Happy Mother's Day: The Nurturing Force
Having babies is beautiful and valuable. However, just as the success of a marriage is not solely determined by the wedding, successful parenting has little to do with a successful birth. On this day, as we honor our mothers, it is important to acknowledge and honor all the individuals who step in to nurture and care for lives that they did not personally bring into the world: the adoptive parents, aunties and uncles, godparents, stepparents, friends and neighbors. The capacity to nurture and care exists within all people to some extent, regardless of gender.
Nurturing involves fostering the potential of a young life, creating a safe and trusting environment where each child's unique gifts can flourish. It requires qualities such as patience, empathy, warmth, support, deep listening, and compassion. In addition to the seemingly endless practical responsibilities of providing food, clothing, education, and medical care, there is also the ongoing task of providing nuanced and subtle guidance to help children become integrated and whole adults. This guidance involves encouraging self-expression, collaboration, assertiveness, and clarity. This matters for all of us: how children are parented creates the society of the future. Research has shown that parental warmth is crucial for children's social development, as a lack of warmth can lead to antisocial and aggressive behaviors. On the other hand, nurtured children tend to have lower levels of anxiety and depression.
It is important to recognize that not everyone is naturally inclined to be a mother or father. There can be various reasons why a parent may struggle to be nurturing, and these reasons may be beyond their control. For instance, a mother may be dealing with her own mental health issues, financial stress, or relationship problems, which can make it challenging for her to emotionally engage with her children. Similarly, a father may be affected by generational patterns of trauma, addiction, or other circumstances. Mothers and fathers can be absent, they can die early, they can be incapacitated. While we may hope for every parent to be fully present for their child, the reality is that this is not always possible. This is where other individuals can and do step in and fill that void.
To all the fairy stepmothers out there, to all the cool aunts, to the nurturing daddies, we see you, we love you, we appreciate you. For all those who do the archetypal tasks of mothering, thank you and many blessings.
Happy Mother’s Day,
Your Rosebud Team