible). 

Additionally, one should be mindful of making assumptions about the perspectives of others. It is presumed that each individual there already fulfills the role of a competent mother. The author of the text is Kate Kripke, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). 

Author’s Note: *The mother’s identity in this case study has been altered to maintain anonymity. I express gratitude towards her for her willingness to expose herself to vulnerability and greatly admire her exceptional bravery, sincerity, and diligent efforts.

 The” Present Mama

Perfect Motherhood

 Ideal calls for mothers to always be available to their children and to have total knowledge of their every want, need, and desire. While being present with one’s spirit is pivotal, the ultramodern mama ideal generally takes putting oneself last to give one’s child one hundred percent of one’s time, energy, and coffers.

 This norm is regarded as the gold standard for giving children the finest possible care, attesting to the common supposition that women are the final authority on childcare. Ideas like” Mama knows best” promote unrealistic gender norms by suggesting that mothers have a natural skill for parenthood.

 According to this standard, all mothers should have an ingrained understanding of how to be excellent caregivers. Because of this, mothers may feel less supported by their consorts, families, and communities if they express dubieties, anxieties, or reservations about parenting. This leaves numerous matters feeling lonely, helpless, hysterical, and exhausted.

1,” Future-Acquainted Mama 

 The mama of the unborn matters who identify with the” future-acquainted mama ” archetype feel an enormous responsibility to shape their children’s lives in every way possible, from their health to their education. Maters are hypothecated to have an ingrain capability to give their children a safe and healthy terrain from birth.

 Breastfeeding, for illustration, is held in the loftiest regard as the ideal system of nourishing a baby, whereas formula milk is generally looked down upon as unnatural. According to an exploration from 2022, mothers’ guilt over not meeting artistic morals on child nutrition is pervasive and patient. 

Maters with academy-aged children have the added responsibility of icing their children to eat healthy, immorally produced food, which can bear a major investment of time and plutocrat.

As a result, mothers are pressured to give their children the finest possible educational openings, regardless of their socioeconomic status or the diversity of their children’s origins. Remembering that you are not a bad parent if you transgress from these norms is pivotal. When given a broader range of options, maters can make stylish opinions for their families and children.

2, Mama In the Pool,

Perfect Motherhood

 One’s professional and parenthood places are seen as reciprocal, reflecting the working mama norm. This suggests that a mama’s capability to watch for her family while working shouldn’t be compromised. On the one hand, working mothers are frequently portrayed unfavorably in the media and in the plant, where they’re frequently encouraged to prioritize caregiving liabilities at home.

 On the other side, co-workers and employers may regard women as less devoted and less career-acquainted workers once they become mothers. The result is a no-pay situation for working mothers since they’re seen as neither perfect workers nor completely devoted caregivers.

 In a society where women anticipate being watched, criticized, and indeed policed, this ideal requires matters to exercise extreme tone- control over their bodies, motherly performance, and children. 

3, Suckling in Public, 

The case is constantly lowered. Internalized beliefs about what a” good mama ” should do, feel, and look like can lead pregnant women to struggle to control their body size, jones, and feelings, or indeed essay to micromanage the birthing process, in trouble to show strength and the capability to” recapture control” over their bodies after giving birth.

 According to studies, some mothers try to influence their children so they turn out the way they want them to in terms of aesthetics, geste, success, and performance. Maters’ tone- mistrustfulness, which can be affected by these unrealistic prospects, can harm their connections with their children.

4,  The Joyous Mama 

The” happy mama ” conception promotes the unattainable constant joy and pleasure in the bone’s parenthood part. Women are anticipated to want to be maters from an early age by society. If this is not a commodity they want, they may struggle with clashing passions of craving, despair, and bafflement. 

Maters are also supposed to feel nothing but love and intoxication when they first lay eyes on their child or when they begin nursing, even though this conditioning can beget them to witness a range of feelings, including pain, discomfort, and weariness. Also, mothers expressing displeasure or vexation occasionally encounter judgment. 

Their grievances are routinely dismissed, bolstering the idea that fatherhood should simply elicit positive passions despite it being a life-altering and deeply grueling experience, bringing with it the possibility of developing serious physical and internal health conditions, including postpartum depression. 

The Perils of the Cult of “Ideal Motherhood”

Perfect Motherhood

 The item above was published in Revista Ya, a Chilean publication under the name El Mercurio, on January 30, 2018. as seen by its presence in many columns and forums dedicated to discussions on parenting. This cultural phenomenon exerts significant pressure on women, compelling them to strive for an unattainable ideal of motherhood. 

In this context, professionals analyze the phenomena further intensified by the influence of social networks. They caution that absolute dichotomies never characterize motherhood, as it is seldom an unequivocal triumph or an outright failure. Authored by Muriel Alarcón, The origins and reasons for the emergence of ‘the goddess myth’ remain uncertain.

