Love is at the heart of the experience of motherhood and it is experienced on many levels. These loves are lived differently for each of us and they influence our experience of motherhood.
There is of course the love we feel for our child. Then there is love for ourselves as mothers and as women.
There are so many expectations for this love! It should be spontaneous, natural and present from the moment we learn that we will be mothers. However, many women have felt doubt, disappointment or fear before feeling love. Attachment does not always take place like in the movies where as soon as the baby arrives, joy and love are present! Each woman experiences the attachment to her child with more or less intensity and some will have to mourn what they would have liked to feel and accept that they must create this bond day by day.
All mothers want their love for their child to be unconditional, total and almighty. May it be enough to live motherhood well, and yet there will be times when it will not be! We must recognize that even if welove our child, there will be times when our patience will be tested and then frustration, anger or helplessness will arise. Constant harmony is not possible even with all the love in the world. Our child is a full-fledged human being with whom we will have to establish a relationship and this involves adjustments. This relationship is one of the most important in our life since it gives it a unique meaning!
Motherhood is a wide open door to self-discovery! The questions and emotions we experience there allow us to discover who we really are. It happens that this discovery is difficult to live, because it is strewn with questions and doubts. Then there are times when it brings joy and pride. However we live this experience, our self-esteem will be modified!
Becoming a mother can contribute or harm the perception we have of ourselves and therefore modify our level of self-esteem. If we feel competent and feel proud then our self-esteem is boosted. However, if we consider that we are not up to the task and we doubt our ability to take care of our child, our self-esteem decreases. In real life, these moments often alternate, but sometimes we experience situations repeatedly and these can change our perception of ourselves. A mother with a crying babyrarely and who calms down quickly will probably not experience the situation in the same way as the mother who has a baby who cries frequently and intensely! She may wonder why she can't calm her baby down. Sense of parental competence plays an important role in our experience of motherhood.
The criteria and requirements we set for ourselves to be a good mother also have a significant impact on our self-esteem. Women who are perfectionists are more at risk of devaluing themselves in relation to their role as mothers. The higher our demands, the greater the risk of being disappointed with ourselves. It is so easy to tell ourselves that what we do well is normal, whereas when we do not act according to our standards, we judge ourselves harshly!
The balance between mother and wife
In seeking to value ourselves through our role as mothers, we sometimes forget the woman we are. We hesitate to take care of our well-being as if it were a luxury! However, it is an obligation and a necessity to preserve the balance between the mother and the woman that we are. The imbalance is practically inevitable during the first months, but thereafter we must be vigilant. When the imbalance persists, it can happen that we have the feeling of having lost ourselves through our role as mother and then we feel destabilized. We no longer know what we like and what we desire. We must thenundertake a process which will require perseverance and which will be beneficial for us. Remember that it will be easier to be satisfied with our role as mothers if we meet our needs. Without forgetting that our joie de vivre directly influences our child's joie de vivre!
To love each other more
We can learn to love ourselves more and therefore love others more by:
- Being indulgent and patient in the face of this great learning that is motherhood;
- Accepting what we feel;
- Dare to set limits;
- Affirming our tastes;
- Making us happy every day;
- Recognizing our qualities and strengths;
- Being mindful of our welfare;
- Accepting that we can be wrong when we believe we are doing the best.
Each realization and each action brings us closer to an ideal, that of being convinced that we are valid as human beings regardless of the type of work we do, the money we have, our physical appearance, the number of children we have or our achievements! This quest is worth it since it contributes to our fulfillment as women and mothers!
Happy Mother's Day!