Family is a cultural, legal, sociological and individually defined concept. It is fundamental social group typically include what is referred to as a nuclear family – father, mother and one or more children. Other definition of a family includes all the members of a household living under one roof. Families can also be defined by the ways person behave toward one another or how relationship function in the lives of people.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Idealizing of mothering: fantasy of the perfect mother

One common fantasy which seems to be played out by adults around a new baby is the fantasy that there exists a perfect mother somewhere.

When a girl was looking after her friends, sometimes she felt she was or had to be this prefect mother; sometimes it was located in a grandmother somewhere; sometimes in other women in hospital; sometimes in ‘working class women’ or ‘women in Africa’.

All of these other others were supposed to be able to cope better than the actual mother and by their coping, to leave the mother feeling inadequate by comparison.

Idealizations, often work in this way; some picture held up initially perhaps partly as a means of not losing hope entirely – since of nobody knows what to do with a baby, how will it survive at all? – becomes very quickly persecutory, as the actual state of affairs is compared with the ideal and some blame attached somewhere for the ‘failure’.

The pressure to play out this image of the Perfect Mother seems to be strong.

The idealization of mothering is perhaps partly related to problems we have as a small children when we long to be mothers ourselves but are as yet too small.

It often seems to me that people have in general extremely infantile views of mothering: assumptions about it which perhaps fit better with a view of a mother which a two – or three year old child might have.
Idealizing of mothering: fantasy of the perfect mother
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