 However, contemporary women experience a pervasive societal expectation to attain perfection. Alexandra Sacks, a specialist in reproductive psychiatry and an adult psychiatrist, gained significant attention for her article, ‘ The Birth of a Mother’, published in the New York Times. 

Family section, which garnered widespread readership and acclaim in the previous year. 

In an interview with Revista Ya, Sacks alludes to a concept extensively discussed and reiterated across various platforms, including columns, blogs, and forums, about the transformative nature of a woman’s identity upon becoming a mother. The phrase ‘the goddess myth’ describes a concept that has gained popularity online, although its origin and authorship still need clarification. 

This concept suggests that contemporary society views pregnancy and motherhood as highly valued and cherished experiences characterized by notions of beauty and positivity. As observed by Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, a professor of Human Sciences and Psychology at Ohio State University, this phenomenon is characterized by a paradox: pursuing perfection in child parenting may hinder parents’ ability to raise their children efficiently. 

The apprehension over the perception of one’s childrearing activities has a detrimental effect on one’s self-assurance. Scholars such as Sacks concur with this perspective, alongside other academics who substantiate their claims by presenting evidence that several women face feelings of inadequacy when their encounters with pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, and childrearing deviate from what is perceived as the norm. 

In the contemporary era characterized by the proliferation of knowledge, there exists a prevailing mindset that one can exert dominion over all aspects of life using self-education and unwavering determination. However, it is important to note that biology cannot be fully controlled. According to Alexandra Sacks, a component of the ‘goddess myth’ suggests that with sufficient effort, it is possible to get pregnant, give birth naturally, and nurse.

 However, it is important to acknowledge that biology does not permit this possibility for every individual. When considering the concept of ‘the goddess myth,’ which historically referred to the notion of a ‘fertility goddess’ found in various cultures and religions, some of which have ancient origins, it becomes apparent that Alexandra Sacks identifies a novel and distinctive phenomenon in contemporary society: the heightened expectations placed upon mothers to attain a state of perfection.

 According to its description, the notion being discussed can be classified as a myth due to the inherent imperfections found in every individual and the inevitable limitations present in each human interaction. A mother and her kid include inherently discovered emotions, as human interactions involve giving and receiving. 

According to Kathleen McCartney, the president of Smith College, a prominent private women’s college situated in Northampton, Massachusetts, and an esteemed scholar in the field of early childhood education and policies, it is unnecessary for parents to strive for perfection as it would only serve to prepare their children for a non-existent reality. 

Individuals will inevitably encounter many challenges and obstacles, particularly in their childhood. Consequently, it becomes imperative for children to acquire the necessary skills to effectively manage their emotions and respond to these frustrations in a socially acceptable and suitable manner. We must strive to get a level of proficiency that meets the required standards. The pursuit of perfectionism should not be seen as an ideal objective.

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Conclusion 

 A more realistic and compassionate approach to parenthood would consider that some degree of irregularity and occasional gaps in mind aren’t mischievous and can help children develop independence and adaptability. Given the wide range of motherliness gests, universal parenthood advice has to be questioned. Parenthood is a gift that may be developed, and mastery is neither needed nor attainable. A fabrication might help you take care of yourself and your support network.

 This social ideal makes parenthood unachievable for women. Professionals analyze social networks. Motherhood seldom succeeds or fails. Modern women are supposed to be perfect. ‘The Birth of a Mother The term ‘the goddess myth’ is used online but has no documented provenance. Current culture prioritizes childbearing and parenting. Perfect child-rearing may hinder parents’ ability to care. Childrearing anxieties lower self-esteem.

What is the definition of excellent motherhood?

 8 Strategies for Being an Effective Mother Rather Than Striving for Perfection A proficient mother, sometimes called a Good Enough Mom, endeavors to instruct her child on maximizing life’s potential. Provide support and assistance to her children at times of need. Instruct her offspring on the significance of self-esteem. 

The genuine essence of motherhood is what?

 A mother is a generous and affectionate individual who must prioritize the desires and necessities of their children over their own. A mother diligently strives to ensure that her kid is equipped with the requisite information, skills, and capabilities to thrive as a proficient individual. Motherhood is strong due to its profound influence and impact on individuals and society. It encompasses a range of responsibilities and roles that need immense strength, resilience, and nurturing abilities. Through giving birth and raising children, mothers contribute to the continuation of the human race. Children naturally need affection, warmth, and security when they are born. 

What are the five duties of a mother?

The five duties of a mother are nurturing, caregiving, guiding, supporting, and protecting. The 5 responsibilities of a mother are essential in the upbringing of a child.

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