My mom is my best friend, and as I think back to her experiences and journey of bringing up my sister and I, I feel an incredible amount of gratitude. As a female, I want to someday be a mom and follow in the footsteps of my mother as not only a role model but a pillar of strength for my children. While I often fear that I will one day struggle in being an extraordinary mother, I realize that the perfect mother does not, and should not, exist. No, I do not have any children of my own yet, however I am able to recognize the expectations placed on mothers and believe that these judgments and expectations should not be routinely upheld within our society. As for men, it is essential to be aware of the perfect mother phenomenon because their mothers, wives, future wives, and/or daughters are subject to the constant pressures associated with motherhood.
Every single person makes mistakes, and a mother is no different than any other human being. Mothers bring children into this world, to love, to teach, and to guide through the lives that they are given. The expectations placed on mothers are often times incompatible. An article on the Huffington Post states ironic comments regarding motherhood and its’ duties, such as, “A good mother never puts her career before her children; she also doesn’t ever slack at work… A good mother always puts her partner first, except when she values her children above everything.” Combine these extremely high and incongruent beliefs that mothers must rise to, and the idea of the complete mother is impossible to obtain.
Being a Good Enough Mother
I care about motherhood expectations because one day I will acquire the title and will have to juggle the important aspects within my life, including my children, my husband, and my work. Whether you will have to take on the same roles as I, or if you have a mother or mother figure within your life, it must be understood that mothers do the best they can, when they can. The perfect mother is not real, however a good enough mother is, meaning that they have and accept flaws, and they do the best that they can given the situation.
Along the same lines, an article located on PBS Parent stated that while the perfect mother is expected by others, if a child was raised by a perfect mother, would that child truly be prepared for the world? The world is a far from perfect place, and it will not always provide someone to constantly cook, clean, and provide for you.
The New Momism
Mothers such as Carol Brady, from the Brady Bunch and Tami Taylor, from Friday Night Lights are among the mothers who are found to be the most perfect within TV history. Carol Brady took care of 6 children, while also having free time to herself, and Tami Taylor, simultaneously handled the upbringing of her two daughters, and was the principal of a high school, all while looking flawless. The phrase new momism is introduced within the book, “Mommy Myth.” The construct new momism refers to the perfect mother, meaning being the caregiver who provides ultimate attention and care to her children by cooking, cleaning, helping and supervising. With that being said, new momism demands much from mothers including providing their children with the necessary materials to help promote the complete development of their kids.
Perfection is Not Reality
The pressures of motherhood are high, and due to the new momism, the perfect mother is thought to exist, when in reality, no person is entirely perfect. It is essential to remember that being a mother is a difficult task, however each mother does the best she can, despite the millions of reasons others including the media, say she is a poor mother. While motherhood is a feminine aspect of life, these expectations have the potential to fall upon men as well, due to their wives and daughters. Everyone has a mother or a mother figure in his or her life, so thank the woman who loved you unconditionally, provided for you, and nourished you the best that she could. The perfect mother does not exist, however the love a mother has for her children should.