This Society Wants To Crush Our Maternal Instinct.
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels
The maternal instinct is completely swamped with other people’s ideas, questioned, and annihilated.
In my grandmother’s time, the whole female community used to celebrate and support the birth of a child. They would gather in the house where the birth took place, prepare meals, clean, allow the new mother to rest; they would give comfort. To use one word only: they would “CARE” –of the mother, of the newborn baby, of the house, of the husband and the other children as well. Everyone’s focus was on caring for the family, on allowing a Well-Being from which everyone could benefit.
Today, you are lucky if you have a mother or some friends who offer random help and understanding. Don’t you think so?
The truth is that today’s mothers suffer from loneliness. They are always judged, put on trial, and vexed with anguish, expectations, and anxieties by everyone around them.
There is no empathy or real connection; they only have to bear unsolicited recommendations and advice. Words, only. The maternal instinct, the one according to which every mother knows what is best for her child, is completely swamped with other people’s ideas, questioned, and annihilated. As a result, mothers find themselves doubting their instinct, and relying on others, without finding adequate help and especially without support in carrying out the decision taken.
When a woman becomes a mother, she should enter into a sacred time, and focus on the connection with the baby, starting from when she/he is in her womb; a time of introspection, analysis of one’s desires, fears, hopes, and talents too. Instead, you remain trapped in a judgmental society where, whatever you do, you make mistakes. This society crushes the new mother.
The working mom is accused of not being a good mom because she leaves her child in the care of others, so she is selfish. The housewife mom is considered too pushy and lazy; the anxious mom is wrong; the mom who lets her child explore things is accused of raising a wild kid. All mothers are blamed continuously, belittled, and emotionally humiliated.
I believe that patriarchy has left such a profound mark that, despite fights for emancipation and constant proofs of success, women are still prey to men, and considered inferior, both consciously and unconsciously. See, for instance, the object woman, the witch woman, the harpy woman, the bitch woman. The list is endless.
The thing that I find most bizarre is that there are so many (many) masculist women.
These women accept the current system that leads society to run the patriarchal scheme; they do not want to change it, but, at most, they want to enter it. So, to put it simply, they are either devoted housewives or women “disguised” as men, in values, attitudes, and lifestyles. Women, even famous or successful, who ally themselves individually with the “boys’ club”, often interpret its priorities and rules with incomparable zeal.
So, they say “Yes” to career, but remain faithful supporters of the traditional family and stereotypical gender roles; they are supporters of a pyramidal and hierarchical society.
On the opposite side, there are feminist women.
We are the women who challenge patriarchy, role stereotypes, and gender stereotypes, who want to live and work on our terms. We are allies of the “girls’ club”, rediscovering sisterhood, seeing the world and the economy through the “maternal” eyes that care for the well-being and people’s rights. Women who support the growth of people, focusing on principles of inclusion, sharing, solidarity, and empathy.
These women are everywhere in the world, and they are also present in Islamic countries; it is not difficult to meet them. Think of women who promote solidarity, women’s empowerment, or women engaged in the emancipation of education and the social environment. And also think of all those mothers who have sons, and teach them to see the world through the eyes of a woman.
This is what I have been doing since my twin boys came into the world. I read them fairy tales in which the princesses do not wait for Prince Charming to free them from the tower, but face the dragon and win. I take them hand in hand to discover the female heart and soul, which (let’s face it) is complicated. But it is tricky because it is rich and powerful: the most mighty weapon of women is their inner energy. I teach them the principles of respect and equality, based on talent, potential, and ability.
It is above all for this reason that mothers must be protected, helped, and respected. And, in my opinion, we must re-create that network of female mutual aid, a COMMUNITY that has been lost, but it is precious. Precious not only for women and children, but also men, and society as a whole; because through this priceless contribution of love and empathy, so many dangers (physical and psychological) would disappear, to the benefit of all humankind.
I think we have to look at every mother with kind, understanding, and non-judgmental eyes. There are often reasons and past events that we don’t know, but still influence behaviour, actions, and thoughts. Let us listen. Let’s remain silent, with open arms, waiting for her to trust us. Let us make ourselves present.
It is the only way to eliminate the guilt, sadness, or depression that affects more and more women everywhere.
Postpartum depression, for example, today affects 10-20% of women in the immediate postpartum period. It is not just a mood disorder, as commonly thought, it is something more profound, and should be carefully considered because it can lead to dangerous consequences.
Mothers raise children, make the world go round, and must be supported to improve this planet.
I consider myself a “feminist woman”, and I have finally started to work actively in this direction. As a mother, I suffered greatly from the lack of help and a “sisterhood” network to support me in the first months of my twins’ lives. I did everything on my own, and I was forced to start working when the children were still very young because I was threatened with losing my job. That sadness and depression remained inside me, that sense of guilt and inadequacy marked me deeply for years.
I struggled to live within a predefined system that did not listen to my needs or even my desires. I struggled to juggle work and family. I struggled to maintain the appearance of a strong, smiling woman. But inside me, all that “construction” was killing me. It was slowly emptying me, like a snake growing in your bowels and eating you from the inside.
One day, however, I “woke up”; I became aware of what I was doing and where I was going, and I made an inhuman effort to change direction. That effort that mothers can make, out of love for their children and their family.
I have changed the way I live and work.
Photo by CoWomen
I decided to invest in myself; I invested my time, energy, and money in myself to learn new skills and prepare for a career change. I have put all my efforts into the digital economy, considering that it is the only one that is really flourishing, now and in the future. The traditional economy is dying, even under the blows of the pandemic. Instead, the digital economy is set to take over, in all sectors, and this gives me the security I need for my children and their livelihood.
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Women are unhappy and lost in trying to comply with the rules of society. But I have understood that there is a way to change things and realize myself both professionally and in private life. I hope you can understand it too and contact me for help in getting started.