Funny how we live our lives is influenced by media and social change. The feminist movement strove to help women define themselves outside of our roles of wife and mother. Today’s more fluid views on marriage has changed how individuals and society in general perceives wedding vows. There is a way out. Divorce is accepted and common. Interestingly, the lifetime family member is more often one’s child than one’s lifetime mate. With this change, a new wave of emotion and expectations about women and mothering crops up. Feeling ashamed and guilty about divorce or family changes, women sometimes find themselves thinking that being a “good enough” mother isn’t good enough anymore. And the Stepford Mom is born!
Commercial enterprise has picked up the current anxiety about parenting. Numerous books and websites extoll advice on the five steps to being an effective parent, parenting in one minute, parenting holistically, parenting multiples, parenting….well, you get the idea. Women are again being asked to be super-people via their children rather than their mates, and rather than simply being “good-enough.” Good-enough moms are normally attentive and sensitive to their infants. There is a feeling that the infant/child can just be, rather than be rushed to do. Good-enough moms know to hold their infants in what is called maternal preoccupation but step back as the child is developmentally ready, thus allowing the child to slowly develop the sense of individuation. There is room for normal error and inattentiveness in a good-enough household. There is room for mom to be a person, too.
So, here’s to good-enough moms, good-enough people and good-enough families.